Ahh the great British summer – gale force winds, 17 degrees and grey skies. There’s nothing for it but to bake a cake.

As it’s courgette season, it’s only fitting that I make a courgette cake. I haven’t made one since I went gluten free over two years ago so it was about time I came up with a recipe for a gluten free courgette cake.

 courgette-cake-3The fab thing about including cougette in a cake is that my kids who are sadly not fans of courgettes will very happily eat this cake. Courgettes are a very good source of potassium, an important intra-cellular electrolyte which may help reduce blood pressure and heart rate. The golden skin variety which I used in this recipe are rich in flavonoids which are strong antioxidants and help scavenge free radicals which play a role in the ageing process and various disease processes. They are also a good source of vitamin A important for eye health and B complex vitamins necessary for a huge range of bodily functions.

Instead of using a gluten free flour mix I chose almond flour which is a great source of protein as well as many essential vitamins, minerals and fats. The high content of oleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid in almonds may help reduces blood pressure and may also help reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol which may lower the chances of  developing heart diseases. Almonds are also rich in vitamin E which acts as a fat-soluble antioxidant.

There are loads of minerals present in almonds which include calcium – the main mineral constituent of our body needed for toning up muscles and bones and preventing diseases like osteoporosis, magnesium – also important for bone and muscle health, potassium – as mentioned before an important electrolyte, iron – for healthy blood and zinc – utilised for cell growth and replication, bones and is a component of many essential enzymes. courgette-cake

Even though I live in a town, in a terraced house, I am very lucky to have neighbours who keep chickens and who very kindly share their eggs with us, as such I know that they’s from healthy happy chicks. I like to include those eggs in my diet because I like to get my B12 from a food source rather than a supplement. B12 is absolutely essential and there is much debate about its bioavailability from non animal sources. Although it is present in foods such as seaweed, there is some uncertainty as to whether or not the human body can utilise this form. As it aids energy metabolism, red blood cells, the immune system and the nervous system it is extremely important that we make sure to include this vitamin and my preferred form is from eggs. Eggs are also a good source of vitamin D which aids in the absorption of calcium and keeps bones and teeth healthy.

Ingredients: 

250g ground almonds
2 yellow courgettes (green are fine also)
6 eggs
200g honey
rind of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

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Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 160degrees celcius and line a 10″ baking tin with grease proof paper.

Grate the courgettes then add to a mixing bowl together with the ground almonds, honey, lemon juice and rind and baking powder. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs adding the vanilla essence. Add the egg mixture to the other ingredients and combine well using a hand held blender.

Pour into the preprepared tin (it is quite a runny mixture) and place in the oven for 45 -50 minutes until golden on top. Test the centre with a sharp knife or skewer to make sure it comes out clean.

Let it cool on a cooling rack.

Get creative and decorate the top as you wish, I chose a mixture of edible flowers from the garden.

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So, I think I can quite safely say that as well as being a well tested and love recipe, this beautifully moist cake high in protein and packed with nutrients is one you can enjoy without any guilt.