Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Chef, and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
What are you gifting everyone this year!? Have you finished your holiday shopping?
I’ve talked about this before on here, but my criteria for gifts goes something like this: needs to be edible, or DIY or a book. I’m constantly amazed by how much stuff that we have, even as someone who consciously tries to reduce stuff. Therefore, when it comes to the gifts that I give (and want to receive) edible is usually best. Though, BL, if you are reading this please know massage gift cards are also most appreciated.
I’ve got a serious thing for chocolate and peppermint this time of year. The moment the weather started getting cooler in St. Louis this Fall, I was making a version of these chocolate peppermint cookies.
Have you tried them yet? They are incredible and perfectly rich! For the few holiday parties that we’ve already attended, I’ve usually got a batch of those tucked into my coat for the hostess.
Then I started thinking about other ways I love chocolate and peppermint together and couldn’t get the idea of a fudge cake out of my head. The perfect thing to sip with coffee, hot chocolate or an ice-cold glass of Pacific Food‘s oat beverage. YUM.
I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but if you haven’t tried using oat beverage in your baked goods before, then you are missing out! Oat is my preferred baking non-dairy milk for a few reasons.
One, oat beverage is higher in carbohydrates than other plant-based beverages and that’s a good thing. The reaction behind every golden brown baked temptation is known as the Maillard reaction. Catalyzed by the heat in the oven, reducing sugars with amino acids (protein!) yields a golden brown exterior and that characteristic ‘something is baking‘ aroma.
You need two things in order for this to happen: sugar, usually in the form of sugar in the recipe and/or ingredients like milk, and protein, usually in the form of milk or eggs. Side bar: This is why when you swap in artificial sweeteners for baked goods the color is off.
It’s also why, in making vegan baked goods, removing both protein (eggs/milk) and reducing sugar can lead to pale baked goods. Tastes fine, but the color is off. That’s where Pacific Food’s oat beverage comes in! Oat beverage is naturally higher in carbohydrates than almond, making it a superior choice to getting a beautiful golden brown color and ‘baked good’ flavor.
Since having this ah-ha realization after one-too-many pale vegan cupcakes, cookies and cakes, I’ve fully converted to oat beverage! And, I think you should too.
You can find Pacific Food‘s oat beverage at most grocery stores, Whole Foods, online and directly on the Pacific Food‘s website. I also love that Pacific Food’s oat beverage is free from carrageen and has added Vitamin D.
I’m making this chocolate loaf LIVE on Pacific Food’s Instagram stories THIS Friday, December 14th. Please tune in! I’m sharing this recipe ahead with you so you’ve got time to gather the ingredients and then we can make it live together.
Start thinking about who you’d want to give this to. I know there is someone in your life who would love a beautiful, chocolate peppermint loaf cake.
To gift, just wrap in parchment or wax paper and add a bow if you’re feeling festive! Maybe a carton or two of Pacific Food’s oat beverage to go alongside?
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Chocolate Peppermint Loaf! This cake is the PERFECT hostess gift for the holidays. Perfectly moist, lightly peppermint chocolate cake with a peppermint glaze. Vegan and dairy-free.
Chocolate Peppermint Loaf Cake
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