A hearty believer that life should be filled with fun and whimsy, Sam weaves together a colorful journey through her delicious creations. Follow along with her recipe tutorials, get sneak peeks into exclusive brand photo shoots, and have a great time along the way. No judgement here, just scrumptious fun!
Today is officially the 30 day mark of my #GoodbyeSugar30 Challenge, posed to me by SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener. For a quick intro and recap, read my post here. I am happy to report that I came, I ate, I conquered. Cue the ‘Rocky’ music and a half-hearted attempt at running up the stairs and punching thin air. All kidding aside, I actually followed through with the challenge to replace all added sugar with SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener. The sweetener has no calories, added flavors, or artificial ingredients and it was thoroughly an eye-opening experience.
With this task, I was forced to acknowledge just how much sugar I actually add to my drinks, sweets, and even entrées. Add to the mix the fact that I am an emotional eater and a new mom, and you have a literal recipe for disaster. The challenge soon became a bit of a learning curve, as I often found myself rethinking my food options. Did I really need to make the brussel sprouts caramelized? Is it necessary to add sugar to my pasta sauce recipe? It was not just about replacing my tablespoon of sugar in my coffee with the SPLENDA® Naturals. It also became about making consciously healthier choices throughout my day.
About two weeks in, I was feeling great and easily integrating the balance into my daily routine. I was more energized and, thanks to SPLENDA® Naturals having no added flavors and no bitter aftertaste, I did not miss all that extra sugar I normally consumed. But then life threw an obstacle into the mix. With my wedding anniversary just around the corner, I realized that I was going to have to make our traditional anniversary cake without sugar. Instead of blowing off the #GoodbyeSugar30 challenge (which I seriously considered), I decided instead to rework the whole recipe to make it more health conscious. It came out remarkably well and seemed more like a cheat day than an actual sugar-free affair. And so my friends, as my final act of sugarless-ness, I present to you my recipe for a Naked Camomile Pumpkin Cake with Greek Yogurt Frosting…
CHAMOMILE PUMPKIN CAKE WITH GREEK YOGURT FROSTING
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 9 inch round pans and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of almond meal, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix thoroughly. In a stand mixer, mix 1 cup (or 24 packets) of SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener and 1/2 cup of butter until creamy. Then add 1 1/2 cups of Greek yogurt, 4 eggs, and 1 cup of pumpkin purée. Mix thoroughly.
Pour the wet mixture into the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Combine using a spatula until fully mixed and has a thick dough consistency. Pour the batter evenly into the two cake pans and spread. Place in the oven and cook for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. To make the frosting, combine 2 cups of Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup of SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener, 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée, and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.
To assemble, place the first cake on a cake stand. Spread half of the frosting on top and place 1/4 cup of blackberries in this layer. Then place the second cake directly on top of the blackberries and frosting. Spread the rest of the frosting on top, sprinkle 1/4 cup of dried camomile flowers over the surface, and garnish with blackberries. Enjoy!
As much as I complained, in the end I was thrilled to have participated in the #GoodbyeSugar30 challenge. It has helped to hit the reset button on my commitment to wholesome, balanced living postpartum. It has also reminded me that you don’t always have to sacrifice taste to eat healthier. Get your box of 40 or 80 count SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener at your local retail store. For more information, visit SplendaNaturals.com and sign up here to begin receiving tools and resources for participating in the Challenge.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.