My big cooking challenge for this week is planning my son’s birthday party and keeping it fun and treat filled and yet still healthy. Kind of a tall order, don’t you think? Typical birthday parties for kids include unlimited soda, chips, tasteless Walmart type cake, and lots of candy in the goodie bags. Each child probably consumes in excess of 100 grams of sugar! Considering that only 36 grams of sugar in a 24 hour period lowers immunity by over 50% for an adult, so you can imagine the hit a child’s immunity takes from a shot of sugar as high as 100 grams at one party! No wonder my kids usually have a runny nose within an hour or so of attending a birthday party!
Anyway, here’s my plan for the party. First and most importantly, I’m making the birthday cake myself. Homemade birthday cake tastes so much better than store bought and when you make it right, it tastes great and gives nutrition too! I ground the flour fresh a few weeks ago (I grind once a month or so and then freeze the flour to retain nutrients .. flour doesn’t clump in the freezer so you can use straight out of a freezer bag!) I will sift the flour to make it the cake nice and light. I also use coconut oil in the recipe .. coconut oil is the BEST and HEALTHIEST oil to cook with. It does not get damaged by high heat, so cooking/baking with it is fantastic. It also lends an amazing moistness to baked goods, like birthday cake. Most importantly, coconut oil is highly antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. So it helps to COUNTERACT the immune depressing effect of the sugar in the cake. You can have your cake and eat it too (without getting sick, that is!).
I am using the devil’s food cake recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook and simply substituting high quality, healthy ingredients. The recipe I’m using is (with modifications in parentheses):
2 cups flour (fresh ground organic soft white wheat is what I use)
2 cups sugar (I use only 1 1 /2 cups organic evaporated cane juice like Rapadura or Sucanat and then add 4 drops stevia)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use organic Rapunzel brand cocoa powder – very dark and full of antioxidants)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups milk (I use fresh from the cow whole milk from a local farmer)
1/2 cup shortening (expeller pressed coconut oil works fabulous here)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs (I use free range eggs)
I make double recipe here (2 make 2 layers for the cake). Then I bake in 2 9×13 pans for 30 minutes on 350F
I will post about the frosting a bit later ……
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for what to do.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.