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I watched a documentary last week about the food industry in America; showing how our food industry is largely a reflection of our political culture.  Convenience food became a norm in the 1950’s due to advancements in food science; a necessity to feed our troops in World War II.  A baby boomer described how he had forgot how food tasted; literally he forgot for 40 years what a fresh tomato tasted like.

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In the 1960’s a food revolution began; which we now see with farmer’s markets, local farms, pasture raised meat, and farm-to-table restaurants.  Although many Americans are choosing to spend the “extra” money on organic, local, and ethically raised foods, much of our population still fills their daily calories with nutritionless foods.

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My parents, growing up in the 1950’s, were a product of conveniece food and it carried on to how they fed us.  My dad’s idea of chinese food was canned with those crispy noodles and my mom’s go to easy meal was Banquet or Hamburger Helper.  My mom did however, turn to the Joy of Cooking for pancakes and coffee cake.  I still crave both on Saturday mornings, especially the smell of cinnamon and sugar coming from the kitchen.

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This morning I made a Whole Wheat Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake made with coconut milk, adopted from eating with S.O.L.E.  Months ago, all my baking was with coconut milk; like these delicious Carrot-Apple Bran Muffins.  The coffee cake turned out perfect.  The outside was crisp and the inside was nice and moist.  The whole wheat flour makes the cake more dense, but the cinnamon streusel topping complements it well.

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I’ve learned through experience that baking with whole wheat is tricky.  I now buy all purpose whole wheat flours, but they’re not all the same.  This flour is from Trader Joe’s and is pretty mealy.  I have found others to be better for cakes and cookies, such as Kroger’s organic all purpose whole wheat flour.  Be sure to sift the flour because the air in the flour will make a huge difference versus packed flour.

Ingredients, Cake

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups lite brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour, sifted before measuring
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Ingredients, Streusel

  • 1/2 cup lite brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut shavings
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.  Line the bottom of a spring form pan with parchment paper and spray the sides.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the coconut milk, oil, eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Add the flour mixture to the coconut mixture until fully combined.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the streusel ingredients.
  4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle half of the streusel topping over. Pour the remaining batter into the pan, spreading to the edges if needed.  Add the remaining streusel topping.
  5. Bake on the center rack for 70 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a rack and then remove from the pan to serve.
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