To be able to eat delicious dishes and stay lean –  easier said than done! But nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan insists that goal is easily achievable.  Her new book Get Lean, Stay Lean – The 6-Step Program for a Happier, Healthier Body for Life (Murdoch Books) offers up some mighty fine recipes designed to provide optimum nutrition while beating the bulge. Now that’s our kind of book!

Here’s Joanna’s recipe for Flourless Blood Orange and Almond Maple Cake:

This is such a simple cake recipe, yet you won’t believe how beautiful it tastes. I use blood oranges when they are in season. If you can’t get hold of any, simply use navel oranges instead. The almonds have been roasted before grinding them to give a deeper depth of flavour. You don’t have to do this and can simply use almond meal instead if you prefer. The recipe as it stands is dairy free, but it is delicious served with a spoonful of Greek-style yoghurt.

Serves 6

Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

4 blood oranges, skin on, plus extra orange segments to serve

Mint leaves, to serve

6 large free-range or organic eggs

175 g (6 oz/1/2 cup) pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil to grease
the baking tin

250 g (9 oz) flaked almonds, pan-roasted, then ground (alternatively, you can use almond meal, see note)

Handful whole almonds, to serve

Method

Put the oranges in a saucepan and cover with water. Place a piece of baking paper over the top of the oranges—this helps keep the oranges from bobbing on the water surface. Gently bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to fan-forced 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Brush a round
22 cm (81/2 inch) springform cake tin with the extra virgin olive oil and line with baking paper.

Drain the oranges and slice in half, removing any pips. Using a food processor or a Vitamix on level 10, blitz the oranges to a paste.

Add the eggs and blitz again. Then add the maple syrup and baking powder, and mix together well.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for about 1 hour. To test that the cake is ready, insert a skewer into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean the cake is cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

Remove the cake from the tin, decorate with fresh blood orange segments, whole almonds and mint leaves, and serve.

Note: Using nut meal in place of flour keeps the cake gluten free and since nuts are already high in fat you don’t need to add additional butter or oil as with a traditional cake. This, of course, also ensures you have all good fats present. You do, however, need to be careful with your portion size, as nut meal is energy dense—not always easy with a delicious cake! Just be sure to cut each quarter of the cake into a further four slices to keep your kilojoules appropriate for a snack.

 

 

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