The Healthy Baker
The battle to get children to eat their vegetables is one that many parents find themselves facing. Meals can often become a negotiation with deals struck and invariably tears, if not from the child then from the parents!
One inventive lady decided to find a way to combat this issue through children’s love of cakes. At the time, Kate Saunders was working as Sports Massage Practitioner treating Olympic and Paralympic athletes. A client shared her frustrations about getting her children to eat their vegetables, the conversation got Kate thinking about finding a way to hide vegetables in cakes.
After a lot of trial and error Kate came up with a brownie recipe which boasted spinach as its main ingredient. Her plan worked, the brownies were a hit with the children and their parents loved them too.
It took a few more years of experimenting and lots of encouragement from friends and family before Kate finally gave up her job and decided to turn her hobby into a business and set up Blackberry Cottage.
The focus continued to be on vegetables and incorporating them into cakes and puddings, explains Kate: “With most of my cakes the vegetables are one of the largest ingredients and not just a token gesture. We try not to steam too many vegetables but instead grate them in raw which adds more nutrients to the cakes.”
The spinach brownies remain the bestseller but they now sit alongside a delicious range of cakes such as flapjack with courgette and lemon cake with poppyseed and sweet potato. The award-winning cakes can be purchased online and posted by Kate making them a wonderful gift to send or receive.
The book contains over 100 recipes that I have been creating over the past two years. Twenty-seven different vegetables feature and includes recipes for gluten free, dairy free, egg free, vegan and sugar free treats."
Many of the ingredients for the cakes are grown on the family smallholding and vegetable garden and the eggs come from their own chickens. When Kate isn’t busy baking orders in her purpose-built shepherd’s hut, she can be found running courses to share her skills and recipes.
This year the demand for the recipes led Kate down a new path, she is proud to have just published her first cookbook, ‘Blackberry Cottage, Cakes with Secret Ingredients, from aubergine to zucchini’. “I was always asked if I had recipes or a book,” explains Kate. “The book contains over 100 recipes that I have been creating over the past two years. Twenty-seven different vegetables feature and includes recipes for gluten free, dairy free, egg free, vegan and sugar free treats.”
The book has already received rave reviews and is converting readers to a heathier way of enjoying cake. Lottie Duncan, food presenter and writer, praises the “delicious, clever, fruit and vegetable inspired recipes which have been charmingly written and beautifully photographed.”
The book is suitable for bakers of all levels, Kate recommends the Cauliflower St Clements Cake as a starting point for maximum simplicity and flavour. Once mastered, there are plenty more tempting and intriguing recipes to try including Fennel and Chocolate Torte, Blackberry Cake and Rose Cake.
An ideal Christmas present, the book promises a way to eat cake into the new year and ditch any thoughts of strict diet regimes for January. There really maybe a way to have your cake and eat it.
Purchase cakes and the book, £24.99 including postage, online at www.blackberrycottagefayre.co.uk.