Today we have cake! With just two of us in the house it’s hard to make any sort of treat that we actually finish. Neither of us are regular sweet eaters, so when we do crave a little treat it’s nice to have a bit of citrus and a handful of tangy berries to balance things out. This cake is moist, flavourful and the perfect size for the twos of us — not too big and not too small.
But first I want to touch on a subject that has been on my mind for quite a while. I have always wanted this to be a space where I could write freely and openly about the things that I place value on. I have struggled with this, not wanting to offend anyone and not wanting to come off as preachy, which has led me to hold back.
I do my best to work towards leading a more sustainable and fair lifestyle. From the clothes I wear and the tea and coffee I drink, to the food I eat and the trash I produce, I am always looking to source products that are local, sustainable, where workers are treated fairly and the packaging is minimal. After reading a recent blog post by Diana Rodgers of Sustainable Dish, I have felt inspired to try to find my voice. Diana places a call to action, encouraging food bloggers to “Do more to promote the idea that we need to be buying our food from local sources that practice sustainable growing methods. Talk more about the benefits of eating sustainably raised meat and how your followers can vote with their dollar.” This is something we already try and pursue in our every day life, and now I want to try and share that with you.
I am not trying to impose my values on anyone. I simply want everyone to feel more empowered to make smart decisions, for yourself, for the environment and for the future. I want to encourage others to ask those hard questions and find the answers. I know it can be challenging, wanting to do the right thing but not knowing how to get there, because if there is one thing I have learned over the years it would be: the more you know, the more there is to know. I want to share the knowledge that I have gained with the hopes that we all start to question things a little more. If we all make small efforts, one step at a time, we can help foster a more sustainable and transparent lifestyle.
For now I will not bombard you with anything other than delicious cake!
In the summer when local organic fruit is abundant, I make a point to buy as much as possible in order to fill my freezer. Everything from berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) to peaches, plums and apricots are purchased weekly at the farmers market, picked from local you-pick farms or bought by the case directly from farm gates. At first it can be challenging to plan ahead, but I have become diligent about freezing fruit, knowing that I will crave it in the middle of winter (when hardly anything is growing here in Canada). I sometimes feel like a bit of a food hoarder, squirreling away my winter supplies, but when those dark winter days arrive I am so happy to have a burst of summer sunshine that I can pull out of my freezer! Whether you use frozen fruit in a smoothie, or in this cake, you will be glad that you put in that little bit of effort during the summer, when in the winter all you can access is flavourless produce flown in from around the globe.
Pistachio Raspberry Loaf
Adapted from bon appétit
Makes 1 – 9 by 5 inch loaf
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- pinch salt
- 2 organic eggs
- 1/3 c sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 Tbsp. orange zest
- 1 cup raspberries (I use frozen)
- 1/3 cup unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl (by hand or with an electric mixer) whisk together eggs and 1/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Whisk in vanilla, olive oil, 1 Tbsp. orange juice and orange zest.
Fold flour mixture into wet ingredients. Spread evenly into parchment lined loaf pan. Distribute raspberries and pistachios evenly over top of batter, then Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of sugar to top it off.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Meanwhile, prepare syrup:
In a small saucepan bring 1 Tbsp. of sugar and 2 Tbsp. of orange juice to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar and simmer for 1 minute. Let cool.
Remove loaf from oven and place on wire rack. Brush with syrup and let cool before serving.