Blood oranges feel like the forgotten fruit. They’re the jewels in the crown of the citrus world, so tasty, tangy, sweet and rich in Vitamin C they’re wonderful for the skin and offer up unique health benefits.
Unlike other citrus fruits, blood oranges are less acidic and contain anthocyanins, excellent anti-oxidants which are the same red flavonoid pigments that you’ll discover in the intense purpleness of blueberries. Just like a diamond is put through extreme stress to become a white sparkly gem, so too are blood oranges. Exposed to freezing nights combined with high day temperatures forces the development of their rich ruby- red colouring.
Anthocyanins are employed by the body to prevent oxidative stress from free radicals and help control and lower inflammation. Combine anthocyanins with polyphenol and high levels of vitamin C and here you have one of nature’s true superfoods. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production that’s why it’s such a great skin food and crucial for the normal development and maintenance of bones, gums, teeth and cartilage.
The most prominent variety of blood orange that you will find is the Moro, with its flavours exploding on your taste buds and it’s subtle hints of raspberry. This variety is one that is easy to peel and doesn’t have as many seeds, especially handy when a recipe calls for orange segments. In this recipe I’m bunging in the oranges whole, skin and all to make the most of its health benefits.
Sometimes baking may feel like a bit of a chore when the recipe is too complicated or has an ingredients list as long as your arm. I’m pleased to say that this cake is a cinch to make and deliciously tasting even without a drop of icing.
If you want to finish it off with a bit of topping then I suggest dolloping on some coconut cream frosting. To make the Coconut Frosting grab a bowl and whip up 1 can coconut full fat coconut milk (must be chilled overnight) ½ tsp stevia and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. Carefully open the chilled coconut milk, spoon the coconut cream which has risen to the top leaving the water in the bottom into bowl, then beat until it starts to thicken, adding stevia (or sweetener of choice) and vanilla.
I’ve popped in some poppy seeds too as they contain plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing and health promoting properties. They’re also vitamin B and mineral rich containing good levels of minerals such as iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium.
The combination of orange and lemon rinds makes this delicious cake especially zingy.
Makes one cake
WF, DF, GF
- 2 Blood Oranges (Or can be other variety of sweet orange) – tops removed and scored about 3cm deep
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups xylitol
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 1/2 cups Almond meal
- 3 tsp. gluten free baking powder
- 2 TBS poppy seeds
- Zest of one small lemon (optional)
- Tiny pinch of Celtic Sea Salt
- Place oranges into a saucepan of water and boil for 45 minutes
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius
- Place oranges in a food processor and puree the whole orange including skin
- In a large mixing bowl whisk eggs, xylitol and vanilla essence until light and fluffy
- Add almond meal and baking powder and stir
- Add orange puree, poppy seeds and lemon zest to mixture and combine with a wooden spoon
- Spoon mixture in to a baking tin and place in oven for 40 minutes
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