Forage

whole food ~ well made

A Celebration with Chocolate & Sourdough

I’m celebrating months of work and waiting (w+w–don’t they so often go hand in hand?) to share my brand-new “mature” blog, Forage.

Yes, there’s chocolate cake and a whole lot more!

Why “Forage”

When I first started practicing yoga, I was amazed that we could control a function so vital as breathing. It’s unconscious, automatic. But something astounding occurs when we breathe consciously.

I think about eating the very same way. (And in yoga, both breath and food are energy or prana for the body and mind.)

We can be on autopilot (which for me would mean a diet of cheese & crackers–or sometimes popcorn–with a glass of wine). But we can also be conscious about what we consume, to do it with intention and reap the rewards of the good life.

I honestly believe that what we choose to eat is one of the most intimate and profound acts of living. But on a day-to-day basis, eating is a whole lot more practical than that spiritual notion I hold true.

That means shopping, planning and cooking. And cleaning up, too. This is where Forage comes in.

Forage is for anyone who wants to seek out and cook with the most wholesome foods available and to eat consciously–for both the profound pleasures of eating and good nourishment.

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How to forage

Food is a complicated thing these days, and there are more choices than ever before–from supermarkets and farmers markets to buying clubs and online shopping.

Here are some examples of what I do to seek out best foods available in my foodshed for my family of four:

  • I shop at three local food markets, one chain supermarket and order from a monthly natural foods buying club for bulk grains, beans and produce.
  • I purchase whole animals (beef, pork and lamb) directly from local farmers. Oh, and I’ll drive to a farm stand as necessary to pick up local eggs, honey and chickens.
  • I shop the perimeter of the supermarket for organic peppers, cucumbers and other produce to keep my kids’ pesticide exposure to a minimum. I buy frozen fillets of wild salmon at one store and organic apples at another.
  • I garden at home to the best of my abilities and volunteer at my friend’s commercial growing operation, which means more veggies for me!–I mean us.

Some call this strategic shopping (or OCD)–I call it foraging!

This is what I mean by Forage.

While I love to go mushroom hunting, gleaning apricot trees and harvesting wild greens, that is only a very small part of my life and what I share on this blog.

What’s new?

Forage is now mobile friendly for viewing on your phone and ipad (thank goodness!), the recipes are formatted and printable (handy for paper lovers like me) and there are more photos than ever (I’m working on making them better all the time).

There are still–and will never be on Forage–pop ups or ads. (Do I hear cheering?)

Here’s what’s in store for 2017

More recipes and posts:

I’ve got a lot to share on Forage. From here on out I’ll be bringing you two posts a week with alluring seasonal recipes, buying guides and pivotal food topics from my freelance writing life.

New blog series:

Along with my Dinner 911 series, I’ve got more Forage blog series in store, including “how to eat less meat” and “the big girl’s guide to grilling.”

New e-books:

Based on my 2017 workshops, I’ve got three new e-books in the works–all to be available as free downloads on Forage: “how to master your own meal plan” “sourdough baking for beginners” and “cast iron cooking.”

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Whole food, well made.

Should we talk about this sourdough chocolate cake?

While I’m not a huge desserts person, I adore home-baked goods of all kinds (especially pie!) And I typically go for the full-on everything: butter, sugar, heavy cream–you know, real ingredients that are good for special treats. {My motto: if you want the ice cream, have the best ice cream and savor every bite.}

But this cake was different.

It came about to celebrate my daughter Molly’s last basketball game of the season. I wanted to bake something for the team that was celebratory without being sugar laden. Not that I fool myself into thinking that cake is “healthy.” It just doesn’t have to be an all-out indulgence every time.

This cake came together the way a lot of my cooking and baking does: some brown bananas needing to be used up.

Rotting bananas as cake inspiration. Yup, that’s foraging all right! Foraging in your own kitchen, the cupboards, the refrigerator and the freezer…that is how we make real food and live within our grocery budget around here.

From there it was a matter of slipping in my favorite baking hack of whole wheat pastry flour, honey and using some of the extra sourdough starter that’s taken up residence on my counter. {More on that in future posts.}

In so many ways that surprise even me, this cake is an emblem of the Forage way. I hope you’ll find it to be an engaging and informative place for wholesome eating and good living.

Or, as my Dad taught me, everything in balance.

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5 from 1 vote
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Triple Chocolate Sourdough Banana Bundt Cake

This is a feel-good, quick-bread style of chocolate cake made with whole wheat pastry flour, bananas, honey and sourdough. It was inspired by a banana bundt cake in the new book Sourdough by Sarah Owens. Make it for sports events, brunch or other celebrations when you want something that's not too sweet but still says "party time." Serve it as is, with a dusting of confectioner's sugar or this dark chocolate frosting.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 people
Calories 441 kcal
Author Lynne

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted or coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup honey or agave
  • 1 3/4 cup sourdough starter unfed
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten free-range or pastured
  • 3/4 cup milk or nut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini-chocolate chips optional

For the dark chocolate frosting:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips or milk chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • pinch sea salt

Instructions

  1. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with the rack in the middle position.

  2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl until well blended.

  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the butter and honey, then add the sourdough, banana, eggs and vanilla until very well blended.

  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake, rotating halfway through, until a tester comes out clean, 35-45 minutes.

  6. Cool the cake on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert and lift off the pan, tapping on the bottom to release the cake. Invert the cake and cool completely before transferring to a serving plate.

  7. To make the frosting, heat the cream in a saucepan or microwave until steaming. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and butter in a small bowl. Let sit undisturbed until both are melted. Stir gently to combine into a smooth frosting.

  8. Pour the warm frosting over the cooled cake and let it drip down the sides or use an off-set spatula to swirl and swoop it.

Recipe Notes

The sourdough for this cake is a thin mixture of equal parts flour and water by volume that does not need to be fed. In other words, this is what you make when you are feeding your sourdough and don't want to throw out the excess.

If you don't have a sourdough starter, you can still make this cake. Just mix 3/4 cup water with 3/4 cup all-purpose flour until smooth and use it in place of the sourdough. 

Comments

  1. Pam

    Hi Lynne, What a great new look! The website is beautiful–vibrant and very user friendly. You have so many skills and talents–way to showcase them!
    And that cake… .WOW!
    Looking forward to what’s ahead on FORAGE.

    1. Hi Pam. It’s always scaring putting something new out there, so I’m really happy to hear that you like it. User friendliness is really important to me, too! I’m so glad you’re going to be sticking around! Heartfelt thanks.

  2. I like that you garden. I wish I could, but I don’t have the touch! This cake looks so delicious!! I love chocolate! I’ll be trying this soon!

    1. Yeah, gardening is not as universal as chocolate. I’m happy to hear this chocolate cake appeals, Elaine. Hope you let me know when you try it! Happy Valentines Day.

  3. I like the look of your site, so clean, and bright, and functional. I also like your way of living, which reflects ours in so many ways. I practice yoga, too, and we only shop at Farmers Markets or from the organic isles of a grocery store. Plus, our parents have gardens and plenty of pesticide-free summer vegetables. This cake is fantastic, both the look and the ingredients.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Nicoletta! Hope you come back often.

  4. That cake looks delicious! Congrats on your blog’s new makeover.

    1. Thanks, Jessica!

  5. What a decadent looking cake! Can’t wait to give it a try!

    1. Thanks, Claire.

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