Let’s celebrate a holiday where everyone, even the turkeys, can enjoy…
Let’s be thankful for all the great things in our lives – today and every day.
I have been meaning to develop a recipe for a Pumpkin Tres Leches for several years now. After few failed attempts, I knew I needed to come up with a new recipe. A cake that would soak up all the milks like a sponge… a SPONGE!!!! That was the key!!! I needed to develop a sponge cake recipe without using eggs.
Chia Seeds were the key… they worked even better than my usual and trusted egg-replacer. Chia seeds, as I have shared previously, are full of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, anti-oxidants and even calcium. And they work perfectly to substitute eggs in recipes because they gelatinize when they come in contact with liquids so they rise the batter they’re added to.
And why call it a Pumpkin Cuatro Leches, or 4 milks, instead of the usual Tres Leches? Because traditional Tres Leches cakes are soaked in a mixture of fresh milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk but have a meringue topping. Our version still is filled with the sweet flavors of the traditional 3 milks, but used a whipped cream topping, making the heavy cream the 4th milk in the recipe.
I tested and tested this recipe and it now has a following among the taste testers… hope you also join the group.
PUMPKIN CUATRO LECHES CAKE
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour ½ cup brown sugar 1 ½ tsp baking powder 2 tsp chia seeds 2 tbs butter, melted 2/3 cups milk, I use 2% 1/3 cup fresh pumpkin, steamed and mashed ½ tsp vanilla powder ½ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp salt ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
6 oz fresh 2% milk 6 oz evaporated milk 6oz sweetened condensed milk
For the topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream 3 tbs condensed milk 1 tsp vanilla powder ½ tsp grown cinnamon, to decorate
It seems like a lot of ingredients… but it’s a really easy recipe to make. I use a rectangular baking dish 8” x 6” x 2” or a round 8” cake pan. And I also make this recipe in my toaster oven. I believe this recipe is co chuck full of flavor and sweetness that a little bit goes a long way. Although I do know a few that could easily eat a whole Pumpkin Cuatro Leches cake in one sitting… no problem, you all shall remain nameless.
If you want to double this recipe, you certainly can… and you can use a 9” x 13” baking dish. By going larger on the pan, you’ll probably need a larger oven and to increase the cooking time to 30 minutes and allow the cake to rest inside the hot oven for an additional 30 minutes, for a total 1 hour in the oven. For the 3 milk mixture you can just mix a can of evaporated milk a can of condensed milk and the same amount of one of those cans of fresh milk. With that, you’ll have the perfect amount of milk to soak your cake.
I prefer to use evaporated and condensed milks that come in UHT packaging instead of cans, but I understand they’re difficult to come by. So if you can find them near you, by all means use them. Just make sure you have equal amounts of milks and the total amount should be between 18 and 20 ounces of liquid to soak the cake well.
I have mentioned to you how I boost my morning smoothies adding a bunch of super powerful foods, like chia. But I must admit I usually just add the dry chia seeds right into the smoothie when I make it in the mornings. However, this method of adding chia seeds to my morning smoothie might not be the best way to work the goodness of chia into my daily routine.
My friend Cristina, who trains for marathons alongside me, lost a lot of weight training for the Chicago Marathon. I haven’t seen her in while and when I complimented her on her new figure she credited chia seeds. I told her I also had chia seeds in my smoothies, but I could not credit any weight loss to it.
Actually, one of my main complaints of adding chia seeds to my morning smoothies was that they got stuck on my teeth sometimes and if I didn’t brush my teeth right away, in a matter of hours I could feel little pieces of gelatinous seeds stuck to my teeth (thank goodness I mostly work from home!!!!!!). Not fun or pretty at all!!!!
She told me her secret was to soak chia seeds overnight in some water and then in the morning, add the juice of ¼ lemon and eat those chia seeds on an empty stomach. Really???
I have been doing it for a few weeks now and I must say that I really like it… before I go to bed I place 1 tbs of chia seeds in a small bowl with some water. I never measure the water… but I swirl it a bit to make sure all the seeds are wet. I leave the bowl on the kitchen counter until the morning, when I just squirt the juice of ¼ lemon and I eat the gelatinized chia seeds with a spoon. I do this especially before I run in the mornings. I then, after I return from running, have a full breakfast and I add other stuff to my morning smoothie – like maca, goji powder, ground flaxseeds, etc.
I have not noticed that much weight loss… but in other trainings for ½ marathons I have gained some weight, and this time around I haven’t and my skinny jeans fit the same way. Before, when I was training, my skinny jeans would not go over my hips, for some reason… so something is indeed working.
Have you been also eating chia the wrong way?
Lately I have been kinda lazy… With lots of work and travel, I have not been the most creative in the kitchen, cooking from scratch for myself. For lunch or dinner, lots of sandwiches and snack foods. I know… not so good.
But I was training for a half marathon so I needed to get some good vegetarian protein in my diet especially for after my workouts. They help rebuild muscle when taken right after training. I sometimes turn to my trusted pretzels with hummus combination… or my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But I had gone to La Hacienda, a popular gourmet market and deli here in Puerto Rico and I had bought a garbanzo bean salad and this is what I came up with it… you can call it a pizza or an open-faced sandwich, but there’s no denying that you will certainly be adding “mouth-watering” and “addictive” to whichever name you choose.
OPEN-FACED MEDITERRANEAN SANDWICH
1 flat bread of your choice… I like FlatOut brand ½ cup of cooked garbanzo beans or garbanzo bean salad from La Hacienda 3 wedges of avocado 1 roma tomato, sliced 2 large handfuls of mesclun salad greens Kosher Salt Freshly Cracked Black Pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is just assembling…
Tip: I found the mashing worked best than leaving the garbanzos and avocados in pieces… they would roll off the flat bread and I ended up eating more out of the plate with a fork than over the bread itself. So that’s why I recommend mashing…