Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Spiced Apple Carrot Muffins + UnDiet Book Review and Giveaway!

I have two exciting things to share with you today: firstly, here is Words and Cake's first giveaway! I have one brand new copy of Meghan's book, UnDiet, to give free to a lucky reader. Yes, FREE.

Secondly, and far more importantly, let me introduce you to Meghan Telpner, the blogger behind Making Love In The Kitchen (since renamed), nutritionist extraordinaire, and the author of possibly the best handbook on how to live a healthy lifestyle you can find, UnDiet. 

If you've been following me for a while you've probably heard about my rather futile attempts to try and bake 'healthier'. It's difficult when butter, sugar and flour tastes so good when combined together. If you're like me, you could probably do with inserting a few better made choices in your life, and if there's a book and a story that can inspire you to do that it's Meghan's.

Admittedly I was a bit skeptical when I first got the book and started flipping through it. The recipes looked chock full of ingredients that would put a pretty dent in my wallet, and on the surface it looked like another generic change-your-life-now guidebook with copious rules and dietary advice. But then I started reading and learning about Crohn's Disease, which Meghan was diagnosed with in 2006, something I've never heard of before. According to Meghan, it's a bowel disease that can affect any part of the digestive tract, and she was told there was no cure. When following doctor's guidelines didn't work, instead of resigning herself to horrifying sounding medical treatments, she started to create a scheme of living to attempt to heal her disease. This she called 'UnDiet', and amazingly after one month of it, she had healed herself from the symptoms of her disease.

This book is full of tips on how to live a vibrant and healthy lifestyle that is less about following rules and more about inspiring you to break bad habits, and to find it within yourself to want to change. To give you a bigger idea of what the book's about, at the beginning, Meghan gives you 10 things that you'll learn while UnDieting:

1. How to Cook... Really Well. And with the most simple of techniques. Two things are promised: that you will not be spending every waking moment in the kitchen, and that you may wish you could spend every waking moment in the kitchen.
2. Take Other People's Opinions with a Grain of Salt. Part of the UnDiet scheme is to create your own rules, and knowing when to listen and when to play by your own rules is crucial.
3. The Writing is Always on the Wall. A little bit of a life lesson in understanding that often, we fail to see what's right in front of us.

4. Yoga is More Than Twisting Yourself into a Pretzel. Did you know a walk can be yoga if you want it to be? I know. That blew my mind too.
5. Wait Out the Storms, and Sunshine and Rainbows Will Appear - If You're Looking. 'At the end of the day, sometimes life does suck monkey balls. That just means we're going to have to learn to love monkeys.' Enough said.
6. A Cute Outfit Doesn't Mean Much When You Feel Like Total Crappola. Something that every girl understands.

7. Always, Always, Always Trust Your Intuition. Even, I feel I should add, if it scares you. Because, as Meghan says, 'Basically, we always know what's right, right?'
8. You Are About to Be an Inspiration (Even Though You Likely Already Are). Which, really, could be a lot easier than it sounds.
9. Fighting for Something to be Different Doesn't Help It to Heal. A key to the UnDiet plan is that you shouldn't have to fight to achieve it. Things don't have to be hard to be right.
10. Happily Create Instead of Creating to be Happy. Which really sums up what the whole UnDiet scheme is about: that you shouldn't need to work now to reap the benefits later to be happy, but rather start with a happy, optimistic mindset.

The book gives you multiple delicious recipes and an abundance of information on better ingredients you can use to make them. For example, chia paste to replace eggs, if you're vegan. A whole list of sweet alternatives to sugar, such as raw honey, maple syrup, palm sugar and coconut nectar. Here's a taste of what recipes are included: Banana Chocolate Soft Serve, Love Me or Leave Me Cinnamon Rolls and Herbal Mocha Latte. And ladies, some of these recipes can be turned into beauty products - check out Edible Body Butter, Apple Cider Toner and my personal favorite, Avocado Chocolate Face Mask.

This book, of course, is not just about the recipes. There is nutritional information about anything you can dream of about fruits and vegetables, tips on how to store them and whether or not it's freezer friendly. It also aims to help you plan your meals and even provides you with a conscious eating cheat sheet. There's even information on what's the best water to drink!

But naturally, I can't open a book that does contain recipes and not try any of them. My own process of choosing what recipe to try is very simple: I go straight for the baked goods. You can't tell me you're surprised.

1. Leave a comment telling me why you'd like the book or tell me your own tips to healthy living. Please remember to leave your email so I have a way of contacting you if you win.
2. If you'd like to enter twice, follow me on pinterest and leave another comment telling me you've done so.
Giveaway will be open for a week and will close next Wednesday, August 14th at 12:00AM AEST. The winner will be picked via a random number generator.
This giveaway is only open to anyone in Australia.
EDIT 13/08/13: Closing date has been EXTENDED to Friday, August 16th at 11.59PM AEST.

UPDATE 25/08/13: This giveaway is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who entered!
The random number generator has landed on #6, who is Jennifer - congratulations! I will be in touch shortly.

Spiced Apple-Carrot Cake or Muffins
From UnDiet, reprinted with permission
Makes 12 muffins

Note: these muffins, the love child of carrot cake and apple cake, are everything you'd expect them to be - tender, fluffy and full of warm spices. And they are so, so healthy. You can bake this as an entire cake if you like. The only changes I made was to replace the buckwheat flour with more brown rice flour, because I'm allergic, and I used vegetable oil in place of coconut oil because it was what I had on hand.

Dry Ingredients
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
1 organic egg
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup coconut milk or water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup grated carrot (about 1 medium carrot)
1 cup apple, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 apple)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Grease cake pan or line a muffin tin with coconut oil and dust with brown rice flour.

In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients except for the grated carrot and cubed apple. Add to the dry ingredients, and stir until smooth.

Add the carrots and apples and stir until just mixed - don't go overboard.

Pour batter into greased cake pan or muffin tin.

For cake: bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

For muffins: bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.


  1. I love the little hints of fall that are starting to show up on blogs, these looks so great, I love the big chunks of apple!

  2. Would love to have this book! I've been making an effort to change my eating habits lately (no more college food!), and this would be great!

  3. I love this review. I am going to make these muffins this week :)

  4. Great post! I have the book and it is wonderful. How great that you are giving away such a fantastic book. It does make a lot of sense and I am slowly incorporating little things into my daily life (like cutting out packaged food...both for me and the environment!) Of course some of this also ties into me reading the book, 'Salt Sugar Fat' (another great book).

  5. I am really trying to eat healthier this year and any resources such as this book would be great! These muffins looks amazing!! Natasha - Lana756@yahoo.com

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  7. This book sounds amazing! I've been trying out yoga recently because a friend has recommended it, and I definitely recommend it as a way to stay healthy! - kellyf6540@gmail.com

  8. Just found your blog and I love it! This book seems perfect for me, I've been trying to live a little healthier this year. My email is jessym151@yahoo.com.au

  9. This book sounds great! I keep telling myself to be healthier but it's not really working ha, I'm sure this will help! -taylorhill251@yahoo.com

  10. Heard about this book from a colleague, looks great! These muffins would be perfect since I'm a huge carrot cake fan! (mackenziecheese8@live.com)

  11. I've seen this book on other blogs and it looks great! Especially like that yoga doesn't involve twisting myself into a pretzel. (Message me on livejournal to contact.)

  12. This book sounds lovely, I like the concept of becoming healthier through 'undieting', sounds like a refreshing change.

  13. That cake looks like an excellent evening snack. I am going to try it today. Thanks for sharing.


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