I think this might be my favorite recipe I’ve ever shared on the blog. It’s not because of the actual recipe, but the story behind it.
Many of you probably don’t know that before I stepped out on my own to pursue a career in health coaching, I worked in marketing and social media management for Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, a local children’s hospital. During my four years at this job, the thing I loved most was the intimacy I experienced with the families due to the nature of having the responsibility of sharing their stories. I was invited into the lives of many families during this time and it had a lasting impact that I still carry with me today.
Fast forward one year after leaving my job at the hospital…
Just a few weeks ago, I received a special request that brought me to (happy) tears. I was contacted by a former mom who I had gotten to know during my time at the hospital who now works for the Give Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides support to children and families in Central Florida who are battling childhood cancer. She was working with a local family, whose daughter, Hannah, is undergoing treatment for cancer. On her wish list was cooking classes. I think you can guess as to how this story played out…
To say that I was honored and thrilled to help fulfill one of Hannah’s wish list items is an understatement. The menu she chose for the class was quite impressive, and included: Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats, Greek Mason Jar Salad, Chocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding Parfait, Pesto Ricotta Flatbreads with Zucchini Ribbons and Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts.
Wait… Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts? But I’ve always said, “I don’t bake”! You might have already picked up on that though, given I only have one “baked” recipe on this blog and it was a guest post.
But I was determined to push myself out of my comfort zone for Hannah (who just so happens to love baking). And I must say, the results were quite impressive. Especially for a “non-baker” like myself!
These lemon poppy seed donuts are moist and delicious, and of course, have their own healthy twist (within reason). I mean, has anyone found a “healthier” substitute for powdered sugar? Yeah, I thought so.
[Tweet “Capturing the spirit of Christmas in this #recipe for #healthy Baked Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts!”]
So how did the class turn out? It was so much fun and truly was a bright spot in my week. I am always amazed when I am around families who are going through the unimaginable. Despite the hardships, they find ways to experience joy. And these kids, especially Hannah, have a fight within them that you can’t help but be envious of. I may have taught Hannah a thing or two about healthy cooking, but she taught me so much more.
And so, I thought it was only appropriate to name this recipe “Hannah’s Baked Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts”.Print
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds, plus more for garnish
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup almond milk
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest, plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the egg, coconut sugar, coconut oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract and almond milk. Whisk to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold the ingredients with a spatula until combined, making sure not to overmix.
- Using a Ziploc bag, pipe the batter into a greased donut pan about 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
- In the meantime, make the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Dip the donut into the glaze and place back on the wire rack; sprinkle with lemon zest and poppy seeds and allow to harden for a few more minutes before eating.
These donuts would be a fantastic addition to your Christmas breakfast spread or a healthy treat to help you ease back into healthier habits in the New Year!
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