A few weeks ago, I started keeping track of my daily food intake. I wanted to see what my daily nutritional breakdown actually looked like. Let me just say, kudos to all you people who religiously track your calories/food intake. I found it to be exhausting! I think it might have been easier for someone who eats a lot of prepackaged/processed foods, because it takes not an insignificant amount of time to calculate the nutritional info for a recipe. I mean, it’s easy to find the info for things like apples, carrots, peanut butter, etc. but it’s a lot harder to calculate the nutritional breakdown for homemade foods with multiple ingredients. There are a lot of calculators online and apps that help with this, but it still takes time! It was enlightening though and I’m glad I did it.

I primarily discovered three things during my experiment:
1) I struggle to eat enough protein.
2) I don’t eat as much sugar as I thought.
3) I really love carrots and usually get at least 400% of my daily vitamin A requirements (not even kidding, haha!).
Although, I think there may have been a component of Hawthorne effect concerning my sugar intake (aka because I knew I was tracking my intake I was altering my diet – but not necessarily intentionally). Besides all the carrots that I regularly eat, lately I’ve been eating a lot of pumpkin which also has quite a lot of vitamin A. Luckily it’s pretty hard to get vitamin A toxicity =).

While there are a lot of delicious savory pumpkin recipes out there, unfortunately a lot of my favorites involve pumpkin + sugar ;). But for me, that’s ok. As long as I’m eating lots of other healthy foods throughout the rest of the day, a (small) piece of cake is totally fine. And as far as cakes go, this chocolate pumpkin bundt cake isn’t too bad. It’s low(er)-fat and whole wheat…with some sugar and chocolate chips ;). It’s all about balance! And for those of you just looking for a delicious chocolate pumpkin spice cake, this recipe is perfect for you too. It’s super easy and will only dirty up one mixing bowl. In fact, you don’t even need to use a mixer. Just dump all the ingredients together and stir by hand. Easy peasy. I made mine in a 6-cup bundt pan, but if you don’t have a 6-cup bundt pan you could easily use a 8×8 inch square baking dish. Or you could run to Target and buy the same cute little 6-cup bundt pan that I have…because it’s Friday….and because everyone needs a cute little bundt pan ;). Enjoy!

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix!)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 6-cup bundt pan with nonstick spray (or loaf pan or 8 inch square pan).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, eggs, pumpkin and vanilla. Whisk flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips, then transfer batter to prepared pan.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool in pan 10 minutes then invert onto platter. Cool and cut into 12 slices.
*adapted from Whole Foods Market

Nutritional Info (per 1/12th): 213 calories; 8.6 g fat; 33.5 g carbohydrates; 3.5 g fiber; 4.1 g protein.

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