Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe February 04 2015
Cut out cake. That is a sentence I refuse to say. Ever.
Being healthy is all about enjoying life and that includes your food. If you are sitting down to a lacklustre meal every evening, praying for the weekend so you can have a blow out and get at the dairy milk, then you are on a fast track to self-destruction. What we eat should be nourishing, but also delicious. And I wholeheartedly believe that almost anything can be ‘Healthified’. That means that your ‘favourite foods’ that may not be very beneficial to your health, can be made more nourishing (and often better tasting!) than the original!
Naturally I thought it would be appropriate to share a little recipe with you, that will get some veggies into your diet with the added benefit of curbing that cake craving, oh AND its super-duper easy to make! Now many ‘healthified’ recipes out there tend to be chocolate based; whilst that suits me down to the ground, I know that not everyone is a fan of the cacao bean. (I shall try not to judge you chocolate haters) To indulge you non cacao-cravers, I have chosen my second favourite cake-like treat (FYI, 1st is a brownie) and that is Carrot cake. Nothing quite beats the slight spicing from cinnamon and nutmeg, earthiness from the carrot and crunch of the odd walnut. Well apart from a squidgy and gooey chocolate brownie just out the oven....just saying.
Did I mention that this carrot cake it completely raw, vegan, gluten free and very low in even natural sugar?
And it packs a nutritional punch. Walnuts contain essential omega 3 fatty acids and B vitamins, which means they are a great option to supplement your diet with if you are vegan, vegetarian, or avoid dairy. Low in carbohydrates and high in protein makes them a total power food that will energise you, keep you full and repair muscles pre and post exercise. Not to mention that a portion of this carrot cake is super high in dietary fibre, which promotes healthy digestion and detoxification. But it is my secret ingredient that should have you grabbing for a slice the second you have whipped up a batch - bonus is you don’t even have to wait on it cooling! Turmeric. My current spice obsession. Turmeric is an amazing little spice that has been used in Asian cooking and Ayurvedic medicine thousands of years, and quite rightly!
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and studies have claimed that it can help with many ailments including Inflammatory Bowel disease, even Multiple Sclerosis. As well as this, using it regularly can ward off colds and flus with its antibacterial properties. Another reason I love using it so regularly is because of its digestive benefits, it stimulates the gallbladder and produces bile which helps to flush the liver of toxins. When I feel a little upset tummy coming on I grab myself a knob of turmeric, grate it into a mug of hot water & lemon and find it starts to settle things off quite nicely. See you can have your cake and eat it!!
- 2 carrots grated
- 1 or 1/2 cup medjool dates chopped up (use less if you can, but if you have a very sweet tooth then use the whole cup, you may also need them to bind it together)
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded/ desiccated coconut
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 tbsp almond/cashew butter (I don't recommend you use peanut butter as the taste will be pretty overpowering) If you don't have these then add more coconut oil and dates or walnuts depending on your taste preferences.
- 2 tbsp ground almonds
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- Thumb sized piece of fresh turmeric (grated) - if you use powdered just use 1/4 tsp but try to get fresh at the green grocers if you can.
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1tsp cinnamon
- PINCH of cayenne
- 1 tsp mixed spice (or grating of nutmeg)
- 1 cup cashew nuts (soaked overnight then rinsed)
- Coconut mylk/water
- 1 tsp coconut palm sugar OR a small tub of COYO/other dairy free coconut yoghurt
- 1 tsp coconut palm sugar
Pop the walnuts in the blender or food processor and grind until powdery, then add the ground almonds, dates and coconut oil. Blend until it starts to all come together and add in your carrot, spices and nut butter. You will have to blend for white a wee while to make sure that it is all evenly incorporated, scraping down the sides with a spatula when needed.
Once you are happy it’s all bound together, flatten the mixture out on a lined baking tray and pop it into the freezer while you make your icing. If you don’t have Coconut yoghurt, blend the soaked cashews and coconut water or mylk in a blender - add the water slowly until it’s smooth but not too watery. Then add the coconut sugar. If you are using coconut yoghurt stir the coconut sugar in until well mixed.
Remove your carrot cake from the freezer and slather the ‘icing’ over the top’, then put it back into the freezer to all set.
Once its ready store in the fridge in an airtight container until it’s completely finished, which may not be very long. This carrot cake is a little squidgy and slightly fragile and it’s just perfect the way it is! I particularly like cutting mine into squares for perfect lunch-box portions. But do what suits you and enjoy yourself!