July 23, 2012

Carrot Cake Muffins (Shh! They're really healthy!)

I love carrot cake.

Always have.  Plus, the fact that you can put a vegetable in a dessert and it doesn't suck....that's just genius.

I haven't had carrot cake in a LONG time because even the veganized versions of this fab dessert are usually loaded with sugar and fat.  Same with the vegan cream cheese frosting recipes.

So I just figured my carrot cake eating days were over, and I'd just have to make do with frozen grapes, raw brownies, macaroons, chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, no-bake cookies, mug brownies, peanut butter cups, etc.

Until I found this awesome recipe!!



Cathy Fisher is a nutritionist who develops recipes and teaches others about the value and importance of a low-fat, plant-based diet.  She works with the amazing Dr. McDougall in a program helping others change their health and their lives through nutrition.

Cathy's blog, StraightUpFood.com, has a TON of her amazing recipes - all of which are healthy, nutritious, devoid of oil, sugar, dairy, and animal protein......and from the recipes that I've tried, delicious too!

When I saw her recipe for Carrot Cake Donuts pop up, I may or may not have jumped up and down a little.  I couldn't wait to make them, however I don't own a donut pan (and why doesn't Ann!?), so I opted to make carrot cake muffins.

The muffins were full of flavor, texture - they were warm, chewy, and delicious!  Although they didn't last long in my house - I ate two everyday for breakfast with fruit.


Disclaimer: I very rarely eat sugar anymore (remember my post?), so my taste buds have changed.  These muffins were sweet enough for me, although I did opt to drizzle some honey on them to sweeten them up a bit (Cathy also has a recipe for frosting to go with the muffins - I didn't make it though cuz I ran out of freaking cashews).  So if you eat a lot of sugar, you will probably find these to not be sweet enough for you.  That's okay, just make the frosting, or drizzle some honey on them, like I did!  Try to focus on the flavors of the spices, the walnuts, and raisins - because without all that toxic sugar masking them, the flavors are really in full focus!

Love & Kale,
Ali

                                ___________________________________________________
Carrot Cake Muffins
Original recipe from StraightUpFood.com
Makes 1 dozen or so

Print here.

Ingredients:
  • 5 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/2 a ripe banana, diced
  • 1 cup rice milk or almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the 5 dates, 1/4 cup raisins and 1/2 cup water. Let soak while you prepare the other ingredients (at least 15 minutes).
  2. Grind the rolled oats in a high-speed blender until it resembles flour; transfer to a large bowl. Add the baking powder, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, and combine.
  3. Transfer the soaked dates, raisins and water to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds). Add the banana and non-dairy milk and blend further until everything is smooth. Add this wet mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and gently fold together; now fold in the carrots, raisins and walnuts. The batter should be somewhere between a cake batter and cookie batter in consistency.
  4. Spoon batter into a lined muffin pan, filling to the top and smoothing batter flat. Bake for 20-25 minutes (I like to bake mine for 20 because it produces a moister cake). If you press on the cake lightly and it bounces back a bit (instead of staying indented), it’s likely ready. These continue to set up as they cool.
  5. Remove from oven and cool for 5-7 minutes before removing the muffins from pan (if left in too long it will be hard to get the donuts out). Serve plain or with the frosting.
Ingredients

Soak your dates and raisins in water for at least 15 min

Combine dry ingredients

Grate your carrots - so colorful!

My pretty little measuring cup (a birthday present from a wonderful friend) full of soy milk

Blend the wet ingredients together until combined

Add wet ingredients to dry

Combine - don't worry if the batter is a little runny at this step - it will thicken up in the next step

Add raisins, carrots and walnuts

Combine - batter should be thicker now

Fill muffin cups and bake

Yummy carrot cake muffins

I love you carrot cake

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