When you have an abundance of carrots, what do you do? Make carrot cake! I had all the necessary ingredients for a good batch of cake and even had vegan cream cheese in my fridge, so I decided to play with creating a new recipe.
This cake is hearty as it is full of shredded carrots, unsweetened coconut flakes, and walnuts. It is flavorful as it is made with 5 spices, coconut milk, and almond flour. And it is moist and not at all gritty like some gluten free foods can be.
I just baked the cake and alternated from eating as is to simply adding a spreading of vegan cream cheese (Tofutti brand). But you could also make a glaze with vegan powdered sugar, orange zest, orange juice and a bit of coconut or almond milk to thin to the right consistency. Simply whisk all together and pour on.
Or you can make a cream cheese frosting with equal parts of room temperature vegan cream cheese and vegan butter, blended with vegan powdered sugar and vanilla/lemon/orange extract, and a bit of coconut or almond milk to thin to the right consistency. Place all in a bowl and use a handheld mixer to blend until frosting like.
Again, if you want a fast and easy cake though, just bake, let cool, smear on vegan cream cheese, and maybe grate some orange zest on top and VOILA! Eat and enjoy!
CARROT CAKE - VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE
makes one 9" cake layer
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9" springform or cake pan.
1 cup almond flour
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3 Tbsp. ground flax mixed with 1/2 cup water (let sit 5 minutes to thicken - "flax egg")
1 cup coconut milk (from can, not the beverage)
1/2 cup organic canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla or orange extract
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts or raisins
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients from flour to spices. In a separate bowl mix the flax egg mixture with coconut milk, oil, and extract. Add the wet mix to the dry and blend until ingredients are all incorporated.
Fold in the carrots, coconut and raisins. Pour mix into pan and bake 50 minutes to 1 hour or until top springs back when lightly touched or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool then either drizzle on glaze, frost, or add cream cheese OR just eat as is! Can be frozen in small pieces and taken out of freezer and microwaved to enjoy anytime.
Vegan gluten free lemon coconutty bites of deliciousness!!
I made these Sunday morning to bring to my family's Easter dinner gathering and they were a hit. My aunt, for example, couldn't stop exclaiming "oh my god!" and had to be pulled away from them at one point!
These are ridiculously easy to make and can be flavored a few different ways. If you want vanilla or almond, then just sub the lemon juice for vanilla or almond extract. You could even try subbing lime juice instead of the lemon and add lime zest for a touch of color.
Also you can play with the sweetener and either add all maple syrup, all agave or even try a local honey if you're not vegan. And the drizzle is optional but it adds a touch more flavor and fun!
VEGAN GLUTEN FREE LEMON COCONUT MACAROONS
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment.
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (not flakes)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp almond flour
1/4 cup solid refined organic coconut oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp agave syrup
2 Tbsp lemon juice (plus 1 tsp extra for drizzle)
pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt
3 Tbsp organic powdered sugar (for drizzle)
In a food processor fitted with an S-blade add the coconut, almond flour, coconut oil, sweetener, lemon juice and sea salt, and blend until the mixture forms a dough. This might take about 1-3 minutes.
With a tablespoon cookie scooper, firmly scoop the dough in and slightly press down to compact it. Release scoop onto the lined sheet pan. Make about 20 cookies and place in the oven to bake.
Bake about 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are starting to look golden and are slightly firm to the touch. They will firm up a bit after baking.
Let cool and make the drizzle. In a tiny bowl add the 1 tsp lemon juice and 3 Tbsp powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. The consistency should be thinner than honey. Add more sugar if it's too thin. Add more juice if it's too thick. Then with the whisk or a fork or a knife drizzle glaze onto the macaroons.
Eat and fall in love! They can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge. Or make a double batch and freeze so you can enjoy any time!
Please let me know if you make these and how they come out for you. Enjoy!
Photo by Stacey Hamblett (Me!)
I just created this divine semi-raw summer dessert because I had an overabundance of fresh picked blueberries from a friend's farm.
And, also I was craving a pie but didn't want the white flour and feeling of empty nourishment associated with traditional pies. Instead I wanted one that was nutrient dense and filling, and frankly one that I wouldn't feel guilty for eating at breakfast. (wink wink!)
This tart has a rich, raw hazelnut pecan crust and is completed with a gooey lemon blueberry filling. It is flavorful, hearty, full of nutrients and d*mn delicious...to the point where I exclaimed how good it was after every single bite. Seriously.
So go pick the last of the blueberries this season, gather your ingredients, and create this beautiful vibrant dessert now!
LEMON BLUEBERRY HAZELNUT TART - makes one 9" tart
1 cup toasted hazelnuts
3/4 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup dates
1.5 Tbsp hemp hearts (probably ok without if you don't have)
1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp sea salt
Place nuts in a food processor fitted with an S-blade and grind to a powder. Add dates and blend until they are broken down. Add the rest and blend until a dough forms.
Dump the dough into a tart pan with a removable bottom and push dough evenly around. The dough will come slightly up the sides, but not all the way. Make sure it is packed down evenly. Place in the fridge while making the filling.
3 cups fresh blueberries, divided by 1.5 cups
1/3 cup organic white sugar
1 Tbsp tapioca starch or arrowroot powder
1 tsp coconut oil
zest of one lemon
1 tsp lemon juice
In a small saucepan over low heat add 1.5 cups of berries and cook about 5-10 minutes until they are broken down. Use a potato masher to squish them and assist in breaking them down into a liquid.
Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Place back onto low heat and stir about 5-10 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken. It will also thicken more in the fridge after assembly.
Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes then pour it evenly into your tart crust. Place back in the fridge and let sit for about an hour to thicken. When you cut in the pie the whole thing should hold its shape. If not, who cares, it will still be delish!
Finished pie should last about 5 days in the fridge if not devoured sooner.
Love & blueberries to you!
In a recent cooking class I used the dried powder of a root called Maca to enhance the malty caramel notes in a raw truffle. Ok well I also used it to boost the libido of those who ate the truffles too, tee hee.
When I told my students this their eyes lit up and they all acted like giddy teenagers. Of course they all wanted to know more about this interesting plant that only grows naturally in the mountains of Peru.
Maca is a vegetable that has been used as a food and medicine by Peruvians for thousands of years, over a 100 years in Chinese medicine, and is now rising in use in the global market...and for good reasons. It is thought to be an adaptogen herb that boosts libido and fertility, reduces the stress response, balances hormones, aids in anemic conditions, and is an all around tonic.
The root of the maca plant is the part primarily used and is dried into a powder. This powder is creamy yellow in color and has a malty flavor to it. The way Westerners use it is to add it to smoothies, shakes, raw desserts, porridge, and baked goods. The Peruvians generally would boiled it, ferment it, and make a porridge.
Whether the Western way of just adding the dried root powder works as effectively as the boiled and fermented version is something for you to simply experiment with and see. I have personally experienced and heard from clients that the dried root powder has worked great. All happy clients for sure!
If you are interested in learning more about this plant here are some good reputable sources. This article from the University of Michigan is short and sweet. But if you want solid info and research data, check out this article from the National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health.
If you are already sold and want to explore this amazing plant's tonic and balancing properties, then go to your local health food store and purchase a quality brand of maca root powder. Again you can add it to your favorite smoothie recipes, hot oatmeal or quinoa porridge, raw truffles, or protein shake. Or check out The Maca Team website for a database of recipes and ideas.
And comment below if this herb brings you any magic ;)
Love and vitality to you....
This past week I had the joy of celebrating my two best friends babies who both turned one. There was lots of food, drinks, and of course desserts to honor their first beautiful year of life.
Since it is fall I decided to make pumpkin cupcakes as they are nourishing, yummy and easy to be smashed by babies! This recipe is not gluten free, but I will create a gluten free version for my dessert cookbook that shall be released by spring of 2018. Enjoy!
VEGAN PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING -makes 17
2 cups all purpose organic flour
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp flaxmeal mixed with 3 Tbsp water (let sit 10 min. until thick)
1 (15oz) can pumpkin
1/4 cup expeller pressed canola oil
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
Heat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 small sized muffin tins with your favorite cupcake liner.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour through salt. In a small bowl mix the flax "egg" with pumpkin, oil, vinegar, water, and vanilla. Make a well in the dry mix and pour in the wet mix. Blend until incorporated, but don't over mix. Scoop about 1/4 cup into each cupcake hole. Bake about 15-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out dry. Let cool.
FROSTING - makes enough to frost all and have leftovers to dip apples or pear slices in!
1 (8oz) tub of Tofutti at room temp
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter at room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups organic powdered sugar
In a medium bowl with a hand mixer blend Tofutti, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar until it is the taste and consistency you would like. Blend until smooth, then frost cupcakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon for the fancy factor. Devour.
Celebrate life. Celebrate food. Celebrate YOU!
This blog is an exploration of life, love, adventure and art primarily through the medium of food.