Raw Carrot Cake
Posted on 20th February 2023 at 17:50
Healthy, raw and delicious. Who says you can't have your cake and eat it?
Most of my blog posts are inspired by questions I get asked in my clinic. Today the subject of calcium came up, as it often does. The context is usually to do with no longer wanting to consume dairy, or being unable to, due to lactose intolerance. Contrary to popular belief, dairy is not necessarily the best source of calcium - see below for more information.
In last week's veg box delivery I got a lot of carrots. I love them and so does the dog so it's a bit of a toss up as to who gets the most especially at this time of the year when the cold weather makes them extra sweet and delicious. When temperatures drop and frost hits, carrots (and parsnips) convert some of their starch stores into sugar to keep the water in their cells from freezing. The formation of ice crystals within and around a cell can destroy it so this natural biological process is protective, as well as effective at producing a very tasty product. We should enjoy them when we can and in as many different ways as possible. Like most fruit and vegetables, carrots taste differently depending on how they are prepared, and a raw carrot cake, in my opinion, is far superior to the cooked version, not to mention healthier.
Carrots are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and beta-carotene. They help to detoxify the body by their beneficial effects on the kidneys, liver and digestive tract, and are protective against harmful bacteria and viruses. What's not to like? When people are either forced to go dairy-free or choose to the one question they always ask is 'where can I get calcium from'? It is an important nutrient for bone density, strong teeth, nerve transmission and efficient muscle contraction but dairy is not the best absorbable source. Calcium is readily available from green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spring greens, as well as from nuts and seeds, and carrots. Sesame seeds in the form of tahini (best known as an ingredient in houmous but included in the recipe below) are a particularly good source.
Raw Carrot Cake
100g raisins & 100g pitted dates soaked in water for a few hours or overnight
450g finely grated carrot
50g whole or ground almonds
50g sunflower seeds
75g rolled oats
25g wheat germ plus 25g oat bran (or 50g of either)
50g desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons natural maple syrup
4 tablespoons coconut or sunflower oil
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
Grated lemon or orange rind or a combination of both
Grind together the almonds and sunflowers seeds in a food processor. Add the oats, wheat germ or oat bran & desiccated coconut and blitz again. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
Drain the raisins and dates, tip them into the food processor bowl and blend together with the coconut or sunflower oil, tahini, maple syrup, vanilla extract and spices to form a paste.
Stir the grated carrot and lemon / orange rind into the dry mixture then pour in the paste and combine thoroughly.
Pack into a loaf mold, cover with cling film and chill for several hours.
Turn out and serve in small slices with crème fraiche, or coconut cream or yoghurt.
This recipe freezes really well. Slice the cake and wrap individually in parchment so you can remove one slice at a time from the freezer as required. Defrost in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
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