You Can Have Your (Carrot) Cake And Eat It Too!

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Let’s be honest.  Most of us have a problem with sweets.  I have NO problem saying that I’ve definitely had my issues with sugar.  I mean, sometimes there’s nothing more that I want than to sit in bed with a big chocolate cake – just me, Zoe, the cake and Netflix.  Now. THAT’S love right there my friends!  🙂

Sugar is one of the most illusive drugs out there.  Documentaries have even compared it to cocaine, and the thing is – it’s everywhere and in everything.  I used to be that girl that could throw back two or three cupcakes without blinking, who would go get a handful (or 2) of chocolate chips after a meal…who could down a box of “healthy” Kellog’s chocolate cereal in one sitting.  That was me.  Pretty impressive huh?  I’d do that and feel like a huge turd.  It was a cycle that kept going around and around.  If I ate something bad – I’d just say – well, I’ll be better tomorrow, but that tomorrow never came…

Finally it did.  Once I changed my mind set, everything else followed.  There are ways to satisfy a sweet tooth without having to bake cookies and eat half the batch.  Once you change your mind to doing this – it’s actually FUN!!  Now I look for ways to take not healthy stuff and make it healthy.  I scour the internet for healthy recipes and sometimes put my own twist.  I look at the ingredients that I have – google those and usually come up with some great recipes.  The resources out there are endless, and again – if you like to cook – it’s FUN!  I play around with a lot of gluten free sometimes even vegan recipes.  It doesn’t necessarily mean less calories, but you know what’s going in it.

So go for it!  Search for your favorite cake or cupcake and take the challenge to find a healthy way to prepare it!  It’s out there!  Use whole foods when possible, the less processed the better.  You can always substitute honey, maple syrup or agave for processed sugar, applesauce or coconut oil for vegetable oil and sometimes avocado as well for oil.

It doesn’t mean that you have to cut out that piece of cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory…but I guarantee you – if you change your thinking – your belly will follow.  If I want something bad for me – I will have it, but usually a bite or 2 and then I’m done…  my body is like – NO!  I don’t want to feel like crap later!!!!

Our food is our fuel.  I always equate us to being like cars.  If you put high performance gas into a car – it’s going to run better.  If we put good food into our bodies – so will we.  You have to know and believe that you CAN.  One healthy decision will lead to another one and then it will snowball into a bunch of good decisions, which all add up.  Let your “tomorrow” be TODAY!!

Here’s a recipe (see pic at the top of the blog) from one of my favorite blogs – Love and Lemons for Vegan Carrot Cake with Walnut Frosting…oh SO GOOD!!!

 

Ingredients

cake:
    • 2 1/4 cups flour (I used Trader Joe’s gluten free and half coconut flour)  – also, I would use maybe only 2 cups next time
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 cup applesauce
    • 1 cup original Almond Breeze Almond Milk
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 cup cane sugar
    • 1/2 cup (melted) coconut or canola oil
    • 2 cups grated carrots (just shy of 1lb)
frosting: (I didn’t have the patience to soak and drain the nuts, and it was still GREAT!!)
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts (soaked, drained and rinsed) – I used WALNUTS
  • 1/2 cup cashews (soaked, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 and grease a 9×13 (or similar) baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, almond milk, vanilla, sugar and oil.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients.
  5. Fold in the carrots and stir until just combined.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before frosting.
  7. For the frosting: combine frosting ingredients into a high speed blender. Start the blender on low and gradually increase speed (the mixture will be very thick at first). You can add an extra tablespoon of almond milk if necessary to get your blade moving.
  8. Blend until very smooth.
  9. Chill for at least 30 minutes before spreading. (it’ll firm up a bit).
  10. Store leftover frosted cake in the fridge.

Notes

Feel free to sub whole wheat pastry flour for the spelt flour.

Soak your cashew and macadamia nuts overnight. I recommend using a very high speed blender (vitamix, blendtec, or similar) for this frosting.

 

 

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