Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beautiful and Delicious - Raw Carrot Cake Cupcakes!

Back in early April, I found myself in the midst of a week-long juice fast and yearning for its end. Just as I had read, the first few days of "withdrawal" (from hot foods, from foods that are crunchy or chewy, from whatever your food vices might be) are the absolute worst, but they get better. What doesn't ever wane, however, are the daydreams about what you will eat when you are on the other side of this commitment. I knew that I couldn't just jump right into a T-bone or tear open a bag of chips; it is strongly suggested that you ease your way back into solids, meats, dairy products, etc.

And eating raw isn't just good for juicing situations, it's good for you all the time. Did you know that your vegetables begin to lose their nutrients (you know, the reason you eat them in the first place) once they are heated above 118 degrees? Sure, wilted spinach with warm bacon vinaigrette is DIVINE, but so is a raw spinach salad with grated beets and strawberry slices!

I just so happened to time my fast for the week leading up to Easter so that I could celebrate the holiday with family without having to say "no thanks, I'm juicing" while everyone else made a b-line for the barbecue buffet at my husband's grandmother's home. I came across this recipe at just the right time. They're raw, so my system could easily digest them, and they looked mighty tasty. Plus, they have "kid-friendly" written all over them. 

So I gave the recipe a whirl. I have to admit, I was very nervous. I'm a sub-par baker, so you would think I would relish the opportunity to make cupcakes requiring no heat and minimal hand-mixing. But the lack of cook time threw me for a loop. However, I always love pulling out kitchen gadgets, so I was more than elated to be using my Cuisinart food processor to get these gems on a plate. (recipe adapted from blog.hailmerry.com) 

Raw, Vegan & Gluten-Free Carrot Cake 
  • 2 cups shredded organic carrots  
  • 1/2 cup dates - soaked for one hour then drained, pits removed (about 6 dates)   
  • 1/2 cup walnuts  
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots - soaked for one hour then drained  
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut  
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened raisins 1 teaspoon cinnamon  
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg  
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger  
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract  
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest 
1. Grate shredded coconuts in a food processor then remove to bowl and set aside.

2. Put dates, walnuts, apricots and raisins into food processor and blend until combined, but not a paste. Then add coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, and orange zest and continue to process until well-incorporated.

3. Add carrots back to processor and blend further, until the mixture comes together. 

4. Fill muffin tin cups 2/3 full of the mixture, pressing the tops flat. Chill then top with frosting (recipe below) 

RAW Creamy Lemon Frosting 
  • ¾ cup cashews (soaked for 1 hour & drained)  
  • ¾ cup macadamia nuts  
  • ½ cup unsweetened organic coconut milk 
  • ½ cup 100% maple syrup  
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup organic unrefined virgin coconut oil, melted

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