carrot

Raw Carrot Cake Balls (Nut + Fat Free)

raw carrot cake balls

Quick, delicious, healthy on the go fuel. Carrot cake balls.

Dates, carrots, oats, coconut, cinnamon = some of my favourites. So you just know how I feel about these already. I have quite the love for cinnamon (and it’s amazing health benefits) so I used a generous amount. Also cinnamon is super good for blood sugar control so a great condiment to add to anything and everything. A quick and simple post today…enjoy your cake!

raw carrot cake balls

Raw carrot cake balls

1/2 cup soft dates
2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave syrup
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 cup oats
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup of carrots
desiccated coconut for rolling

  1. Blend this pile of goodness until a smooth but slightly textured dough forms.
  2. Make into as many balls as you like + roll in coconut. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.Note: You may need to adjust the milk quantities according to how much liquid your particular coconut flour absorbs. 😉

Wholegrain Vegetable Bread

It’s kind of cake, kind of bread. Maybe loaf cake….maybe not.

It’s kind of sweet, kind of savoury but let’s not label this beauty because it really is a gem. I love it for how adaptable it is, it really is a throw-it-together and use what ya got kind of bread……or cake….or loaf! I made this whilst Russ was on the nursery DIY duty listening to a bit of Regina Spektor. Music + baking = Bliss.

Wholegrain Vegetable Bread

I used half spelt and half almond flour because I haven’t used the good stuff for ages and it ramps up the nutrient level beautifully! But this would work with whatever flour you have to hand, same with the oil, you gotta use what ya got! On the other hand if you want to cut out the oil, double the sweet potato purĂ©e and ditch the walnuts for raisins. Likewise if you have carrot but no courgette or vice versa then just use what ya got. I had an abundance of sweet potato but pumpkin and apple purĂ©e can easily replace this. See it really is adaptable!

Wholegrain Vegetable Bread

I was having a bit of a dense carb craving and this defo hit the spot – healthy, hearty, easy and delicious. This is why I like wholegrain vegetable bread:

wholegrain
moist + satisfying
veggie packed
healthiest fats
ideal snackage

Wholegrain Vegetable Bread

I’m quite liking vegetables in my cakes, more please 🙂

Wholegrain Vegetable bread

1 cup almond flour
1 cup spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chia plus 6-8 water
1 tablespoon molasses (optional)
1/4 cup oil (I used coconut)
1 heaped cup courgette, grated + excess juice squeezed out
1 heaped cup carrot, grated + excess juice squeezed out
1/2 cup sweet potato purée (pumpkin or apple purée would be great too)
1/4 cup water, if needed

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 Âș Celsius + line a loaf tin with parchment paper. Prepare chia ‘egg’ by combining the seeds with water.
  2. Meanwhile add the first 6 ingredients to a large bowl + combine well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients along with the flax egg + add to the dry bowl.
  4. Combine very well + transfer to the tin.
  5. Bake for 80-90 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Pineapple + Ginger Cake – Dairy free + Gluten Free

I’ve had this tin of pineapple for sooooo long, ages actually, ha ha! I really do love my pineapple but much prefer the fresh variety so that’s why it’s been sitting around, plus Russ is my chief pineapple chopper-upper! Don’t worry, it was still in date 🙂 The truth is, I’ve been so lazy with the blog lately and it’s been kinda hard to pull my finger out and get moving with things and when I opened the cupboard and saw this tin, my irrational pregnancy hormones got the better of me and I HAD to use it. This cake is so quick to throw together and whilst it’s cooking for an hour I have no excuse but to listen to my hypnobirthing tracks. At least I’ve finally gotten rid of that can of pineapple!

pineapple & ginger vegan cake

So yeah Russ and I will be hypnobirthing this August! So far it seems to be working really well for me and it’s already helped put some of the usual pre-birth anxieties at bay. Society seems to be full of so many negative images and messages towards birth but if you actually look past these and filter through there are plenty of positive images. Hypnobirthing teaches you to retrain your brain to see yourself as the capable, prepared, adaptable and strong person that you are, perfectly able to birth your child in a calmly excited manner. It’s surprising how much we tell ourselves otherwise, whether that originates from the media or friends and family. The only downside of hypnobirthing is that most people don’t really get it, seeing it as some sort of ‘trance induced’ birth. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s more so a preparation tool before birth to ease birthing anxieties and prepare for the physical aspects of labour by mindfulness, deep breathing and hypnosis tracks. It’s a bit of a commitment – about 40 minutes a day to be precise but I think it’ll be more than worth it come birth time. Added to that the 30 minute hypnosis track is so relaxing, I actually look forward playing it and relaxing more than I ever felt possible. I know already that this is going to help me immensely before and during the birth. In the meantime, I’ll keep reminding people that I won’t be hypnotised during labour but rather utilising the techniques of mindfulness, breathing and visualisation I’ve learnt so far.

pineapple & ginger vegan cake

Anyway, my digestion has been pretty good so far through this pregnancy but I do think I’ve been glutenizing myself a lot lately, what with toast, pittas, pasta – it’s all too much. Hence the gluten free cake plus I’ve been dying to try out Bob’s Red Mill variety of GF flours. I’ve gotta say, pretty impressed. Shame we don’t have it more readily available here in the UK but it’s easy enough to make yourself. Not being gluten intolerant I wont be swapping every time but it’s nice to make a change and cook for all sensitivities and preferences.

vegan pineapple & ginger cake

The cake’s ready and Russ is doing nursery stuff (mural, shelves and cot building) so time to make a cuppa and slice this gingery thing! See ya sooner rather than later…………..

Pineapple + ginger cake

2 tablespoons chia seeds + 6 of water
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup pineapple juice (from the can)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup GF flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill all purpose)
1 heaping cup grated carrot
1 can pineapple (227grams, 137 grams drained- keep pineapple juice for recipe)
sesame seeds, optional

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180Âș Celsius + grease a 7 inch cake tin.
2. Add the ‘chia egg’ to a mixing bowl + allow to gel. Add the oil, syrup, juice + combine well.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl + combine well. Transfer to the greased cake tin, sprinkle with sesame seeds + bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Super Moist Wholegrain Carrot Cake + Why You Don’t Have to Ditch the Sugar!

Since being pregnant I am into Cake. Like really into it. But I’m also quite health conscious and I don’t see why my poor baby has to suffer processed white flours, refined sugars and trashy fats. But that’s fine because there is no need with cake like this, a cake that, to be quite frank is wholly acceptable to eat EVERYDAY – hell twice a day. What….I’m pregnant and finally past that nausea stage which means food is my friend again! There’s so much stuff out there suggesting we give up sugar, I agree, I really do but we don’t need to give it up 100% but rather the refined processed junk, yuk! I’m gonna tell you about sugar that is actually a health tonic- truly and sincerely. It’s all OK.

carrot cake vegan

So anyway, I made THIS fruit cake and it knocked my socks off (yeah I like old lady cakes mostly) but the thing is I ate most of it and that makes me feel bad cos it’s Russ’s favourite cake too. My excuse is pregnancy. No matter, I’m gonna make this badass snackage again and ice the hell out of it.

So this one’s for you Russ. Well just a slice or two maybe!

Sorry to go on but gosh I love small wonders like this….. a carrot cake that’s healthy as hell. Yeah yeah what does that even mean- it means this:

WHOLEGRAIN
NO REFINED SUGARS
ZERO TRASHY FATS
THERE’S VEGETABLES, OH AND FRUIT
HIGH FIBRE

vegan carrot cake

Now about the molasses…..hello…sugar with health benefits is good enough for me. This is the good stuff that’s left behind after we’ve taken the toxic stuff from sugar cane. It’s dark, rich, sweet, healthful- this IS the good, good, good stuff. With such a low glycemic load, it’s even fine for diabetics. Good for regularity if you know what I mean, owning 14% of our iron and 12% calcium needs in 1 heaping tablespoon and also linked to improved hair health. Blackstrap molasses are literally a health tonic. There you go, no need to give up sugar! Other lovely healthier alternatives to refined sugar are dates, xylitol and coconut sugar. Sugar is not evil 🙂 Just on the phone to Mcvities and Mr Kipling now to tell them, lol!

carrot cake vegan

And about the spelt flour
..I know it’s not strictly a GF flour but hey it’s pretty low in gluten and a breeze to bake with. You can literally sub white flour in EVERY recipe and it works brilliantly. It’s tasty too, like in a sweet nutty way. The truth is I wanted to add walnuts but I was out, I think I ate them on my porridge so I used coconut and I was loving it.

Fear not, it’s not one of those – ‘this tastes healthy’ cakes. It IS NOT at all.

Vegan Carrot Cake

Super moist wholegrain carrot cake

1 heaping cup coarsely grated carrot
3/4 cup raisins
1 1/4-1/2 cup water
1/2 cup molasses
30g vegan butter or coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 160ÂșC. Combine first seven ingredients in a saucepan. Stir over a low heat until smooth, simmering + the dried spices are dissolved.

2. Allow to cool. Stir in sifted flours, salt & baking powder + soda with coconut.

3.  Pour into well greased 7″ cake tin.

4.  Bake for 1 Œ hours. Remove. cool. Tuck in. Save some for others.

Spiced Cabbage Fritters

I’ve been home from India a month now and I’m still not craving indian food, oops, potential overload maybe!? Oh god, what have I done to myself, I fear I will never eat a bowl of dahl again :-O This is weird for me as I’m usually a 2 curries a week kinda girl so in an attempt to kick start my curry love this recipe is very lightly spiced but more about the fresh ingredients than heavy spices. Actually, would we even call this Indian? Ummmm perhaps not, maybe just a jazzed up veggie fritter with cumin and turmeric.
vegan cabbage fritta
Anyhow, this recipe is perfect for using up excess veggies in the fridge or an excellent way to bump up your fruit and veggie intake with four delicious helpings of vegetables in a comforting indian spiced fritter. Yep, four! It’s got cabbage in it, I really like cabbage a lot!

DSC_9863

This is definitely a weekend snack, or a simple starter, or perhaps a nice addition to brunch! Whatever the meal it’s a light and easy recipe that’s versatile too and more importantly utterly delicious. I love dishes like this but usually find that restaurant style versions are deep fried in who knows what oil and contain very little in the way of fresh vegetables and more in the way of flour and eggs.

cabbage fritta

This is different, what with it’s four servings of veggies these are packed full of vitamins and minerals, they’re dairy and gluten free, low fat and contain zero grain! Woooohoooooo! Let’s get frittering!
cabbage fritta

Spiced cabbage fritters

(makes 10-12 fritters)

2 heaping cups finely shredded savoy cabbage
2 small carrots, thin slivers using a veggie peeler
1 small onion, sliced finely
2 handfuls kale, shredded
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
1 cup gram flour
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxmeal to 3 of water)
salt + pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 cup water

Method:

1. Add all the prepared vegetables to a large mixing bowl + combine well.
2. Meanwhile combine the remaining ingredients in a seperate bowl to make a thick pouring batter. Add to the veggies + ensure the veggies are fully combined with the batter.
3. Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan + transfer 1/4 cup size helpings of the batter, pushing down with a spatula. Allow to brown and set before flipping to cook the other side.
4. Transfer fritters to a warm oven + continue cooking the fritters until the batter is no more. Serve warm with yoghurt, chutney, ketchup or whatever takes your fancy,

Curried Lentil Soup with Carrot + Coriander Dumplings (Gluten Free + Vegan)

curried lentil & dumpling stew
We spent our entire saturday morning in 3 carpet/wood flooring superstores and it was sooooo bad. Bad because I hate these places at the best of times, bad because I feel I should take a greater interest and enthusiasm for the flooring that goes down in our home (especially considering the financial outlay) and bad bad bad because we just couldn’t make a choice – oh golly! Instead we left with several quotes and unfinished business but I’m never going back there, no way. I really do want some nice flooring but it’s the time (it’s a lot) and effort that goes into choosing whilst getting caught up in the maze of DIY-ers frantically filling their trolleys like they know exactly what they’re doing. I guess I just need to be one of those people, someone who loves everything DIY, but I’m not. I’m the person who likes the nice house but without ever entering a huge superstore, I’m more than happy to choose online, at home and in comfort! The thing is you just can’t choose flooring online, it just doesn’t feel right….oh I know, first world problems hey!

lentil dumpling stew

Anyway, it’s food like this that gets me through car crash mornings such as hanging out in DIY stores in a confused state!! A real good, homely, comforting, major silly healthy lentil stew with the best dumplings ever. Oh yes.

curried lentil & dumpling stew

I’m gonna put myself out there now and say this is probably one of my favourite meals just for how wonderfully feel good and delicious it is. This is a complete meal in itself with plenty of protein and four servings of veggies served with grain and dairy free dumplings. I just gotta say these dumplings are better than those dumplings you used to love…..you know the ones and with healing onion, garlic, chili, ginger and turmeric this stew is sure to warm and nourish you all winter long….spring and summer too.

Right, time to call the DIY superstore and finally make that decision!

curried lentil & dumpling stew

Curried lentil soup with carrot + coriander dumplings

(serves 2)

soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
small piece of ginger, chopped finely
2 sticks celery, chopped finely
2 large carrots, chopped into small pieces
1 cup red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, turmeric + cinnamon
1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
2 handfuls greens, shredded
chili + coriander for dressing

dumplings:
1 cup chick pea (gram) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 small carrot, grated
1 tablespoon coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons soya yoghurt
1/2 cup water

method:

1. Heat the olive oil over a low heat + add the first 6 ingredients, stirring until softened + aromatic.
2. Add the lentils, broth, spices + greens, keep on a low heat for 15 minutes. You may need to add more water if it over thickens, or add a teaspoon corn flour if it needs thickening.
3. Whilst the soup is simmering make your dumplings by combining the flour, salt + baking powder. Once combined add the carrot, coriander, soya yoghurt + water to form a sticky cookie dough mixture.
4. Form 6 dumplings by hand or alternatively spoon the mixture directly into the soup. The balls should sit on top without sinking. Cover the pan + simmer for a further 15 minutes.
5. Serve dressed with chopped chili + coriander.

Baked Carrot Cake Oatmeal

carrot cake bake
I must admit I don’t at first think of carrots for breakfast but carrot cake, yes. Carrot cake in oatmeal form, yes oh yes. In oatmeal form topped with maple drenched salted nuts and seeds, yes, yes and yes. This breakfast is kind of a big deal for me. It tastes just like carrot cake but with all the nasties right outta there. See, it’s a big deal.A slice of carrot cake baked oatmeal

I ate this for breakfast warm and my it was sooo good. I also ate it cold the next day and it was even more delicious, cakier, sweeter, doughier, spicier. The great thing is you really don’t even need a plate and fork as it’s perfect for just picking up and eating on the go. Gosh, this kind of food is me food, me all over, in baked carrot cake oatmeal form!DSC_9363

The great thing is it’s pretty much as healthy as regular oatmeal or granola and packed full of healthy fats and protein. Plus you squeeze in a carrot first thing! This is the kind of breakfast that’ll keep you going until lunchtime, no blood sugar crashes in sight and packed full of delicious healthy ingredients. But then again this doesn’t even have to be brekkie as it’s way good enough as dessert. Amen. Delicious healthy ingredients

It was hard not to eat the whole tray. Severe restrain was exercised here. I wish I was more like Russ with his self control, maybe it’s a guy thing! Not that self control needs to be exercised as it’s so healthy but I mean I ate three pieces compared to his one………where’s the sharing eh?!! Not to worry as I’ll be making more of where this came from and might next time do an apple pie version, or pumpkin pie, or pineapple cake, chocolate brownie baked oatmeal……………………..A slice of carrot cake baked oatmeal

Here’s to having more desserts for breakfast and starting the day right with pudding!Carrot cake baked oatmeal

Baked carrot cake oatmeal

(serves2-4)

dry:
4 medium carrots, peeled + grated
1/4 cup raisins
2 cups oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg + ground ginger
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
pinch of salt

wet:
2 cups almond milk
2 tablespoons flaxseed combine with 6 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla

topping:
1/3 cup each of walnuts, sunflower seeds + pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted vegan butter

method:

1. Preheat oven to 200ÂșC. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Seperately whisk the wet ingredients together fully.
2. Add the wet to the dry + combine thoroughly. Transfer mixture to a baking dish, allowing to soak for 30 minutes.
3. Combine the topping mixture + spread evenly over the oats. Bake for 25 minutes or until set + browned on top.

Spiced Winter Root Vegetable Soup (Gluten Free + Vegan)

pumpkin winter soupThis isn’t any old soup but one that is packed full of nurturing + healing spices. Warming throughout winter. A hug in the guise of soup.2 bowls of soup + pumpkin seeds

Vegetables rock but root vegetables really do rock. Winter vegetables

Healthy as heck with it’s three servings of vegetables in one bowl. And pumpkin seeds too – you really gotta love pumpkin and all it’s awesomeness.Pumpkin love

Utterly delicious. Thick, smooth, creamy, spicy and oh so more-ish. Pumpkin soup + all the trimmings

Super easy to prepare.DSC_8789

That’ll do. Enjoy soup all winter long.Winter root veg soup + seeds

Spiced winter root vegetable soup

(serves 4)

1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic, cloves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small pumpkin, peeled + roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
1 sweet potato, peeled + roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled + chopped roughly
5 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon each of cumin + coriander
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg + cayenne
1 cup almond milk
salt + pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil over a low heat + add the onion + garlic. Gently fry until translucsent.
2. Add the remaining ingredients + bring to a low boil. Simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Blend the soup until smooth + adjust seasoning to taste. Be careful of blending the soup whilst it is still very hot. Always allow to cool off before doing so. Freeze on the day, refrigerate for up to 4 days or eat straight away to keep warm!

Spiced Carrot Muffins

Carrot spiced muffin

Do you randomly reminisce about mediocre food you were fond of as a younger you? I do, all the time but come to think of it, I think about any food, all of the time! Of late it’s been the ginger biscuits I made as a kiddo, usually when I was bored or avoiding homework. They were nice but I wonder, were they really that good? I’ve been thinking maybe it’s the nostalgia that makes food seem more appealing than it perhaps was?! In their defence, these ginger biscuits were pretty popular though, my family loved them for a good tea dunking. It’s just that there really wasn’t anything special about them, they were just biscuits. But they were the first biscuit recipe I nailed and gosh was I proud! See, it’s nostalgia. They were bursting with immense gingery goodness, probably because I usually doubled the suggested 1 teaspoon to 2, well 2 1/2 actually!

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to make some gingery baked goods for a while now. I just love ginger with it’s warm, rich, spicy yet sweet flavour provoking memories of a gloriously sticky ginger pudding smothered in creamy pale yellow custard. Even a fiery Thai or Chinese stir fry packed full of ginger just makes you feel warm and comforted. Yes, I think there’s something comforting about ginger and I love that it’s good for us too. In India, ginger is viewed as a complete wonder spice and this is good enough for me (being a huge fan of all things Indian).

I used an overly-heaped teaspoon in the muffin mix because I just love the flavour and it works fantastically with the pineapple, carrot and raisins. In hindsight, these could even take some more – so if you like ginger go for 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons. Definitely a match made in heaven. I’m thinking of making oatmeal with these flavours, kind of like an exotic carrot cake breakfast. I used honey and crushed pineapple to sweeten and to ensure it retained as much moisture as possible, plus I wanted to replicate the moist and sticky ginger puddings I loved so much as a kid.

Step by step

Alongside ginger I used a teaspoon of cinnamon,  another spice I am completely obsessed with. I use  both these exotic spices most days, even just a sprinkle on cereal, toast or porridge. A few years back in the middle of some hefty marathon training  I read that cinnamon is amazing for blood sugar regulation. Obviously, eager to gain a winning edge I started stirring heaps into my breakfasts, popping it into smoothies, sprinkling on honey toast, whisking through pancake batter and adding generously to my curries, North African dishes, well anything really. I swear this carried me through the long hard training and not once did I ‘hit the wall’ as they say in running jabber. Purely psychological? Maybe, but there’s something in it, quite literally. Whenever I google ‘cinnamon benefits’ it never ceases to amaze me (same for ginger) how healing these can be! I’m pretty mindful about generous health claims but the taste, aroma and colour of these spices just make you feel like you’re doing your body a favour.

These muffins are super blood sugar regulators and high in fibre too.  Full of wonderful flavour and texture, these muffins are an acceptable breakfast snack and even a worthy pudding contender – with a scoop of ice cream or  a dollop of custard. Are you sold yet?

Carrot spiced muffin
Sticky, sweet, spiced & fruity

What was the first recipe you mastered as a kid (or adult for that matter!)?

Spiced Carrot Muffins

(makes 10-12)

1 1/2 cups of wholemeal self raising flour
1 teaspoon of ginger
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
small handful of crushed walnuts
small handful of raisins
2 tablespoons of honey
1 cup of shredded carrot
1 cup of crushed pineapple
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg

Method:

  1. Sift all the dry ingredients together and combine well. Add the walnuts, raisins and carrot.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients and mix just enough to fully combine.
  3. Place in 10-12 muffin cases and sprinkle with oats.
  4. Bake at 175 ÂșC for 25 minutes.

Bake for 25 minutes at 175 °C.