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Carrot Cake with Cashew Frosting - Whole Grain, Macrobiotic, Vegan & Gluten Free

Carrot Cake with Cashew Frosting

Oh my goodness.

WAY back when this year, I made a delicious treat for Easter. It was a super dense, hearty carrot cake, made with a variety of healthier baking ingredients. I topped it off with a delicious lemony cashew frosting. This recipe will create a cake that is almost like baked oatmeal, so please expect a super dense, hearty cake - not a fluffy, light, blood sugar crashing kind of treat.

If you want to have a super duper healthy "I can eat this for breakfast" kind of cake, or simply a healthier way to indulge, please give the following recipe a shot and let me know what you think. Personally, I was mega pleased with it, and I had to stop myself from just spooning the icing directly into my mouth.
 

Carrot Cake

Ingredients

DRY

  • 2 cups regular rolled oats
  • 1 cup gf oat flour (can sub any other flour!)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • pinch sea salt
  • sprinkle of cardamon

WET

  • 1 - 398 ml can pumpkin puree

  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (can leave out if you want, but I'd replace with some sunflower seeds perhaps)

  • 1 small container of applesauce (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or other milk)

  • 1/4 cup oil of choice (I used avocado, but you could use any veggie oil)

  • 2 medium carrots grated

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (makes a very minimally sweet cake! you could double or triple this amount if you'd like it to be more sweet).

  • 2 tsp vanilla

  • Optional: 1/4 cup raisins, grated or diced apple

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. I whisked it all together with a fork.
  4. Grease a pyrex dish ( I used an 11x7 one, greased with coconut oil).
  5. Add dry to wet, and mix together. Pour into pyrex, and smooth with a spoon.
  6. Bake for 75 mins.
  7. Cake will firm up more once cooled. The consistency of this cake will be a LOT like baked oatmeal.

Lemon Cashew Icing

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups soaked cashews, drained and rinsed (soak for a couple of hours on counter)

  • Juice of 1 whole lemon.

  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil

  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

  • splash of vanilla

  • a bit of water to thin if necessary

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy... it seems to get creamier the longer you blend it. You can add a splash more of water or maple syrup if you like, or try adding in a couple of soaked dates instead of maple syrup.
  2. Place frosting in fridge and let firm up a bit while cake is cooling.
  3. Once cake is completely cool, slather it in the icing, and keep in the fridge until serving!
  4. I decorated mine with some veggies and lemon zest :)

I personally think the cake tasted even better on the second and third days. Happy Eating!

MTF: Macrobiotic Friendly Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Happy MACRO TREAT FRIDAY (MTF). It's been awhile since I posted a sweet treat, and Christmas is almost here, so a cookie recipe seems appropriate.

I wasn't sure if I should call these gingersnaps, ginger molasses cookies, or gingerbread...so let's mix it all up and call 'em gingerbread cookies.

Delicious, whatever you call 'em.

Macro Gingerbread Cookies

Wholegrain. One bowl. Super Simple. Very light on the oil. Lightly sweetened with maple.
Makes about 16 small gingerbread cookies.

See other possibilities at the end of the post.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sprouted whole spelt flour (+ 2 TBSP if dough is a bit too sticky)
  • 1/4 tsp each cloves & nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp of FRESH grated ginger
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP olive oil or other vegetable oil of choice.
  • 4 TBSP maple syrup or brown rice syrup.
  • 2 tsp blackstrap molasses (for flavour)
  • 4 TBSP water
  • Maple sugar for rolling (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix flour and spices together in a large bowl.
  3. Grate ginger. Add to bowl.
  4. Add to the flour: oil, maple syrup, blackstrap molasses and water.
  5. Mix together with a fork.
  6. Wet hands (this is key!!) and roll into small balls, about 1/2 ". If dough is just too sticky after trying with wet hands, don't be shy to sprinkle in a bit more flour.
  7. If desired, roll in maple sugar. Place on parchment paper.
  8. Bake until lightly browned on bottoms, about 12 minutes.
  9. Let sit for 5 minutes and then move to a wire rack.
  10. Let cool completely, and enjoy! Store in an airtight container.

NOTES:

* If you wanted to roll these out and cut out gingerbread men, I'm sure this recipe would work. You might want to let the dough cool in the fridge for a bit first, and I'd roll it out between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Because it'll be thinner, it will take less time to bake. :)

*Also, if you like bigger gingerbread molasses cookies, then I'd recommend making 8 larger balls instead of about 16, and let cook for the same amount of time for really chewy cookies, and a few minutes longer for a bit crispier ones.

* I like them just as much without the maple sugar, as with <3

* And, for your viewing pleasure, here's a video of my class and I making these cookies together, during a Macrobiotic Sweets Class I taught earlier this December, where we made these cookies! I have been so honoured to teach a few Macrobiotic nutrition classes per month at the lovely Templed Mind Studio here in Victoria, and this clip gives you a sneak peek into their delightful studio.


Happy Holiday Baking!!

 

MacroTreat Friday: Macrobiotic Carrot Cake!

Hey Guys!

I attempted a new recipe this week for MacroTreat Friday and well...it was a flop. Sorry!
I'm still getting used to my new teeny tiny gas oven. I'll try again for next week. Instead I'll dust off something old for ya'. :)

In the spirit of all things Easter, let's follow my train of thought:
Easter -> bunnies -> bunnies eat carrots -> carrots -> mmm carrot cake!

And by golly,  I have an old recipe for carrot cake kickin' around, that I made in Japan in my rice cooker! I am more than confident that you could bake it in the oven instead (suggestions below).
 

MTF: Whole Grain Macro Carrot Cake

This is a super natural, healthy wholegrain cake. I made it and baked it in my rice cooker in Japan, and it turned out super nicely. It is a great breakfast cake! <3

Visit my super old post, with super old photos that got super jumbled when I switched platforms... and get ready for a SUPER delicious treat.

WHOLE GRAIN MACRO FRIENDLY CARROT CAKE

NEW SUGGESTIONS

  • I would swap out the stevia for some pure maple syrup (perhaps 2-4 TBSP of maple syrup) mixed in with the wet ingredients, and to compensate would reduce the almond milk by a couple of tablespoons to make up for the difference.
  • When I cooked it in the rice cooker, I just kept it in there for a total of about 45 minutes. I just set it for about 20 or 30 minutes, and then checked and turned it on for a bit more. I can't remember the exact setting, but it was either the white rice setting, or a setting that allowed you to just choose an amount of time. It shouldn't matter too terribly much <
  • TO BAKE IN AN OVEN: I would follow my initial recommendation of about 350F.  I would begin checking at 25 minutes.
  • If you don't want to puree your own kabocha, simply use an equivalent amount of canned pumpkin.

HAPPY EASTER my Dainty friends <3

May you all be well, be loved, and enjoy the long weekend!

MacroTreat Fridays: Valentine's Day Macrobiotic-Friendly Brownies

Yep, chocolatey sweet treats 2 weeks in a row. You're welcome <3

Macro-friendly Brownies

Very decadent vegan, oat-flour, maple sweetened Brownies.
Quick & Easy to prepare.
Makes 12 muffin cup brownies.

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As you'd expect from the word brownie, these are decadent and rich - not an everyday treat. Although, they're so tasty you may indeed find yourself thinking about these daily.
I was going to make them like usual, in a pan, but discovered than I did not have parchment paper, but I did have muffin liners...so the brownie batter went into the muffin tin, and these guys emerged :)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup natural  cocoa powder (this is non-alkalized cocoa)
  • 100 grams dark chocolate (if you can find grain sweetened, then all the better) - I used 1 bar of Lindtt 90% - broken into small pieces
  • few generous pinches of sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • couple pinches of cayenne
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup high quality vegetable oil - unrefined sesame, grapeseed, avocado etc.
  • 2 cups + 2 TBSP oat flour
  • 2 TBSP flax
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, flax & baking soda. I whisked it briefly with a fork to combine.
  3. In another bowl, add the cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon & cayenne.
  4. You can do the next part in 2 different ways, take your pick:
    Method 1: Add the chocolate pieces to the cocoa/spices. Then add the boiling water, and stir with a spoon until it gets all icing / fudgey like - not runny - but all mixed together into a heavenly chocolate paste. Most of the chocolate should melt, but if there are a few pieces left, no biggie. For this batch I used this method.
    Method 2: Alternatively you could melt the chocolate in a double boiler, and add it to the cocoa & spices. You may not need to any boiling water here, to get the icing like texture - when I tried it this way, I added just under 1/4 cup boiling water one time, and another time I didn't need any water at all.
  5. Add in the maple syrup slowly, mixing with a spoon until combined.
  6. Stir in the oil.
  7. Add in the maple sugar, again, stirring with a spoon.
  8. Add in the vanilla.
  9. Stir in the flour/flax/soda mixture. And then the nuts, if using. The batter will be really thick, not runny in the slightest.
  10. Scoop out some batter, and drop into lined muffin tins (or a parchment paper lined 8X8 baking dish). Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, press the batter down into the pan or muffin cup.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes if using a muffin tin, or 30-35 minutes if using a pan. They are done when a toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Let these guys cool in the pan for about an hour, then transfer to a wire rack. Do not cut into slices until cooled. AND, if humanely possible, I think they taste better the next day, after spending the night in the refrigerator...but if you don't like your brownies on the colder side, then simply keep them on the counter in an airtight container. YUM!
brownie.JPG


I make brownies only a few times per year...mostly because I don't often think of them! This has been my go to recipe for the past few years though, and it has never failed me. I hope you enjoy it as much as T & I do.

Happy Valentine's Day friends!

Macro Monday: Happy Holidays!

The holidays are wonderful. Family, friends, snowy cozy evenings...
Unfortunately they can also be as stressful as they are enjoyable.
But it doesn't have to be that way!

 Last year's Christmas baking extravaganza.

Last year's Christmas baking extravaganza.

MM: Reducing Stress over the Holidays

  • Skip the presents

    • If you've never done the whole "no presents" thing, and can't imagine Christmas without it, but feel overwhelmed with all the buying...trust me, it's pretty liberating and worth a shot. The "loss" of gift giving & receiving is easily replaced with no more fighting your way through busy malls and stores with crazy drivers, and long line-ups. And also, the focus shifts to hanging out with friends and family. I'll admit, it does feel a bit strange at first, but honestly, you just get over it, and a lot quicker than you'd think.
    • Give the gift of you instead! Spend time with the people you care about...at the end of the day, that is much more important than anything you could wrap up.
  • Don't worry about so much about your eats

    • If you're on a strict healing diet, then obviously, follow your docs / health counselor's guidelines... but being stressed out about or with food over the holidays simply adds stress to your day. And stress shuts down your digestive system.
    • So, eat your best when you can, and enjoy out of the norm treats when you feel like it. ENJOY being the key word here! Savour your indulgences. And then move on. Don't worry or over think them. Just enjoy & move on.
    • A few treats enjoyed here and there sprinkled into your regular diet will allow you to enjoy the season without being overly restrictive. You are much less likely to go crazy binging if you just follow your cravings responsibly.
  • Find & then do some holiday activities that you like

    • Whether it's ice skating, going for a snowy (or ocean) walk, making crafts, sledding, Christmas movie marathons, or playing board games...putting some energy into enjoyable activities will help reduce stress, as it will help to engage you with that feeling of "joy", and will be a great distraction from your to-do list.
  • Buy the best quality ingredients, that you budget can afford

    • As I mentioned above, don't worry so much about having some treats here and there...but if you can (and ONLY if it doesn't add any stress) think about quality.
    • Christmas cookies baked by my mom or nana are absolutely worth a splurge for me... packaged christmas cookies from the grocery store aren't. To each their own...all I'm trying to say is: try to enjoy and savour the highest quality of whatever it is you want to splurge on.
    • Love chocolate? Get some GOOD chocolate!! Want a boozy treat? Buy some high quality wine or whatever you like. Love cookies? Make some with your friends! Need some cheese & crackers? Put down the kraft singles and buy some high quality cheese, and good crackers. Go all out, and enjoy the whole decadent experience of acquiring and enjoying high quality food.
    • Usually higher quality treats are more satisfying because your body actually recognizes it as something edible versus strange substances that it doesn't know how to process.
  • Don't sacrifice your routine

    • Routines are very very important.
    • If you've found certain things that make you happy and feel your best...continue doing them over the holidays.
    • If you continue on with your regular routine, but throw in a few parties, treats, and activities here and there, you will still feel great! In my experience, sacrificing your whole routine and just giving up over the holidays does not make you feel so great.
  • Put effort into the experience

    • It is worth the effort to make a nice table setting, spend time getting dressed up nicely, and doing fun things.
    • Don't just focus on the "what" focus on the "how".
    • Okay, so we're going to have 10 people over for dinner (the what)...let's make it enjoyable in all aspects, from start to finish (the how): think happy thoughts while you're cooking & your food will taste better (it's true!), envision your guests sitting at your table and set up the prettiest table you've ever seen, put on some nice music, light some candles, and simply savour and be in the moment for the whole experience. Don't just rush towards the goal of getting everything done.


Okay friends, I wish you a truly magical Christmas and holidays and am sending each of you a giant hug! Feel free to share any holiday survival tips you've gathered over the years in the comments below.

Macrobiotic Pumpkin Pie Revisit

The Dainty Pig's Macrobiotic Pumpkin Pie

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Vegan, Gluten Free | Oat Flour Crust, Maple Sweetened

Recipe makes one regular 9" pie.

This recipe tied for 1st place in my pumpkin pie showdown of 2012, and is based off of and adapted from Eden Foods' recipe here. I tweaked it to make the filling process a bit simpler, and the appropriate size to fill one regular crust. I adjusted the spices to my liking, and as per my taste testers' requests. And I swapped oat flour for the wheat flour. The result is a delicious & healthy, spicy, vegan & gluten free macrobiotic pumpkin pie...YUM!

Oat Flour Crust

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oat flour (sift it if you can)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or sub in some grapeseed &/or avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup COLD milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Pulse / whisk / blend together oil & milk
  4. Add wet to dry and mix until combined (hands work best, crumble it with your fingers...just go for it!).
  5. Roll into a ball (adding any additional flour or cold water if necessary) and place in fridge for about 20 minutes.
  6. Roll out between 2 pieces of parchment paper, and carefully transfer into a lightly oiled 9" pie pan. Crimp edges if desired or if used a crimped pan.
  7. Poke holes with fork in bottom and sides of crust.
  8. Pre-bake crust for 5 mins before adding in the pumpkin filling and baking (see assembly & baking instructions below).

Pumpkin Filling

Ingredients

  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree (I simply used one entire 15 oz. can)
  • 1.25 cups milk of choice (again, I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 2 TBSP Agar flakes
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 heaping tsp. ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 TBSP Kuzu powder, dissolved in 2 TBSP cold water (*do this part right before you add it in).
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup or so of pecan halves

Directions

  1. In a small - medium saucepan, combine the agar agar flakes and milk, and let rest for 20 minutes.
  2. Stir in maple syrup, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer until agar flakes melt, about 10 minutes. Whisk/stir fairly often to ensure the flakes melt and are combined in.
  4. In a small bowl combine/mash up the pumpkin puree, salt, spices, and vanilla. Mix with a fork, or a hand blender, and then stir it into the agar/milk/maple mix, combining well.
  5. Dilute the kuzu and stir it into the mixture.
  6. Stirring (fairly continuously to avoid lumps), bring everything to an almost boil, then remove from heat. Continue on below with baking directions.

Assembly & Baking Directions

  1. Carefully pour filling into pre-baked crust.
  2. If desired, sprinkle pecan halves on top of the filling, around the edges of the crust, before baking (pretty delicious, btw).
  3. Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden, at 350F.
  4. Please be careful when removing pie, as the filling will still be a bit liquidy.
  5. Pie will continue to set as it cools, so let cool completely (at least 3 hours) before slicing & serving.
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Suggestions & Notes:

  • CRUST: I have also made this using a pre-made frozen whole spelt crust. If using a frozen crust, thaw for 20 minutes. Then poke holes with a fork along the bottom and sides. Pre-bake for 5 mins at 350F.
  • This pie tastes even better the next day, after letting it sit in the fridge overnight. So if you have the time, make it the day before you want to serve it.
  • You can also place pecans along the bottom of the crust, before you add the filling, to make it even more decadent.
  • Serve with coconut milk whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.
  • This pie was my favourite winner of the 2012 pumpkin pie showdown! My second favourite filling uses tofu and is in that pie showdown post as well. I'll do a revisit of it as well, soon enough :)

♥♥♥Enjoy!