Saturday, April 7, 2012

Vegan carrot cake and crunchy sunbutter eggs

Veggie dogs love kale
The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a favorite Easter story of mine because one of my pups helped provide an updated version. The Tale of Peter Rabbit's Canine Partner in Crime begins when carrots began to go missing from our vegetable garden.

The radishes, lettuces, cucumbers, zucchinis, tomatoes were still in their rows but some of the carrots had been neatly plucked from the ground. Every day a few more carrots disappeared. It was time for some detective work. Was my husband doing a lot of snacking on carrots? Nope.

I was beginning to think it was a raccoon or other wild animal. That's when my masked bandit, Niki, a malamute mix, strode into the garden and started digging up carrots right in front of me. Just like Mr. McGregor, I yelled, "Stop thief!" Niki ignored me and kept on munching on carrots. I grabbed my rake to emphasize that I meant business. Niki decided to make a break for it. I don't think Niki had ever seen me that mad as I chased him down carrying and waving that rake. I nabbed him shortly afterwards, gave him an earful and put him in his pen as punishment.

The carrot thievery stopped after that; at least, so we thought. Turns out the "Masked Bandit" had found new opportunities in the form of our neighbors' garden. Niki had to learn his lesson the hard way when our neighbor fired a shot over his head. Niki came running back home faster than Peter Rabbit. He never went into "Mr. McGregor's" garden again and we did a lot of apologizing.

It's been many years since Niki was part of our lives but he still remains one of my favorite, all-time pooches. He was mischievous, loveable and a real carrot lover.

Misha eagerly grabs some celery

Misha and Nika, my current snow pups, are following in Niki's footsteps as veggie lovers but they have broadened out their veggie preferences beyond carrots. Kale is at the top of their list of favorites but just about any other veggie is fair game. Hopefully, they won't have any run-ins with the neighbors over helping themselves to garden veggies.

Nika and Bailey scope out some carrots
Even my cat Bailey likes to nibble on a veggie now and then. Okay, he mainly just likes to bat them around and off the counter to his partners-in-crime Misha, Nika and Kona. Yes, even Kona loves veggies.

Vegan Carrot Cake
When it comes to veggies, we humans love them too. What can be better than carrots in a Vegan Carrot Cake? (Note: This recipe is lower in carbs than traditional carrot cake recipes. You could cut the carb content even more by using stevia as the sole sweetener, replacing the OJ with water and subbing coconut flour or almond flour for part of the sorghum flour.)

  • 4 T. ground flax
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups sorghum flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
  • 2 tsps. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pumpkin seeds or walnuts
  • 1 cup tofu
  • 2 T. additional coconut oil
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 3-4 T. agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt cake pan or 13X9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl, stir together ground flax and OJ or water. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • In a large bowl, beat together sweeteners and oil until well combined. Beat in the flax mixture.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture, beating on low until just moistened. Stir in carrots, applesauce, coconut, seeds or nuts. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Place the cake on a wire rack and cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, combine the tofu, lemon juice, additional coconut oil, agave and vanilla in a high-speed blender for the "frosting" which is more like a pudding.
  • You can pour the frosting on the cooled cake or better yet, spoon some on a plate and place a piece of cake on top. Trust me. It's delish this way because you can dip each bite into the "frosting."

Crunchy sunbutter Easter eggs
Okay, these Crunchy Sunbutter Eggs don't contain any veggies but you've got to have chocolate for Easter.

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened sunbutter
  • 2 T. coconut nectar or agave
  • 1 tsp. flax or chia seed
  • 2 T. rice protein powder
  • 2 T. popped amaranth
  • 2 T. cacao nibs
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pop the amaranth by placing in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Shake the pan back and forth to prevent burning. Once the amaranth has popped, remove from the heat and place in a small bowl.
  • Prepare the sunbutter mixture in the food processor by combining sunbutter, protein powder, chia or flax, vanilla, sweetener. Mix in the nibs and popped amaranth.
  • Drop teaspoonsful of sunbutter mixture on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Shape into eggs.
  • Place in the freezer to harden.
  • Meantime, microwave the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Stir in the vanilla. Option: Make a sugar-free chocolate coating using 3 T. cacao powder, 1 T. coconut oil, vanilla and stevia. 
  • Once the eggs are chilled, dip them in the chocolate coating. Return to the wax paper to set.
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1 comment:

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