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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!

Vegan Ramen with Brown Rice Noodles

Oh mama.

First, just to clear the air - I have never actually had a bowl of real ramen. Yes, I've had the packaged instant ramen noodles back in the day. Does anyone else remember that terrifying phase in the 90s where kids just ate crunchy ramen noodles out the bag at lunchtime? Though I was sad at the time, looking back now, I am so glad my mom wouldn't let us do that. And I've had some fish or veggie ramen out at restaurants before, and they've been wonderful. But I have never had a bowl of delicious, high quality ramen out a good Japanese place or ramen shop - here in Canada, or when I was in Japan.

But don't worry. My guy T, who has indeed tried and loved many a real ramen in his day, loves this version just as much. So do I. I bet you will too.

It's super quick to make, very warming and satisfying on a cool winter evening, you can use up all the odds and ends kind of veggies in your fridge, and really let's be honest: eating squiggly noodles is just fun.

Vegan Ramen (with Brown Rice & Millet Noodles)

for two.

Ingredients

  • 2 packages of brown rice ramen noodles. I use this one here, by lotus foods. FYI - they have it at Costco - a 10 pack for around $10 <3
  • 4 - 6 cups of water, or soup stock (we like a lot of broth with our noodles, so we use 6 cups)
  • Veggies of choice. We love: thinly sliced daikon or turnips, carrots, mushrooms of any kind, broccoli, greens - especially cabbage, and green onions.
  • Protein of choice: chickpeas, or some tofu are delicious. Sauteed tempeh would also be mega-yum.
  • lemon juice or vinegar.
  • 3 tsp miso paste of choice (we rotate through mugi miso, a millet miso I picked up, and brown rice miso) OR 1 tbsp shoyu.
  • some spice, if you like it hot: chili pepper flakes, a dash of cayenne, some grated fresh ginger
  • dash of nori flakes or other seaweed flakes.

Directions

  1. Heat up a dash of toasted sesame oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Saute your veggies, starting with the green onions (you can add a pinch of salt), and then add the rest one at at time, starting with the thicker or longer cooking veggies first. Leave out the greens to add in later (unless you're using cabbage, if so, throw them in now).
  3. If using tofu, add it in now and saute for a richer flavour. You can also throw it in later.
  4. Add in soup stock / water.
  5. Bring to boil, and let simmer with the lid on until veggies are fairly tender. If you slice your veggies thinly, then probably around 10 - 15 minutes.
  6. Somewhere along the way, add in a squeeze of lemon, or a dash of brown rice vinegar, and any spices you desire. If using shoyu rather than miso, add the shoyu in now.
  7. Add in sliced greens, and the ramen noodles, and let simmer for about 4 minutes (as per package instructions).
  8. If using Miso, after you put the noodles in, stir your miso with a bit of water or some stock, and add to the pot. let simmer on low (not boiling) for about 4 minutes.
  9. I usually throw in some seaweed flakes near the end, after the noodles are added.
  10.  Enjoy! I like mine with a fresh squeeze of lemon or lime.

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!!

 

MacroTreatFriday (MTF): Pumpkiney, pumpkin, pumpkin!

Hi there sweet friends,

If you read anything related to food, no doubt you've been swarmed lately with pumpkin everything. Drinks, treats, soups, casseroles, you name it. I can't really say I'm that sad about it. I do love pumpkin in cooking and in baking. I use pumpkin year round, but there is something extra lovely about it, at this time of year.

So, without further ado, this Macro Treat Friday post is a Dainty Pig round-up of all things to do with pumpkin, that I have posted on the blog over the years.

MTF: Dainty Pig Macrobiotic Pumpkin Recipe Round-up

Get your oven mitts out, crank up the music, and put your apron on :)

ALL of these treats are vegan, whole-food based and use natural ingredients. Most are gluten free friendly, and are in tune with Macrobiotic principles.

 

Dainty Pig Pumpkin Pie

RECIPE HERE

Crustless 10 Minute Macro Pumpkin Pie

pumpkinpie2.jpg

RECIPE HERE

Chocolate Chip & Pecan Pumpkin Oat Cookies

RECIPE HERE

Baked Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins

RECIPE HERE

Pumpkin Pudding / Custard

RECIPE HERE

Easiest Pumpkin Spice Cookies Ever

RECIPE HERE

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

RECIPE HERE

Pumpkin Oatmeal Carrot Cake

RECIPE HERE

And, I also have a whole bunch of tips and tricks for selecting winter squash, the differences in the types, how to perfectly bake squash every time, and some recipes using all kinds of winter squash in your meals.

Winter Squash How-To Guide

CLICK HERE for TIPS & WINTER SQUASH RECIPES

 

Also, I am super happy to announce that I'll be teaching another class next week, Friday the 26th, at Templed Mind, on Macrobiotic Sweets - finding sweetness within the Macro lifestyle, and how to make some tasty treats - great tips for the upcoming holidays. Class info is HERE. Hope to see you there!

What's your favourite PUMPKIN treat?

Happy day, weekend, baking, life, you name it.
Sending some love your way.

xo jess
 

 

 

MTF: Gluten Free Tahini Cookies

Hi Friends,

It's Friday...yipee!

It's been a busy start to the Month, and so today I'm sharing with you a repeat (reEAT more like it) recipe for MacroTreat Friday!

MTF: Gluten Free Macrobiotic Tahini Cookies

I made THIS RECIPE that I posted awhile ago...but I used tahini in place of the sunflower seed butter. Super yum! Tahini almost tastes like peanut butter. Truth.

To make them gluten free, use gf oat flour. I used all oat flour, and no oat flakes this time, and these cookies were way to easy to make (mere minutes), and even easier to eat!

I put a few dark chocolate chips in some, and left some plain.

They go perfect with a chai tea, and a reading nook in the sun! yum <3

Happy happy day, friends!

MTF: Vegan Lemon + Raspberry "Cheesecake" {raw}

It was my birthday this week (29th birthday), and to celebrate I wanted to indulge my recent random craving for something cheese-cake-ey. Usually I'm all up in the chocolate cake for my birthday, but not this year.

I have had delicious and wonderful baked tofu cheesecakes before, but I wanted something super dense and rich, and didn't feel like using the oven.

So, with the help of the handy vitamix I was able to borrow (pretty wicked machine - don't want to give it back) , this delicious cake was born, and the recipe was destined for a MacroTreat Friday (MTF) post.

I'm not usually so into raw desserts as I find they can sit quite heavy, but raw cheesecakes can be pretty divine once in awhile. This one held up to all my expectations <3

MTF: Raw Lemon + Raspberry Cheesecake

This is a tart and fresh, yet superbly decadent treat. If you're craving something dense like a cheesecake, and you love lemon - you'll love this recipe. It's not super sweet, so play around with adding in some more maple syrup if desired. I'd recommend serving with some ginger tea :)

* Largely Inspired by + Modified from a combination of this recipe and this recipe and another from one of my cookbooks :)

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2/3 cup almonds
  • 2/3 cup hemp hearts or walnuts (I used hemp hearts)
  • 1 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil

Lemon Filling

  • 2.5 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener of choice)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened coconut out of a carton) + a bit more
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (if you love lemon as much as me, add in even more!)
  • 3 TBSP coconut butter
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • zest of one lemon

Raspberry Swirl

  • 1/2 - 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Make the crust: In a highspeed blender or food processor, combine the almonds and hemp hearts until they are crumbly (not butter). Add in the maple syrup and coconut oil, and blend again until combined.
  2. Line a 6" tart pan or springform with parchment paper.
  3. Press crust into bottom of pan.
  4. Make filling: Drain and rinse soaked cashews. Add to blender, along with all of the other filling ingredients, and process until very smooth. Add a little more milk if needed (I ended up adding about 2 TBSP more).
  5. Pour onto crust.
  6. Make Raspberry swirl: add in all ingredients to blender, and blend until smooth. Pour on top of cake, and using a fork, swirl it around to combine. If you use less raspberries, you'll get more of a swirl look. I used quite a few (yum!) so I ended up with a pink layer.
  7. Put into fridge overnight. If you have toothpicks, I'd recommend putting a few in around the edges and covering with plastic wrap. You can also place in the freezer to set faster - I'd guess about 4 hours or so. [in the end I put mine in the freezer to firm up, it wasn't quite as solid as I wanted the next morning].
  8. Bring out of fridge or freezer and let sit for about 15 minutes before you cut + serve.
  9. Enjoy!

It was really, really good, and hit my lemon + berry craving straight on the nose.

Do you like raw or vegan cheesecakes? What's your favourite recipe?
Have a great weekend, friends!
xoxo Jess

MacroTreat Friday: Creamy Dreamy Golden Milk

Hi Friends,

It's Friday! This weeks' treat is a little unusual - no cookies or muffins or squares or cakes (don't worry, soon enough more of those yummies coming your way!). Instead, this week's treat is a golden-ey delicious paste that you can add to a milk of choice, and heat up for a little bed time treat.

This is a treat for your body, and has the bonus of making your house smell wonderful, whenever you make it!

MTF: Golden Milk [aka tumeric milk]

 It was SO pretty to make!

It was SO pretty to make!

Tumeric has been touted for centuries for it's healing properties, and perhaps is most known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

I could go on & on about the wonderfulness that is tumeric, but you can learn more here, and also here. And here too,

I don't use too many spices that often in my cooking, but I do enjoy tumeric from time to time in lentil dahl, a tofu scramble, or even the occasional smoothie. Somewhere along the way though, I read about tumeric being great for sleep...and I've seen many tumeric milk recipes floating around, so I decided to try it out. Basically it's a way to amp up that warm milk + honey you might have occasionally before bedtime. I combined multiple recipes floating around to try it out at home, and it turned out super nicely :)

STEP #1:  First, let's make tumeric paste!

||| BE WARNED: TUMERIC stains stuff...so don't cook this on too high of a temperature, and if you use a wooden spoon, expect it to be yellow after...also, it can stain stovetops and countertops too - so wipe up any bubbles or spills ASAP. And wear an apron too! |||

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tumeric powder (get a high quality brand, organic if possible).
  • a few grinds of a black pepper mill (optional, but the combo with tumeric is supposed to make cucurmin (the active component in tumeric) more bio available)

Directions

  1. Add water to a small saucepan.
  2. Stir in tumeric.
  3. Cook over medium - low heat for about 7-8 minutes. Stir frequently while cooking. You want the paste to be a nice paste that is quite runny - not super chunky - so you may need to add in a bit more water. Watch for it bubbling over.
  4. Store in a sealed glass jar in the fridge (wait until it's cooled to put in fridge).
  5. Mine lasted ~2 weeks until it separated (not sure just how long it'll last, but I would imagine about this time length).

STEP #2: Use Tumeric Paste to make GOLDEN MILK

Serves 1.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk of choice (I've tried with rice and almond).
  • optional sweetener to taste (I'd say between 1tsp - 1 TBSP pure maple syrup or honey).
  • 1 heaping tsp of tumeric paste
  • 1 tsp high quality vegetable oil, such as sesame (optional, but also increases absorption)
  • pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  1. Add about 1 cup of milk of choice to a small saucepan , and stir in a heaping teaspoon of tumeric paste.
  2. Heat on stove over over medium - low. Stir often.
  3. Once tumeric paste is completely dissolved, add in oil (if using). If using maple syrup as a sweetener, stir into milk as well.
  4. Bring to almost boil.
  5. Remove from heat, let cool slightly and enjoy! Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, if you like.
  6. *If using honey as a sweetener, I'd stir it in after you've removed from heat.

I found this to be incredibly relaxing and very enjoyable in the evening, before bed, especially when it's a bit chilly out. My guy T came over and needed a taste, because the smell of it all warming up on the stove was just TOO good. He now enjoys his own from time to time :)

I haven't done so yet, but I imagine this paste would be a killer addition to any kind of lentil stew, or curry, or stirfry!

Do you use tumeric in your cooking? Have you tried golden milk before?

MTF: Vegan & Macrobiotic friendly Chocolate Bundt Cake

It's good. It's really good. It's for sure Macro Treat Friday (MTF) approved.

Enough said.

MTF: Chocolate Bundt Cake // vegan & macrobiotic friendly

This cake got the 2 thumbs up from T, who enjoys cake that tastes more like cake than something really healthy. I was super happy because the texture reminded me of a cake we enjoyed as a family when I was growing up. It felt truly, like a treat. In any case, it's chocolate cake. It's good. There is a fair amount less oil and sugar (in fact, no sugar, just maple syrup) than traditional chocolate bundt cakes, making it more macrobiotic friendly, and of course it's vegan. This is a great cake for special occasions!  If you don't have a bundt pan, don't worry, you can also bake this in a "9 x 13" inch pan too.

Ingredients

Dry

  • 3 cups flour [ I've used whole sprouted spelt flour, and whole wheat pastry flour - the whole wheat pastry flour was my favourite of the two, but both were good, and I want to try it with whole spelt pastry flour next ]
  • 3/4 cup natural cocoa (non-alkalized)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Wet

  • 2/3 cup brewed coffee (or grain coffee, or water)
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 3/4 cup oil. I used sunflower (and I also tried with 1/2 sesame & 1/4 EVO blend), but avocado or grapeseed would be good too.
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla

Optional (but highly recommended)

  • 1/2  to 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2  to 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350F. Oil a bundt pan. Feel free to lightly flour or cocoa the pan as well (I haven't tried that yet).
  2. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix wet together, and add to dry.
  4. Stir together until just combined. It'll be a really runny batter, but don't worry, and don't overmix :) lightly stir in the nuts and chocolate chips, if using.
  5. Bake for 45 - 55 minutes. Check with a toothpick at 45 - mine usually takes 55.
    If baking in a 9 X 13 dish, it will take less time - check at 30 minutes, if not before.
  6. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before inverting (says the directions that came with my bundt pan)...but I've read that it's best to place the bundt pan on a wire rack, let it cool completely, then tap a few times before inverting.
  7. If you desire, you can try some of the frosting suggestions below! I have enjoyed it both with, and without frosting.

Frosting

Option 1: Coconut Whipped Cream - I followed these steps HERE

  • this is what I used as it is simple, and not so sweet, so I could dress the cake up with berries

Option 2:  TOFU WHIPPED CREAM

  • Using an immersion blender, blend 2 package of lite silken tofu with 4 TBSP maple syrup, and 2 tsp vanilla until very smooth. Place in the fridge for a few hours to let it firm up. I haven't used this on the cake yet (but I have on other treats), so you might need to make even more to cover the whole cake.

Option 3: CHOCOLATE GLAZE

  • Melt 4 oz. very dark or semisweet chocolate in a double boiler with a tablespoon of coconut oil.
  • When melted, pour into bowl and add in 6 TBSP coconut milk, brewed coffee, or almond milk
  • Add in 1 tsp vanilla, and up to 1.5 cups of confectioners sugar (to sweetness). I have made once before, my own "maple sugar icing sugar" by blending in a highspeed blender maple sugar until really fine and powdery. It worked - not quite as well, but it did.
  • Pour over cake / spread over cake while while glaze is warm. Let glaze cool and harden before serving.
  • This one is straight up delicious - but very intense - decadent, sweet and rich.

 

Now...Celebrate!!
Buy some berries and perhaps some vegan icecream, make some cake, invite some friends over, and sit outside while you celebrate the wonderfulness of life, and enjoy your treat  <3