Most days I go into the kitchen armed with my ingredients and plan of attack, and everything turns out beautifully. Then there are other times that the ideas in my head don’t seem to work out and I am forced to make things up as I go. Throwing food away is terrible for my budget, so it is a last resort. Thankfully we have a dog who is always willing to clean up my mistakes.
It so happens that recently I had set out to make some raw carrot cake bites for a friend who absolutely loves carrot cake but wants to be able to enjoy it in a healthy way. After about 15 minutes of blending various amounts of ingredients in my food processor, I couldn’t for the life of me get the dough to form into a beautiful, moldable ball like it does for my Hemp Brownie Bites! The mixture itself had a mildly sweet carrot flavor (egg-free batter tasting for the win!). In a last ditch effort to save the batter, I decide to bake it and see what happened.
The results were quite tasty! Soft and moist, these little bars taste like a cross between oatmeal and carrot cake without the sugar hang over. With a base of oats, dates, hemp seeds, and carrots, the fiber and nutrient content is quite impressive. You can read more about oats, dates, and hemp seeds by clicking the hyper-links which will take you to more recipe posts utilizing those ingredients as well as information about their many health benefits.
Now let’s look at the nutrition profile of carrots.
Carrots: Most well known for their high carotenoid content, including beta-carotene, long term studies have shown that carrots are protective agains cardio vascular disease. Recent research has spotlighted the ability of carrots’ varied phytonutrients to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells. Carrots are also widely known to support eye health by protecting against glaucoma due to their high vitamin A content.
Healthy Carrot Cake Bites
- 3/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1+3/4 gluten free rolled oats
- 1+1/2 cup hemp hearts
- 1 TBS applesauce
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Optional for topping: shredded unsweetened coconut, crushed walnuts
- Preheat oven to 375
- Line an 8×8 square glass baking dish with parchment paper
- Place all the ingredients in the food processor and blend until a fairly smooth batter forms. You may mix in some nuts by hand at the end if you wish.
- Pour batter into baking dish and smooth out using a spatula. Sprinkle the top with shredded coconut and crushed nuts, if you wish, pressing the toppings down into the batter.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until the top is firm to the touch.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes and cut into bars. Cut into larger bars for breakfast sized portions or into smaller bars for snacks. Makes anywhere from 6-18 bars depending on how you cut them. Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for 3-5 days.
What do you do when a dish you’re making doesn’t turn out as expected? Do you try to save it or toss it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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