Eating good food is so important! Today’s ‘Real-Life’ recipe is a trusty, healthy vegetarian carrot cake recipe that I found years ago on the net. I regret that I didn’t write down the website where it was published, or who invented it – I only remember that the author’s name was Indian. If anyone knows where this recipe came from, please do comment and cite the original source! Since it’s such a good recipe, and since it was made public already, I dare to share it here even though I didn’t invent it.
We often call this carrot ‘snack’ cake, because it is more of a snack than a dessert. It is full of good, real food! The carrots and coconut make it high in fibre. The bananas (instead of egg) add protein and combined with the raisins, add natural sweetness (even if some of us prefer to pick them out). The peanut oil (instead of butter or shortening) is a healthy sort of oil that holds its ground in high heat. And the overall result is, well, flat – but not too heavy or dense – which is a good thing in a snack (in fact, it can be easily cut into ‘bars’). It will keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for three or four days, and it’s Real Food – so you can turn to it with the satisfaction that it’s both tasty and good for you! (Use whatever type of flour and raisins you have on hand.) Here it is:
Carrot Snack Cake
2 cups flour
2 cups grated carrots
½ cup dry, unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup raisins
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Mix the above dry ingredients in a big bowl. (No blender required for this recipe!)
2 big ripe bananas, mashed until ‘fluffy’ (small lumps are fine)
½ cup peanut (or other vegetable) oil
½ cup sugar (slightly less if white, loosely packed if brown)
a bit of milk, if needed
Mix the above wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Heat oven to 350°F. Gently and thoroughly mix dry and wet ingredients together – I use a fork. Add some milk if the batter is too tight (but it should remain pretty thick). Pour (or smear, actually) into a large buttered cake pan (8 1/2 by 12 inches. Mine is glass – the cake may bake more quickly in a metal pan.) Bake 35-40 minutes, until it is lightly browned around the edges and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool, and enjoy!
If you want to make a heftier snack out of this recipe, wait until the cake has completely cooled and spread it with cream cheese icing (!!). This takes away the low-fat benefits of the recipe . . . but adds a certain something to its rainy-day-treat quality!
Cream Cheese Icing
1 package cream cheese
¾ cup icing sugar
2 tsp. butter, softened
Cream together thoroughly and smear over your cooled cake. Yum!