Carrot Cake

carrotcake

Today is my first-born’s 20th birthday! Sam is an exceptionally picky eater, which is a little frustrating because he wasn’t so fussy as a child. He used to eat many more vegetables than he ever would now, but he has always had an aversion to “wet” foods, as he would describe them. But one thing Sam has always loved is carrot cake. I found this healthier carrot cake recipe in a recent issue of Clean Eating magazine. After carefully reading through the ingredient list, I figured that this just might make it past Sam’s highly sensitive taste buds. He doesn’t always appreciate my attempts to make beloved recipes healthier, but I am hopeful that this one will be okay. Whether he likes it or not, I can tell already that I will love it! I will admit to licking the beaters after preparing the frosting, and it was delicious!

For the record, I substituted a gluten-free flour blend for the whole-wheat flour, because I do not have any wheat flour in the house at all. I also substituted sugar cane juice for the maple sugar, because I don’t have maple sugar either. Also, the recipe says to process the grated carrots in a food processor, but I skipped that step. Sam doesn’t seem to mind seeing the carrot in carrot cake. I don’t think those changes will make any major differences to taste or texture.

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Opposites

caprese nobake

These two items are completely opposite in nature, and that is okay with me!

First the caprese salad, which I am currently quite taken by. It is so simple and quick to make and tastes wonderful. Tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, a drizzle of olive oil, fresh ground pepper and coarse sea salt. Yum!

The second photo shows the ‘best ever chocolate oatmeal no-bake bars’ which I found at mommysavingmom.com. Again, this recipe is quick and simple and delicious. I left out the nuts, raisins or dried cranberries, more for my kids’ sakes than my own, although I would never add raisins anyway. I think dried cranberries would be very good in this though. I did not have quite enough peanut butter, so I used half peanut butter and half almond butter. I have a child who detests peanut butter, so I am waiting with bated breath to see if he will like these bars. Of course, he also is not a big chocolate-lover, so it might not really matter. And these bars are quite chocolaty! I think that I might use even more oats and coconut in the future to cut down on some of that chocolate goodness.

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

cupcake

This recipe comes from a site, The Healthy Chef, that I recently discovered via Facebook. Where various options were listed, I used avocado oil, 1% milk, and raw honey. The recipe makes 12 cupcakes, but I used a mini muffin pan (baked for only 20 minutes) and almost got 24.

Once the cupcakes were cool, I sampled one. I liked it. I think my kids might like them, although one is not a big chocolate fan and one is super picky. My daughter will like them, I’m sure. Mostly.

These cupcakes are not overly sweet on their own, but I can live with that. Even with the mini size, I found eating one to be quite satisfying. If the kids don’t like them, I can always throw them in the freezer and pull one out to enjoy from time to time.

Brownie Cupcakes

 

Here is another recipe from Damy Health. I used almond butter instead of the cashew butter, but I don’t think it really made a difference.

My non-chocolate loving son tried one before I got around to making the frosting. He did not like it, which isn’t so surprising since he doesn’t really like chocolate. He said they tasted too healthy. If he only knew!

My daughter tried one without frosting and couldn’t wait for one with frosting.

These brownies are small and rich without being overly sweet. I didn’t pile on the frosting, so there was a fair bit leftover.

Strawberry Kiwi Cheesecake

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I saw this recipe at Damy Health the other day and thought it would make a lovely dessert to celebrate my husband’s birthday today. Even though I did read through the recipe at least twice before I started, I still wound up making a mistake. I added the strawberry puree to the cheesecake ingredients instead of drizzling the puree on top, but I don’t think that was too terrible a mistake! The recipe says to freeze it overnight, which is what I did, however, I think you could just as easily cut the freeze time down to a couple of hours. Either way, this is delicious and tastes so fresh!

Double Chocolate Brownies

 

This is another wheat-free brownie recipe from Elana’s Pantry. I really enjoyed her brownie recipe that I blogged about last month, but that recipe requires an entire jar of almond butter and I am not prepared to go through that much almond butter on a regular basis.

I followed this recipe as it is written, although I would likely try substituting honey for the agave syrup and coconut oil for the grapeseed oil if I were to make it again. The only change I did make this time was to completely ignore the walnuts, because my kids tend to not like nuts in their brownies. I don’t mind nuts in my brownies, so that might be something else I would change-up in the future.

These brownies are very rich and gooey, kind of cake-like. While they are indeed delicious, I think I actually prefer the recipe with the almond butter.

Wheat-free Brownies

 

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So, my attempt at making a wheat-free shortbread did not go as hoped for. Live and learn!

On the other hand, these brownies are amazing! The recipe comes from Elana’s Pantry, which tends to be reliable when it comes to producing tasty, healthy wheat-free baking. The recipe is simple and easy to make, although it could be a little pricey because you need a lot of almond butter, like almost an entire small jar, which runs around $7-10 around here.

The good news is that this recipe fills a 9×13 pan. Also, you could play with the flavours by using different chocolate chips. I used a combination of white chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (not exactly the healthy choice but they work well enough for me). I used honey instead of the agave syrup.

I was surprised by how high the batter rose up while baking, and I also found that the brownies required the full 40 minutes of bake time. Even then, I think I could have baked them a bit longer, but the toothpick came out clean, so I pulled them out. They sank quite a bit as they cooled, but they still taste delicious. They are chewy, gooey, and you really don’t miss the flour at all!