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HEALTHIER CARROT CAKE (NATURALLY SWEETENED + WHOLE GRAIN)

It's the time of year that carrot cake recipes are springing up (pun intended) everywhere. There are so many fabulous versions of carrot cake, and each recipe brings something different to the table. FYI, I can't wait to try these bars drool.

I have previously shared Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting and Pumpkin Carrot Cake, and today I'm bringing you a healthy carrot cake recipe. Don't let the word healthy scare you off a this cake is loaded with flavor and topped with a honey-sweetened cream cheese frosting. For those times when you want cake but don't want to go up a pants size, this here is the cake for you.


Over the past couple years my view regarding what makes something healthy has changed. I am increasingly embracing the concept of eating real food.a Less processed and less refined foods and more whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, humanely raised meat, organic eggs and cheese, and natural sweeteners (maple syrup and honey). If you'd like to learn more about a real food diet,a here are some great resources: Michael Pollan, 100 Days of Real Food, Live Simply.

INGREDIENTS
CARROT CAKE:

  • 1 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted and cooled slightly (measure when solid)
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple drained

HONEY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • scant 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature (I used organic)
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts for topping (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
CAKE:

  1. Preheat oven to 350'F. Line a 9x9 square pan with foil and grease the foil.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl combine coconut oil, honey, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until the mixture is combined, being careful not to over mix. Add carrots, walnuts, and pineapple and stir until combined, again being careful not to over mix (that could lead to the cake being tough).
  4. Pour the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, until the top springs back when you touch it, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. ....................................


for full recipes please see : celebratingsweets.com

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