Carrot Squares with Cashew Cream Frosting

How do you make your carrot cake?
There are many different approaches to creating a delicious carrot cake. Some say it’s all in the cream cheese frosting, others like adding raisins or pineapple to their cake batter.
After looking through some of my older cookbooks, a lot of the recipes revealed adding lots of refined sugar, white flours, shortening and/or vegetable oils to make the cakes more moist and flavourable.
I recently discovered adding pineapple to carrot cake and I think it’s a genius idea. What I don’t enjoy is the texture of raisins in a carrot cake. Raisins, in my opinion, don’t belong in cakes.
Since I indulged on the weekend with deep fried Latin American cuisine (so worth it though). I figured I might as well make something healthier to indulge throughout the week, and need to give myself a little break.
I am not going to lie, I’m going to continue to grab a sugary sweet, once in a while, but if I can assemble a dessert using a vegan method I’d prefer to go with that option. I am trying to be more mindful of what I eat (really I am) because the holidays are fast approaching and I know that means cookie exchanges and more pumpkin desserts!!! Yikes!!!
So here is my recipe for Carrot Squares with Cashew Cream Frosting (I opted for squares because you can eat more of this dessert this way, and trust me you will be).

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This recipe is slightly adapted from This Rawsome Vegan Life

To make the cashew cream frosting:
Ingredients:

-1 cup raw cashews
-1/4 cup of water
-3 tablespoons of maple syrup
-1 tsp vanilla powder
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-1/3 cup coconut oil
blend all ingredients in your Vitamix blender or food processor until smooth. Put in a bowl and set aside.

To make the cake:
Ingredients:

-2 1/2 cup shredded carrots
– 1 cup raw walnuts
-12 dates
-14 dried pineapple chunks
-1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
-1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

Shred the carrots and remove the excess water from them by squeezing the shredded carrots in a cheese cloth or clean tea towel. Place carrots in a bowl and set aside.
Then throw all the remaining ingredients in your food processor and pulse until the mixture sticks together.
Now add in the shredded carrots and pulse a bit more.

Assembly:
Line a square shaped pan with parchment paper.
Press the cake mix into a square shaped pan.
Then spread on the frosting. Garnish with whatever you like (I chose crushed pistachios).
Put it in the freezer until the layer of frosting is hard.

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When ready to serve take out and let thaw for 10 minutes and sprinkle with cinnamon (optional)

Enjoy!

Raw Chocolate Truffles

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You are going to love these truffles. They are super rich, so you’ll only want to indulge in couple at a time.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup coconut oil and/or 3 chucks cacao butter
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp Maca powder (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla power or vanilla extract

Coating for truffles
-cinnamon
-lavender
-shredded coconut
-chopped nuts
-cacao powder

Place coconut oil and/or cacao butter in a large heat resistant bowl and submerge in a pot of hot water and wait until it melts.

Once coconut oil/caco butter is melted, add the agave, maple syrup, cacao powder, maca and vanilla powder. Mix until well combined.

Place the mixture into the fridge for about 30 minutes or 15 minutes in the freezer.

Put your choice of coating for the truffles on a plate. (I used a combo of cinnamonn mixed with cacao powder and some lavender)

Take the bowl out of the fridge and take a tablespoon and scoop amount of the cacao mixture and roll in between palms until you get a smooth ball then roll in your choice coating until completely covered.
Put truffles in the freezer. Take out 10 minutes prior to serving.

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You may be thinking, what on earth is Maca, right?

Maca is a root found in the mountains of Peru. It belongs to the radish familia.

Benefits:
-Are you constantly tired? Well Maca may increase your energy levels within days

-Problem skin like acne and blemishes? Maca can clear it up!

-Controls harmones! Hello!?!…which woman doesn’t experience menstrual pain, menopause, cramps, hot flashes, mood swings and anxiety! Well Maca is going to relieve those symptoms!

-Natural Viagra!
Forget the blue pill. Go all natural and consume some Maca. It will be sure to increase your libido.

How do I consume Maca?

Well you don’t need to use too much…1 tablespoon per day is enough.
Sure the taste is something one needs to acquire to.
So add it to your dishes, smoothies, juices, teas, pudding, salads.
Fact: Maca should not be added to anything very hot, as it loses all its benefits!

So go out and purchase some Maca!

Epicure Fall Goodies

So my friend, Lesley, shared some Epicure goodies with me. I immediately fell in love with all the products she purchased. The perfect spices and sugars for the autumn season. Hello!!! Pumpkin Pie, Chai and Gingerbread all scream thanksgiving and enough to lead you into Christmas. The endless possibilities of recipes that you can use these spices in.

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The sugar grinders are a perfect touch to add to your tea latte!

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Really what’s there not to like about Epicure’s products, they’re 100% Canadian, family owned and a women-led company! Sold!
Oh wait…there is two more fantastic features to these products they’re gluten-free AND contain no sodium.

Mini Apple Cashew Maple Cream Tarts

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Recently I went apple picking at Orchalaw Farms . I picked some great tasting Cortland and Macintosh apples.
The goal is to use the apples and make some dessert for Thanksgiving. After some thought, I figured since I’m going to be eating lots of turkey, why not have a healthier dessert to follow the heavy meal. I decided to make one of the recipes created by Joy McCarthy of Joyous Health
20131007-222043.jpgThe crust is made up of walnuts, dates and coconut flakes. I mixed these ingredients in a food processor and distributed them in five mini tart pans (or alternatively use one large tart pan).

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Then I layered the maple cream over the tart crusts. The cream is made up of cashews, maple syrup, and coconut milk. I blended it in my Vitamix blender, but one can also achieve the same creaminess in a food processor. Once the maple cream is ready, layer over the crust and set aside in the fridge.

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On a large frying pan, melt coconut oil and sauté thinly sliced apples until soft.

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20131007-223551.jpgSprinkle and coat cinnamon over the warm apples and drizzle the maple syrup.
Arrange over the maple cream tarts.
Serve warm or place in fridge until ready to serve.
Everyone will be sure to love this dessert!