I’ve had a hankering for carrot cake for some time now, but not being in the habit of making flour-based cakes, it got me thinking: what is the essence of carrot cake, if you take away the ‘cake’? What does carrot cake actually taste of?
Yes, yes, I know – it tastes of carrots… but there is so much more to this orange and white sweet treat. It’s such a tea-time favourite there is even a carrot cake day.
One of my favourite things about creating recipes that are both plant-based and whole (not to mention often raw) is figuring out how to make something that tastes just as good – or better – as the original version. And so, back to that essence. After some deliberation, I narrowed down the flavours of carrot cake to be:
- carrot (indeed)
- juicy dried fruit
- sweet and sharp.
And these are exactly the flavours rolled up into these delicious little bites! As you eat one straight from the freezer, close your eyes: I guarantee that you could be mistaken for thinking you are eating carrot cake ice cream. Mmm.
Because I’ve used a whole carrot in this recipe, the water content is higher than with other bliss balls, so that’s why these are best kept frozen. But oh are they delicious as chilled carrot cake treats! And if you fancy popping some in a little box for a handy on-the-go treat? They make a delightfully squishy fudge-like morsel.
How gorgeous would these look as a centrepiece for after-dinner coffee (or cocktails)?
As well as tasting wonderful, these zingy little bites are packed with goodness. Amongst other wonderful health benefits such as helping to keep your teeth healthy, carrots are bursting with beta carotene, which is great for your skin when converted to vitamin A. Did you know that walnuts are supposedly the king of nuts? They have higher levels of antioxidants than any other, so we should start chucking them in everything. And I’m back on those goji berries again… which make an exciting alternative to the traditional sultana in this take on the carrot cake.
Did I mention these are oil-free? The list of virtues is long, my friend…
Even better, these bites only take 10 minutes to make from just a handful of ingredients, so it’s time to get ballin’.
- 80g walnuts
- 1 small carrot, grated
- 7 dates, pitted
- Zest of 1 lemon (unwaxed)
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 15g dried fruit (goji berries, sour cherries or sultanas)
- 25g desiccated coconut
- Begin by blitzing the walnuts in a food processor until they form a powder (how chunky you want this to be is up to you).
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except the coconut, to the food processor and pulse on a slow speed until they all come together. Increase the speed to form a smoother paste.
- Taking a teaspoon of the carrot cake mixture at time, roll into balls using your hands and coat in the coconut.
- Place in the freezer until needed.