Made with organic soybeans, fresh and local Ingredients

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ooooh--carrot cake!

by Francine

photo via grasshoppersdistribution.com
Ok, so carrot cake is one of my mostest favorite things. Since the very first time I tasted a piece from a bakery on Castro St. many years ago. The cream cheese icing knocked me out. In fact, a piece of that cake and a cup of coffee was a treat I looked forward to at least once a week. A ritual of sorts--often enjoyed solo, but sometimes with a very special friend.

Now even then I knew the cream cheese was perhaps not the healthiest thing in the world. But what does it matter when you're having fun, right? Just like a kiss that can never be exactly as it was that first time when it knocked your socks off, I'm not sure I ever matched that particular carrot cake--in spite of all the ones I've consumed (with delight) since that one.

So speaking of delight, imagine mine when I came across this little gem from our dear friend, Louise Hagler, in her book, Tofu Cookery. No cream cheese in the "Creamy Glaze Topping." Just cream cheese.

The walnuts in this recipe are loaded with goodness (taste-wise and health-wise). A symbol of intellectuality since ancient times (maybe because the two halves of a walnut together look amazingly like a brain!), this tasty nut is teeming with Omega. And by now you know that is a very good thing. Take a look at this from nutrition-and-you.com:

"Regular intake of walnuts in the diet helps to lower total as well as LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increases HDL or "good cholesterol" levels in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile."

Ok, now that you know how good walnuts are and you already know how delicious and nutritious raisins are (think iron), let's delve into Louise's recipe:

Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together dry ingredients:
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (Louise recommends unbleached white, but I always use whole wheat--organic, please)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

Mix well in a separate bowl:
1/2 lbs. tofu, blended until smooth
1 lb. carrots, grated (4 1/2 - 5 cups) (incidentally carrots are one of the veggies that really should be organic)
3/4 cup oil (canola is fine)
2 cups light brown sugar (or 2/3 this amount of Agave)
1 TB vanilla
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate

Add dry ingredients to the wet ones. Stir until all dry parts are moistened. 

Fold in:
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup raisins

Oil and flour the pan. Bake for 45 minutes. When cool, top with Creamy Glaze Topping (recipe directly below)

Creamy Glaze Topping
Blend in a blender until smooth and creamy:
1/2 lb. tofu
1 TB oil
1 TB lemon juice
3 TB honey 
1/4 tsp salt


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