Cake that’s actually good for you! No, you’re not dreaming. It’s a dream come true! Yes, it’s delicious, and yes it’s high in lots of important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene, and protein, and yes, it’s low calorie—for a dessert. I am so happy that I have something so yummy that I can have a small piece of every other day or so and it actually works with my body building diet!
I developed this recipe for myself, mostly for sharing at family get- togethers and dinner parties. Now I will have a vegan, lower calorie, higher protein option so that I won’t have to refuse to share dessert with family and friends because I don’t want to wreck my progress as a body builder over one dessert. (Most desserts are ridiculously high in calories and have almost no protein). And I also feel good that my family will be enjoying a healthy version of a favorite treat.
To save even more calories, this recipe can be modified pretty easily, that’s why I listed the calories and protein content of each ingredient rather than simply giving you the calories and protein for a finished piece of cake. I also want to encourage you to get used to recognizing where calories and protein (as well as other nutrients) in your diet come from. It’s not “cake” per se that is bad—it’s some of the ingredients–even vegan cakes have too much sugar and flour usually. Everybody seems to know that sugar is bad for you, but only the gluten-intolerant are really aware of the dangers of flours. Once a grain is processed as much as it is to make a flour, it is pretty much unrecognizable to the body and gets turned into sugar and free radicals and fat in the body. This recipe uses almond meal instead of flour, which is simply ground up raw almonds, which is much easier for the body to digest and much higher in so many important nutrients. Nutrients, nutrients, nutrients—what about the calories? right? —well it’s also the portion sizes that have to be monitored. So, another option if you are really watching calories is to simply have a smaller piece with less topping. My sister likes to quote Heidi Klum who said “I don’t deprive myself of anything I want, I eat desserts, but I just have a bite.” It sounds much more amusing with the accent–you’ll just have to imagine. Well, Heidi could have more than just a bite of this cake and still be able to walk down the runway in her underwear. The serving size represented in this recipe is the size of the piece of cake pictured. This is the size that I would give to my husband. I might actually eat a piece half this size. Either way, it’s delicious and a huge hit in my house. Enjoy!
Carrot Cake Recipe:
3 cups grated Carrots (3 g protein, 120 calories)
1 cup Raisins (4 g protein, 493 calories)
1 banana (1 g protein, 100 calories)
2 cups chopped Walnuts (37 g protein, 1500 calories)
1 cup pureed Dates (3.6 g protein, 415 calories)
2 tsp Vanilla (24 calories)
1/2 cup Ground flax seeds (16 g protein, 448 calories)
1 tsp Nutmeg (14 calories)
2 tsp Cinnamon (6 calories)
1/4 tsp cloves (1 1/2 calories)
1 tsp powdered ginger (6 calories)
1 tsp allspice (5 calories)
1/4 cup Earth Balance (2 g protein, 45 calories)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder (4 calories)
3/4 cup Almond meal (18 g protein, 480 calories)
soy milk to moisten mixture (1.5 g protein per 1/4 cup, 17 calories per 1/4 cup)
Total for entire cake mixture: 86.1 g protein, 3,654.5 calories
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove Earth Balance from refrigerator and allow to soften. Grease baking pan with Earth Balance (I used a 9” X 13” pan, but you can use a smaller pan and have a thicker cake or a larger pan and have a thinner one). Puree walnuts until they are very small, but not quite a powder, then place in large mixing bowl. Puree half the carrots with all of the raisins, banana and dates in small batches with just enough soy milk to keep the mixture moist and moving in the blender. Place into mixing bowl with pureed walnuts. Add the rest of the grated carrots, vanilla, ground flax, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, baking soda, baking powder and almond meal and mix together with a mixing spoon. If Earth Balance is very soft, go ahead and add it. If it’s not softened, place 1/4 cup into the baking pan and put into oven and soften and then add to mixture and stir. Once mixed, taste and see if you might want to add more of any of the spices to get the exact flavor you like (some people like more cloves, some like more cinnamon, it’s vegan so it’s safe to taste and figure it out at this stage). Place into baking pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, checking for when you can insert and remove a smooth knife or skewer with nothing sticking to the blade. Let cool before adding the tofu cream cheese on top (if you don’t it will melt the topping and it won’t be as pretty).
Tofu cream cheese topping recipe:
1 package soft or silken tofu (24 g protein, 240 calories)
1/4 c cashews (7 g protein, 190 calories)
1-2 T soy milk (1 g protein, 10 calories)
1 T maple syrup (52 calories)
Total for mixture for topping: 32 g protein, 492 calories
Puree cashews until powdery. Place into mixing bowl and add tofu, soy milk and maple syrup and blend until creamy. Place into refrigerator and cool (it will thicken as it cools). Add to cake once it is adequately cool and thickened (may take an hour or longer).
Serves 10, so that’s 11.6 grams of protein and 413 calories per piece (cake and topping).
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