What's up doc? We've got a healthy carrot cake recipe that you'll enjoy down to the last crumb.
Carrot cake is one of those desserts that you pass up as kid. ("What do you *mean* this cake has vegetables?) As you grow into adulthood, though, time really teaches you the wonders of cream cheese icing. And now, thanks to the brilliant minds of chefs Mia Rigden and Jenny Dorsey—hosts of Well+Good’s Alt-Baking Bootcamp—your veggie-packed treat is getting the low-glycemic, gluten-free treatment.
On the most recent episode of Alt-Baking Bootcamp, Rigden and Dorsey take the core ingredients of baking a cake ("Sugar. Butter, Flour.") and swap them with their gluten-friendly-friendly, dairy-free, and sugar-free counterparts (almond and quinoa flour, coconut milk and cashews, and maple syrup, respectively). The end result is a beautiful baked good that maintains the hearty, earthy, and spicy flavors that draw you to a carrot cake—but with a healthier twist.
The almond-quinoa flour mix, for example, makes the recipe higher in protein and friendly to any gluten-intolerant or celiacs you might be sharing your quarantine castle with right now. And, as Rigden points out, the carrots themselves do a lot of nutritional work: They pack beta-carotene, a pigment that's the precursor to vitamin A (which has been found to improve eyesight).
The batter also gets its sweetness from maple syrup, which is lower on the glycemic index (a measurement used to determine how certain foods will affect your blood sugar levels). This is nutrition jargon that basically means you can have your cake, and not get an energy crash, too. "It's the perfect amount of sweetness," says Rigden. "It definitely feels like a dessert, but I could totally have this with some coffee in the morning."
I, for one, say, "Eat your cake at breakfast"—but to do so, you'll need to check out the full recipe in the video above.
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