Harvest Recipes for Mini-Carrot Cakes and Easy Curry Carrot Soup, Vegan and Gluten-Free

Delicious, Healthy Mini-Carrot Cakes- vegan (no eggs, no dairy) and gluten-free
Delicious, Healthy Mini-Carrot Cakes- vegan (no eggs, no dairy) and gluten-free | Source

Did you just eat the greatest gluten-free carrot cake and have a hankering to bake one yourself?

Did your neighbour serve you up a bowl of the most delicious curry carrot soup you've ever tasted-- and you're shy about asking for the recipe?

Well,you have come to the right place. My dear organic farmer son just delivered us piles of carrots and other root veggies. The carrots taste like the carrot from my childhood-- sweet and flavourful. I needed to find some great recipes. I did. I modified them so they would be Gluten-Free and vegan, and here they are!

Mini-Carrot-Cake Ingredients

Fresh organic carrots and other ingredients will amp up the flavour and nutrients of your recipe! Have all ingredients prepped and ready to go to make the baking experience a pleasant one.
Fresh organic carrots and other ingredients will amp up the flavour and nutrients of your recipe! Have all ingredients prepped and ready to go to make the baking experience a pleasant one. | Source

What do YOU know about Carrots?

Mini-Carrot-Cake Ingredients

A couple of tips about the (many) ingredients for these cakes:

  • If at all possible, go for the freshest organic ingredients you can find. As you can see, this is a healthy plant-based recipe jam-packed with fruits and veggies. If you can shop for fresh, organic and local ingredients for the fresh items here (carrots, apples) don't scrimp, and do purchase organic. There, that's my little blurb for Organic Week (September 20-27, 2014).
  • Organize everything in advance so the experience is similar to what you see in one of your fave cooking shows: clean off your counter, wash up your veggies, gather everything together that you need (the day before is a good time for an inventory of what you will need vs. sending the hubby out at the last minute to buy a ripe banana), measure, chop, grate, grind, and compartmentalize the stuff-- it will be fun and easy to put it together! There are a LOT of ingredients, but you'll feel like a Gourmet Chef when you take these babies out of the oven-- it's worth the extra time and trouble!
  • Make in advance: GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR BLEND for this recipe (double it if you are doubling the recipe): *3/4 C./96 g/3.38 oz Brown Rice Flour, *1/4 C/32 g/1.13 oz Potato Starch, *2 T/25 g Tapioca Flour, *2 T/25 g White Rice Flour, 1/4 tsp./.6 g Xanthan Gum. whisk together well. Store in a covered bowl in the fridge until needed.
  • I grind Flaxseed and Sunflower Seeds (separately) in a Coffee Bean Grinder before-hand-- you could also purchase ready-made flaxseed and sunflower seed (or almond) meal (see amounts below)
  1. 1 1/2 Flax Eggs (1 1/2 T./22 ml Flaxseed, ground; 4 T./60 ml/ 2 oz Water)
  2. 1/4 C/60 ml/2 fl. oz Coconut Oil, melted over hot water
  3. 1/2 Large, Very Ripe Banana, well-mashed
  4. 1/4 C/170 g/6 oz Maple Syrup
  5. 1 Sweet Apple, grated (or 1/2 C/170 g/6 oz unsweetened applesauce)
  6. 1/2 C/100 g/3.88 oz Coconut Sugar (or other dry sweetener of choice)
  7. 1/2 tsp/5 g Celtic Sea Salt
  8. 1 1/2 tsp./6 g Baking Soda
  9. 1/2 tsp/1 1/2 g Cinnamon
  10. 1/2 tsp/ 1 1/2 g Allspice (Optional)
  11. 1/2 C/115 g Almond Milk or Lite Coconut Milk, unsweetened
  12. 1 jam-packed C/220 g grated Carrot
  13. 2/3 C/60 g Gluten-free Rolled Oats and/or 1/4 C/19 g Coconut shreds, unsweetened
  14. 1/2 C/120 ml Sunflower Seed Meal (bought as meal or seeds ground in Coffee bean grinder)
  15. Gluten-Free Flour Blend (as measured out above)
  16. 1/4 C/28 g Raw Walnuts, chopped (for top of cakes)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/190 degrees Celsius
  2. Using some Coconut Oil on a piece of paper towel (my method-- you might have a different one),grease up a muffin tin with a dozen cups... or use a dozen muffin tin liners... or use silicone muffin pans with a dozen oversized cups-- this is what I used, and because one recipe only fills up half a cup, I call the resulting confection a mini-carrot cake (instead of a muffin). Yes, I know it's just semantics, and a mini-carrot cake by any other name tastes as sweet...

I love these silicone pans and use them for all my baking-- the baked stuff just pops out and they are easy to clean.  I oil them a little, even though that might not be necessary.  And I only fill these 1/2 full to make the GF mini-carrot-cakes
I love these silicone pans and use them for all my baking-- the baked stuff just pops out and they are easy to clean. I oil them a little, even though that might not be necessary. And I only fill these 1/2 full to make the GF mini-carrot-cakes | Source

3. Add the 1 1/2 Flax Eggs to the large mixing bowl that you will be using to combine all the ingredients. Notice how the flax eggs have a very similar viscosity as do hen's eggs. You may also use chia eggs (same method- 1 T. ground chia seeds to 4 T. water)

The flax egg is a very similar gel-like consistency as a hen's egg, but as a plant product it has NO cholesterol and healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids, fibre and various other nutrients. Likea hen's egg, a flax egg holds/binds the ingredients together.
The flax egg is a very similar gel-like consistency as a hen's egg, but as a plant product it has NO cholesterol and healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids, fibre and various other nutrients. Likea hen's egg, a flax egg holds/binds the ingredients together. | Source

4. To the Flax Egg, add the mashed 1/2 Banana, Maple Syrup (or Agave), and liquid Coconut Oil. Whisk to combine the ingredients.

Whisk the Mashed 1/2 Banana, Maple Syrup, and Liquid Coconut Oil into the Flax Egg.  This 1/4 C. of Oil is all that is in this recipe!
Whisk the Mashed 1/2 Banana, Maple Syrup, and Liquid Coconut Oil into the Flax Egg. This 1/4 C. of Oil is all that is in this recipe! | Source

5. Next add in the grated sweet apple (or apple sauce), coconut sugar (or other dry natural sweetener of choice), baking soda, Celtic Sea Salt, and spices- cinnamon and allspice (optional). Whisk everything together.

Combine and whisk together the grated apple, coconut sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices. The coconut sugar is low glycemic.  The Celtic Sea Salt has 80+ minerals you won't find in other table salt, and a little goes a long way for flavour!
Combine and whisk together the grated apple, coconut sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices. The coconut sugar is low glycemic. The Celtic Sea Salt has 80+ minerals you won't find in other table salt, and a little goes a long way for flavour! | Source

6. Add in the Almond Milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice) and whisk or stir together.

Add in the Almond Milk or other non-dairy milk.  You can make your own almond milk with a blender and a nut milk bag, but it is convenient to use ready-to-go store-bought.
Add in the Almond Milk or other non-dairy milk. You can make your own almond milk with a blender and a nut milk bag, but it is convenient to use ready-to-go store-bought. | Source

7. Add in the shredded carrots. Whisk or stir to combine.

Stirring in the carrots is likely easier than whisking (that usually results in a clump of stuff in the whisk).  Isn't that bright orange a beautiful addition? Eat your colours!
Stirring in the carrots is likely easier than whisking (that usually results in a clump of stuff in the whisk). Isn't that bright orange a beautiful addition? Eat your colours! | Source

8. Finally, stir in the oats, sunflower seed meal (or almond meal), coconut shreds, and GF flour mix.

Whisk up the flour mix-- use only GF Oats if you are sensitive or have coeliac disease.  There is no corn flour in this mix.  The protein in corn can sometimes be problematic for people with gluten sensitivity.
Whisk up the flour mix-- use only GF Oats if you are sensitive or have coeliac disease. There is no corn flour in this mix. The protein in corn can sometimes be problematic for people with gluten sensitivity. | Source

These delicious mini-carrot-cakes are only the tip of the iceberg where decadent, yummy, healthy vegan AND gluten-free baking is concerned! Don't be afraid to experiment!

Gotta love those Omega-3 packed walnuts!
Gotta love those Omega-3 packed walnuts! | Source
Ready to hit the oven, baby!
Ready to hit the oven, baby! | Source

9. Carefully divide your batter among the dozen (12) muffin cups. I personally prefer to diddle around by putting one tablespoon of batter in each of the 12, and doing that until all the batter is equally distributed. If you are using standard smaller muffin size cups you will likely have enough filling to reach the top of all the cups. If you using large muffin containers, like I did, you probably will only have enough for about a half of the cup, and this is where the name mini-carrot-cake originates! Don't they look more like cakes than muffins? (my husband still calls them muffins, but ah well...)

10. Press a sprinkling of chopped raw walnuts (optional) into the top of each mini-cake. Like the flax egg, the walnuts contain wonderful Omega-3 essential fatty acids that have been shown to be important in brain development and maintenance of mental wellbeing (no, I'm not a medical professional but I have cited a link to the appropriate study below1 A small handful of raw walnuts every day is a vegan's answer to fish oil.

11. Put the mini-cakes in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes to 40 minutes, depending on your oven. They should be a golden colour and the kitchen will be fragrant with spices! Use a toothpick to see if they are done or not.

12. Remove from the oven and let them sit for about 10 minutes before either removing them to a cooling rack or setting them on their sides in the muffin cups if they are in paper muffin cups. Gluten-free always means a few innovations on wheat baking, doesn't it? (Hang in there-- they REALLY are worth all this detail).

13. If you are using paper muffin cups, let the mini-carrot-cake cool totally before removing from the paper or you might end up with one of those disappointing mushy messes stuck to the paper. If you are using the silicone cups you can pop the whole mini-carrot-cake out while there is still some heat happening, but it is usually beneficial to cool the baking first before eating.

14. You could make a fancy white cream cheezy icing (there are recipes on the internet for vegan approximates of this) but in our house we find a nice tart jam like my ginger grape jam or the fresh fig jam really work a treat. Look to the sidebar for links to those recipes (try other fruits and spices using the same recipe-- they will all turn out gourmet-quality).

15. Although these little gems are healthier than a batch of chocolate chip cookies or brownies, and you scarf them all down in one sitting, just know that because of the rather intricate preparations required to bake them, you will not likely be making a batch of them every night. Enjoy!

Reference

1 Go to this link to find an article that cites several findings and studies related to the healthfulness of nuts, including brain development and wellness maintenance: http://www.independent.ie/life/food-drink/table-talk/nuts-are-the-perfect-brain-food-for-study-time-30281843.html

This carrot curry soup-- this silky, subtle, scented, sensuous, syncophant soup (okay, I just threw syncophant in there because I got carried away with the alliteration)-- is at once the perfect comfort food and a divine offering at a potluck.

As was the recipe for the mini-carrot-cakes, this soup recipe is both vegan and gluten-free, which means healing.

This particular recipe is much simpler than the recipe for the mini-carrot-cakes and I won't treat you to more out-of-focus huge screen shots set up to simulate a step-by-step 'tutorial'. And no poll asking if you are happy about this choice.

Ingredients for the Curry Carrot Soup - Eat Your Colours!
Ingredients for the Curry Carrot Soup - Eat Your Colours! | Source
veggie stir fry-- onions, peppers, curry spices
veggie stir fry-- onions, peppers, curry spices | Source

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 T. Coconut Oil
  2. 1 large Onion, chopped into small pieces
  3. 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped small
  4. 1 1/2 T. Curry Powder (or to taste)
  5. 1 thumb-sized raw Ginger, peeled and grated
  6. 3 large Carrots, peeled and chopped small
  7. 1 3/4 C. Water (or Vegetable Broth)
  8. 1 - 14 ounce can of Coconut Milk
  9. Celtic Sea Salt, to taste
  10. Black Pepper, freshly ground OR Cayenne sprinkle (optional garnish)
  11. Other spices and seasonings of choice (eg., cumin, turmeric, garlic etc.)

METHOD

  1. Sauté Onion and Bell Pepper in Coconut Oil until fragrant and translucent


The fragrant curry carrot soup simmering
The fragrant curry carrot soup simmering | Source
Warming Curry Carrot Soup
Warming Curry Carrot Soup | Source
  1. (Nothing like coconut oil to bring out that fragrance!)
  2. Stir in Curry Powder, Ginger and Carrots for about 2 or so minutes. *Picture shows grated carrots, but carrots chopped small give a much nicer texture to the finished soup.
  3. Add in Water or Vegetable Broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Put lid on pot and turn down to low setting, simmering for about 20 minutes until carrots are soft
  5. Remove from heat and allow the mix to cool considerably before transferring, with Coconut Milk and Sea Salt, to a blender carafe (or, alternately, using a stick blender in the soup pot)
  6. Do up the soup in a couple of turns if there is too much to safely do at once in the blender
  7. Serve hot with black pepper ground at time of presentation, or a sprinkle of cayenne.
  8. Enjoy this lovely warming soup!

Carrot Consumed aka 'CARROT CRAZY'

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Comments 15 comments

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

These recipes sound and look delicious! I love the fact that they are both vegan and gluten free. They are lovely recipes for fall or any other time. I'll share this hub.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

Lots of good stuff in these great recipes--thanks for sharing them with us for this fall season!


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Thank you for coming by with your gracious comments, and for sharing the hub, Linda! I love cooking and baking in the Fall more than any other time of the year. All the best! ~Cynthia

Hey RTalloni, you are most welcome! I'm sorry to say that the mini-carrot-cakes didn't last the day here because my hubby was looking for one for breakfast the next morning! I love harvest time (but am ever so grateful not to live on a working farm like I grew up on!). Have a great weekend! :) ~Cynthia


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Thank you for sharing these healthy recipes with such good instructions. I'll stick with the soup and leave the cake for the really skilled folk. Both seem tasty and nutritious. Voted Up!


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Thanks for your review, MsDora. You might want to amp up the spices in the soup (I think I will), but otherwise, how can you lose with fresh, ripe, veggies? Hope you're enjoying your weekend!


ecogranny profile image

ecogranny 2 years ago from San Francisco

I have yet to eat a vegan cake I enjoyed, but I haven't tried making them homemade either, and your mini carrot cakes look delicious! Even more so, your coconut curry carrot soup. I just had supper, and I'm wanting to taste it, all the same. Thank you for sharing your recipes. Love your tips for clearing the decks and laying all the ingredients out like the pros do. It makes cooking more fun, doesn't it?


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

How unique and so healthy. Pinning this to Yummy and Healthy!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Healthy and looks delicious, too.


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

ecogranny, I really get a lift from all the details you noticed in this hub-- they are delicious, I will admit, and there is something so worth it (feeling virtuous?) about making healthy stuff from scratch! Thanks for your kind words!

Thank you rebeccamealey for dropping by and noticing the healthy aspect of these recipes! I appreciate your pinning too!

FlourishAnyway, I thank you for your comments! Means a lot to me....


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 2 years ago

If you can make gluten free tasty I may be willing to give it a try.


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Thanks for dropping by, poetryman! I found these recipes pretty tasty-- I would recommend you give it a try! Let me know what you think after you've tried! ~Cynthia


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 23 months ago from the short journey

Think I'll try Curry Carrot Soup tomorrow with organic carrots I have on hand. Also, will be sharing this hub with a friend who's just been told she must eat GF for the rest of her life.


techygran profile image

techygran 23 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

RTalloni:

Thank you for the comments and the share with your friend! Organic makes the difference, as far as I'm concerned, between *okay* and *totally nourishing and delicious*. Hope it turns out well for you! ~Cynthia


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 23 months ago from Peru, South America

I love the sounds of these two delicious carrot-based recipes! I like that you make your own gluten-free flour blend. The mini cakes are nutrient-packed and I´m sure they´re delicious. I wish we had all the ingredients, but maybe I can find some substitute for xanthan gum? I wouldn´t know where to find it here in Peru, but I know it´s often used in gluten-free baking. I like the idea of topping them with your homemade jams, too. Thank you for sharing!


techygran profile image

techygran 23 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Hello vespawoolf:

I so appreciate your kind words about this recipe. I am happy to tell you that xanthan is not absolutely necessary in this or any GF recipe, in fact, some people are very sensitive to it (allergic). Leave it out of the flour mix and just remember to use a little extra flax (or chia) and water when you make the flax egg. Does chia seed grow in Peru? I'd go for that if it does. I prefer it to flax seed. I'm just considering the banana cake (with the streusel topping) as we speak! ~Cynthia

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