by Stacey Katlain
I love the simplicity of raw food. Not only is it genuinely difficult to mess up a raw food recipe, but there’s something slightly intuitive when it comes to the task of preparing a raw food dish. There are no ovens, pans, thermometers, or stoves involved. Which is great news, especially if you’re anything like my roommate who has a knack for starting fires in our kitchen. The ultimate Slow Food is whole food.
Eating raw is also a great way to support your local farmers, which is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint! For University of Oregon students this is incredibly easy. Not only are there a plethora of natural food stores in Eugene that carry local produce, but there are farmer’s markets that operate at several locations year round.
Nutritionally speaking, however, preparing raw allows you to maintain the naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in the food. This can be beneficial for a number of reasons including better digestion, assimilation, and elimination. The benefits of eating raw are numerous.
For those of you who enjoy juicing carrots, this recipe gives you something creative to do with your leftover pulp. If you don’t have a juicer, you can substitute the carrot pulp for shredded carrots; just be sure that you squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible using a towel or cheesecloth.
Carrot Cake Bites
serves apx. 6
½ cup walnuts
½ cup macadamia nuts
1 cup pitted dates
2 ½ cups carrot pulp
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
sprinkle of nutmeg
1 cup cashews, soaked 1+ hours
6 pitted dates, also soaked 1+ hours
Dash sea salt
1 tsp lemon juice
Begin by processing the dates, walnuts, and macadamia nuts in a food processor for about five minutes. After the mixture is thoroughly blended, add the carrot pulp, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Continue to process this until until it has taken the form of a smooth dough. The dates can make processing difficult because of their sticky texture, so you may need to mix it with a large spoon towards the end. Add the raisins here if you’d like. After everything is mixed, take the cake batter and place it in a separate dish so you can wash out your food processor to prepare the frosting.
Remove the cashews and dates from their soaking water. Blend them in your food processor with the salt and lemon until you reach your desired texture–my preference is a slightly chunky frosting. You can use water while the frosting is blending to make it smoother if you would rather make a more traditional frosting.
Roll the dough you set aside into little balls using a little extra cinnamon to hold them together. Then, using your thumb, make holes ¾ of the way down and fill with frosting. When you’re done forming your mini carrot cake bites, you should place them in the refrigerator for at least an hour so they can set.
That’s it! You can enjoy these tasty autumn treats any time of the day and they should store well in your refrigerator for about a week. Please feel free to comment or email with any feedback, suggestions, or questions! I’d love to hear from you.