I had no excuse not to experiment in my kitchen while snowed this weekend thanks to good ol’ #Jonas. Luckily, I planned in advance and made sure to stock my pantry with plenty of healthy ingredients I could play with during the blizzard.
The first thing on my list was this carrot cake bites recipe I tried at Nama in London. The only problem was, I vowed to give up processed sugar in 2016, so I couldn’t totally copy the delicious recipe. I’m also in the 3rd week of the Clean Program, so even “healthy” sweeteners like maple syrup, agave nectar, brown rice syrup and honey were off limits. These boundaries forced me to get even more creative.
The result? Carrot Cake Snow Balls sweetened with coconut nectar and dates, two nutritious ingredients that are raw, vegan and gluten-free. They turned out so well they’re making me think I could get used to this whole no sugar thing.
Try them and let me know what you think!
* Platter by Terrafirma.
Carrot Cake Snow Balls
Serving: 1 dozen 1-inch balls
Total time: 15 minutes
½ cup cashews
12 pitted dried dates
½ teaspoon coconut nectar
1 ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 large carrots
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1. Pour shredded coconut onto a plate. Set aside.
2. Place nuts in a mini blender or food processor (I use the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Food Processor, 3-Cup) until finely ground and transfer to a medium size mixing bowl. Set aside.
3. Place dates in a blender (I use this Vitamix) and blend until ground. Add the ground nuts, maple syrup, cinnamon, cocoa powder and nutmeg to the dates and blend until everything is mixed together. Scrape the sides of the blender and re-blend if needed. Transfer mixture to mixing bowl.
4. Peel carrots and chop off one end. Holding the un-chopped end of one of the carrots, begin shredding with a small shredder, until the carrot is too small to continue shredding. Repeat with second carrot. Place carrots in your mini blender and blend until ground. Hand-mix carrots together with nut-date mixture until everything is combined.
5. Scoop one tablespoon of mixture into hands and roll into a ball between palms. Repeat with remaining mixture.
6. Roll carrot cake balls, one at a time, into the coconut until coated.