Raw carrot cake bites

  • 9

  • Prep time

    undefined 15'

  • Prep time

    undefined 135'

  • Prep time

    undefined

  • Prep time

    undefined

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  • 9

  • Prep time

    undefined 15'

  • Prep time

    undefined 135'

  • Prep time

    undefined

  • Prep time

    undefined

These no-bake carrot cake bites are so tasty, you almost won’t believe that they’re good for you! Featuring a wholesome chewy base topped with a creamy cashew layer, they make an ideal snack at any time of day. And we’ve added both sea buckthorn and camu camu powder to give our carrot cake bites a unique citrus twist. Of course, these functional foods bring plenty of extra nutritional benefits to the dish too.

The history of the humble carrot

Naturally, carrots are the key ingredient in these carrot cake bites. And while their vibrant orange hue is considered quintessential now, this popular root vegetable originally looked a little different. Wild carrots are generally pale yellow or purple, and topped with clusters of tiny white flowers. As well as being a different colour, they have a woodier taste than the varieties you’ll find in the supermarket.

Experts believe people began cultivating carrots in Persia over 1,000 years ago. Yet it was initially their aromatic leaves and seeds they were interested in, not the taproot we cook with today. Over time, growers selectively bred the vegetable to make the root larger, sweeter, and less woody. However, it wasn’t until approximately the 17th century that Dutch farmers created the classic orange variety we know and love. Although some claim they did so to honour the country’s royal family, others argue that there’s no convincing evidence of this.

You can eat carrots when they’re raw and crunchy, or boil, steam or roast them for a softer texture. It’s even possible to juice the vegetable. The relative sweetness of orange carrots also makes them a wonderful ingredient to use in desserts like these carrot cake bites. But they’re not popular for their taste and versatility alone – carrots are highly nutritious too. Let’s find out more.

Vision and beyond: the health benefits of carrots

You’ve probably heard the old wives’ tale that eating carrots helps you see in the dark. Interestingly, there is some truth to this. While tucking into carrot cake bites isn’t going to give you perfect night vision, the vegetable does support eye health. That’s because carrots are rich in carotenoids such as beta-carotene – which the body converts to vitamin A – and lutein. Studies show that consuming these carotenoids can protect our eyes and reduce the risk of conditions like age-related macular degeneration.(1)

It's worth noting that eating fat with carrots may help us to absorb more of the beta-carotene they contain.(2) That’s one of the reasons why we've included coconut oil in this carrot cake bites recipe.

Carrots are an excellent source of fibre too, which benefits our wellbeing in several ways. For example, the fibre in carrot cake bites can act as a prebiotic, nourishing the good bacteria in your gut.(3) This not only has a positive effect on digestion, but also immunity and brain health. The fibre in carrots may additionally work to improve cholesterol levels and support the health of your heart.

What’s more, carrots are bursting with key vitamins and minerals that play important roles in looking after our wellbeing. These include potassium – which helps to lower blood pressure – energy-enhancing B vitamins, and vitamin K. The latter is vital for blood clotting and bone health. That’s a lot of potential benefits you could gain by whipping up these carrot cake bites!

How to make our no-bake carrot cake bites

There are two layers in our carrot cake bites: the base and the cashew topping. To get started with the base, add a cup of shredded carrot to a blender or food processor. Pop the oats, almond flour, coconut flakes and raisins on top, then sprinkle in the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Next, add two tablespoons of sea buckthorn powder and two teaspoons of camu camu powder. Drizzle a little honey or agave nectar into the mix, then blend. Press your blended base into an even layer on the bottom of the lined cake pan and set it aside.

Now we move on to the cashew layer. Pop your raw soaked cashews, coconut milk, coconut oil, orange zest, and chosen sweetener into a blender. Feel free to use raw almond milk instead of coconut if you prefer. Sprinkle in a pinch of sea salt, and then blend until the mixture is velvety smooth and deliciously creamy. Depending on how sweet you want your carrot cake bites, you could add a touch more agave nectar to it.

Once you’re happy with the flavour, pour the cashew mixture over your base layer and use a spatula to spread it evenly into the corners. Dust a little sea buckthorn powder on top for decoration and a tangy burst of citrus. Pop the pan in the fridge for a minimum of three hours, before slicing the cake into small squares.

Your carrot cake bites are now ready to enjoy!

The splendid benefits of sea buckthorn

Sea buckthorn might not be a common ingredient for a carrot cake bites recipe, but trust us when we say it should be! These tiny, bright orange berries have a tart tropical flavour and very impressive nutritional profile. We do have a more detailed article about the health benefits of sea buckthorn, but here’s a quick overview of how it can boost wellness.

Like carrots, sea buckthorn is a fantastic source of beta-carotene. It’s rich in numerous other nutrients too, including potassium, folate, magnesium, vitamin E, and vitamin C.(4) These each have key roles to play in our wellbeing, making sea buckthorn a fabulous addition to carrot cake bites. For instance, vitamin C supports immunity, assists with wound healing, and is necessary for our bodies to produce collagen. Collagen is a protein found everywhere from your bones to your tendons, and it also helps keep your skin elastic and youthful. This is just one reason why sea buckthorn is good for skin health.

What’s more, sea buckthorn is a rare source of plant-based omega-7 fatty acids.(4) Omega-7 can help to enhance our immune system, cardiovascular health, and metabolism. It may also work to reduce inflammation. Sea buckthorn is additionally bursting with antioxidants. These protect our cells against oxidative stress, which experts have linked to several chronic diseases and even signs of ageing. Adding the powder to your carrot cake bites could therefore benefit your health in all sorts of different ways.

Say hello to our organic sea buckthorn powder

Sea buckthorn comes in various forms, but for these carrot cake bites we’ve chosen to use the powdered type. We source this directly from small, independent farms in Eastern Europe. Farmers pick the fruit by hand before gently drying it, separating out the seeds, and crushing the berries into powder. Removing the seeds means that our organic sea buckthorn powder contains a greater concentration of nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and omega-7.

It goes without saying that you won’t find any additives or filler ingredients in our sea buckthorn. And like all our powders, we ship it to you in environmentally friendly amber glass jars. Please reuse or recycle them once they’re empty!

Sea buckthorn powder’s zesty flavour makes it a brilliant addition to carrot cake bites. However, this is far from the only recipe it complements. Try stirring a spoonful into your favourite smoothies or mixing it into a breakfast bowl. It’s also a great ingredient to use in raw bakes like energy balls, or even savoury dishes such as soup. Looking for some more inspiration? You’re in luck – we’ve got a whole page of sea buckthorn recipes to choose from!

Why you should use camu camu in carrot cake bites

The second unusual ingredient in these carrot cake bites is camu camu, a small berry that hails from the Amazon rainforest. Like sea buckthorn, the powder has a tangy citrus taste that makes it perfect for this recipe. And thanks to the many potential health benefits of camu camu, its popularity is increasing all around the globe.

For starters, camu camu is one of the richest sources of vitamin C in the world.(5) On top of which, it contains potent flavonoids, such as anthocyanins and ellagic acid. These help to fight free radical damage and reduce inflammation, lessening the risk of chronic disease.(6) Ellagic acid might even have neuroprotective effects.

Research suggests that adding camu camu to dishes like carrot cake bites could be beneficial for blood glucose management too.(7) This is because consuming the fruit may minimise spikes in blood sugar after eating, possibly thanks to the polyphenols it contains. Camu camu might also enhance gut health by increasing levels of good bacteria while simultaneously decreasing levels of bad bacteria. Animal studies further indicate that the fruit could assist with healthy weight management and improve insulin sensitivity.(8) However, human trials are necessary to confirm these results.

And that’s not all. Research additionally shows that camu camu can have a positive effect on blood pressure.(9) Consuming the fruit promotes the dilation of blood vessels, which enhances blood flow and reduces blood pressure. This is important because hypertension increases the risk of conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and vascular dementia. So you can see why we’ve included camu camu powder in these carrot cake bites!

Introducing our organic camu camu powder

To ensure our organic camu camu powder is as nutritious as possible, we place an emphasis on quality. We source it from independent organic farmers in Peru, where people have been cultivating the fruit for generations. After picking the berries by hand, they carefully dry them at a low temperature to preserve their nutrients. Our producers then grind the pulp, skin, and seeds into a fine golden-brown powder. They do this in small batches, and don’t mix in any additives. So what you receive is 100% pure camu camu, ready to use in this carrot cake bites recipe!

Of course, carrot cake bites are not the only dish you can add camu camu powder to. Try it in a smoothie for a tangy twist, sprinkle some over yoghurt, or mix a little into salad dressings. The only point to note is that heating camu camu powder may cause it to lose some of its nutrients. As such, it’s best to stick to raw recipes or those that only require a low heat. That’s another reason why it suits this no-bake carrot cake bites recipe so well.

We also recommend not taking vitamin C supplements if you’re using camu camu. This is to ensure that you don’t consume an excessive amount of the nutrient. Our powder contains over 3,000mg of vitamin C per 100g – making it easy to get your recommended daily amount from these carrot cake bites alone.

Customising this carrot cake bites recipe

There’s a lot to love about these carrot cake bites. They’re quick and easy to make, bursting with nutrition, and absolutely delicious. Furthermore, they offer plenty of opportunities for customisation. This allows you to create a snack that perfectly suits your tastes and the season.

For example, you could use lemon or lime zest instead of orange – or a combination of all three – for a slightly different citrus flavour profile. Likewise, you’re able to mix up the spices any way you want. Vanilla is a gorgeous addition, while cacao nibs are great if you’d like a bit of chocolatey crunch. You can even turn this into a carrot cake balls recipe by shaping the base into spheres rather than layering it in a pan.

There’s also the option of switching up some of your base ingredients. That might mean using dates instead of raisins, or swapping the cashews for a different type of nut. Walnuts, almonds and pecans are all good choices. Similarly, maple syrup makes a tasty alternative to honey or agave nectar. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy your carrot cake bites earlier in the day, you could leave out the sweetener altogether. Whereas if you’re feeling decadent, you may like to pop in a scoop of your favourite type of nut butter.

Base

Cashew layer

  • Serv. size: 20 g
  • Calories: 59 kcal
  • Total Fat: 2 g
  • Total Сarbohydrate: 11 g
  • Protein: 1 g

  1. To make the base layer, add the shredded carrot to a food processor or a high speed blender. Add the oats, almond flour, coconut flakes, raisins, spices, sea buckthorn powder and camu camu and sweetener of your choice. Pulse until the mixture comes together.
  2. Line a 18cm cake pan with cling film or parchment paper and place the base mixture on the bottom. Spread evenly and use a rubber spatula or your hand to press it down into a neat, flat layer. Set aside.
  3. To make the cashew layer, add the raw cashews, coconut or almond milk, coconut oil, orange zest, sweetener of your choice and salt. Blend well until smooth and creamy. Depending on your taste, add more sweetener if needed.
  4. Pour the cashew cream over the base layer and spread evenly using a spatula. 
  5. Sprinkle with sea buckthorn powder and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Slice into small squares and enjoy!
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