Wednesday, March 9, 2011

raw carrot cupcakes with cashew buttercream

raw carrot cupcakes with cashew buttercream
raw carrot cupcakes with cashew icing

Finally, a new post! Whew. February was unusually busy for some reason. Fortunately, even when I don't have time to post, I'm still in my kitchen :) Lots of new recipes to share with you, dear readers. Just in time for the first day of Spring, and revival of all things living and beautiful.

Every year at this time, after a winter full of cooked and warming foods, my body starts craving something living. And I do my best to follow its cues. Juicing ever other day, snacking on lots of sprouted nuts, and eating a ton of greens. A cleansing of sorts (albeit a gentle, breastfeeding friendly one) - from heavier winter fare.

So, when I wanted something a little sweet yesterday, I started thinking raw desserts and immediately remembered an idea I'd had for little raw carrot cupcakes with an icing based on my cheesecake recipe. So glad I did, because these are so ridiculously delicious. The flavor of carrot cake without the sugar or flour. Living. Naturally sweet, but not too sweet. Perfect.

The preparation is simple enough, too. Soaking the nuts overnight requires a little foresight and time, but it's well worth it, considering the nutritional benefits. I use almonds, but any nut (pecan, walnut, hazelnut, whatever) will work. You can also sub the raisins for just about any dried fruit (apricots, apples, cranberries), or add a little more for a different texture. There's definitely room for experimentation.

carrot cupcakes:
1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight and drained
20 pitted dates, soaked overnight and drained
2 cups shredded carrot
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 tsp. extract)
tiny pinch of sea salt
flaked coconut, for sprinkling

cashew buttercream:
8 oz. raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
raw honey or agave (for vegan option)
juice of 1/2 lemon
tiny pinch of sea salt
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 tsp. extract)
2-3 tablespoons filtered water

Begin by soaking the almonds (in separate bowls), cashews and dates in filtered water overnight (or 12 hours). In the morning, drain them, and begin working on the icing. Place the drained cashews, juice of 1/2 lemon, vanilla bean (or extract), tiniest pinch of salt and about 3 tablespoons of honey or agave in a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Add more honey to taste, if necessary.

Next, start the cupcake dough. Grate the carrots (about 4 or 5 medium carrots). After you've grated them, strain out any liquid (by pressing them into a fine strainer, or wrapping them in a tea towel). Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarse. Add the strained carrots, soaked (and drained!) dates, and process again. Add in the cinnamon, vanilla and pinch of sea salt. Process until it forms a dough. Grab a muffin pan and sprinkle a little flaked coconut into 6 of the spaces. Place about 1/2 cup of dough in each mold and press down. Once you have six, pop the pan into the freezer while you get the icing ready to pipe.

Pour the icing into a piping bag, then remove the muffin pan from the freezer, invert onto a piece of parchment paper to get them out, and ice each of the six cupcakes.

serves 6.

for babies 10 months and older: steam a few carrots and raisins until tender, then puree with a tiny bit of cinnamon, and oatmeal or brown rice cereal, if desired.
12 month and older: enjoy as is.

Happy (almost) Spring!


cherokee indians said...

Hi Megan, I am not forsure if I have ever met you, but I am friends with Jenny and I have always heard wonderful things about you!! Anyways, I came across your blog I think on her FB page. I LOVE it!! I have never made anything yet, but I look daily to see if you have posted anything new. I hope to cook something soon, but I really just look at the pictures and dream about how great it would taste:) I guess I am a little lazy! Jenny has always told me how you all were raised eating so healthy and I admire how much she cooked from scratch for all those boys:) Now I know it is definitely in the family! Well I just wanted to say Hi, becaus I have been following you for a while now. I hope to cook soon!! Thanks for all the recipes!!!

cherokee indians said...

Megan~ I wrote the comment that says Cherokee Indians- not forsure how I got that... My name is Amanda Carlile Doughty- I am cherokee, but that is really weird that it named my post that way... just wanted to let you know:)

Hollie said...

I can't wait to try this!! It sounds so yummy.

kellina said...

looks fantastic! bought the ingredients today! and for the cheesecake:) trying it out this weekend...just one question, when do i add the raisins or other dried fruit? i don't see it?
oh and this is kelly greer's friends....

Kate Alexander. said...

Megan, these look SO good! I will be making them for Penelope and myself very soon.

Megan-Joy said...

Amanda - You are so sweet to write me :) I am thrilled that you love the blog! You are very welcome for the recipes. So happy you are reading along :)

Kate - You better let me know what you think, when you do :)

Anonymous said...

You know how I love carrots.. I will be expecting mine this week..:)

Bridget said...

they look sooo good.

Becca said...

good heavens. you've read my mind.

this looks to be about the most perfect food out there.
thanks so much for the recipe!

Thats Surprising said...

These look sensational - can't wait to try them out! Yum!

Hailey McDonald said...

Just tried your raw peanut butter cookies last night - and this will totally be my next raw desserts adventure. So good! I love the way that your taste buds adapt to the natural sweetness of the dates. Seems like a great way to get off all nasty processed sugary foods. Thanks for creating these yummy recipes!

sahar gerstel said...

hey! i just made them and they tast amazing! just wanted to make sure they spose to be mooshie? they hold together but kind like a puree

sahar gerstel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aleeza Adelman said...

How long should you keep them in the freezer for before frosting? And do they go back into freezer/fridge?? Thanks!!