When it comes to baking, I’ve learned a valuable lesson. If it’s good, I have no self control. Shoot, even it’s a little better than edible I have no self control. If I whip something up in the kitchen to be shared by only my little family, you can bet I’ll be “sneaking” bites long after dessert time is over. I. Just. Can’t. Stop. My oldest also has a sweet tooth, and if there’s something yummy in the house, it consumes her every bit of attention. She whines. She negotiates. She makes me wish I’d never made the darn thing in the first place.
So whenever possible, I try to infuse as many healthy ingredients as I can, and use sneaky swaps to pack in extra nutrients and minimize sugary overdoses. Like my Best D*mn Chocolate Zucchini Cake. Oh my deliciousness, it’s GOOD. When it came time to make my daughter’s birthday cake, I opened my refrigerator and pantry and and decided to try something a little different. I’d just finished a 3-day juice cleanse (which I’ll blog about some other time), and I had reserved the pulp from my morning apple/carrot/ginger drink. Hmm…I wonder if I could make a chocolate carrot cake? I Googled, and of course, found a delicious-sounding recipe on Taste of Home. Perfect. I cut the recipe in half (cause a family of four just doesn’t need that much cake), and swapped out shredded carrot for the apple/carrot/ginger pulp. Then, I used coconut oil instead of canola oil, threw in a smashed banana for added moisture and nutrition and added cinnamon for a little something extra. And for frosting? Now that my youngest is off dairy (again, another blog post for another time), I used almond milk and powdered sugar for a glaze, with a few drops of beet juice (leftover from my juicing cleanse) to make a nice soft pink color.
And the verdict? Excuse me, I need to go wipe some drool from my chin just from thinking about it. DELICIOUS! Even my husband, who isn’t always the biggest fan of my “healthified” recipes couldn’t stop raving about it. And the girls chowed down with vigor. I’d call it a success! If you’d like to replicate this yummy, nutritious dessert in your own kitchen, here’s the recipe!
Deliciously Healthy Apple Carrot Chocolate Cake
1.5 cups apple/carrot/ginger pulp (from approximately 3 carrots, 2 apples and 1/2 piece of ginger)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup coconut oil
1 ripe, smashed banana
1 cup flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Generous sprinkling of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8-inch round pan with cooking spray. Beat the apple/carrot/ginger pulp, sugar, coconut oil and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Gradually add to “wet” ingredient bowl. Mix well, but don’t overly mix. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool before removing from pan. If desired, mix up a glaze of powdered sugar, vanilla and milk (almond or otherwise), and drizzle over the top. Unlike my chocolate zucchini cake, this one is best served right after cooling. It’s not as good if refrigerated for several hours. Enjoy!