I seem to be having a bit of a carrot cake kick…what with this little concoction a week or so ago and a few other ideas up my sleeve!
Well it is almost Easter, and it would seem that carrot cake it a very seasonal cake…maybe that was my subconscious coming into play because I didn’t consider carrot cake to be seasonal until I ‘googled’ Easter baking. To me typical Easter treats are more along the lines of hot cross buns and simnel cake…?
So carrots…but this time less of the cake and more of the smooshed ball variety. A lightly sweet and juicy treat to keep in the freezer and take out for a deliciously chilled nibble (or defrost fully for a softer bite). The original idea was inspired by thes balls, but since I don’t have a juicer and I wanted to avoid the potential hassle of grating and squeezing to remove the juice, I simply added oatmeal to the mix to absorb some of the liquids. I also thought I’d use carob to coat some of the balls which actually works really well with the flavours of the delicately sweet carrot and apple. You could use whatever you like, I also used coconut flakes for others.
Carob flour is an ingredient I am only just beginning to incorporate into my baking, so you will probably see it crop of more and more as time goes by. I have known of its virtues for a long time but until recently held back from giving it a go. This is largely due to the fact that it’s simply not chocolate! To elaborate on that point, if you are unfamiliar with the taste of carob don’t fall for those who tell you it’s a ‘healthier alternative to chocolate’ (as I was told many years ago!). Yes its healthy…but no its not chocolate! It tastes a lot different and is naturally sweeter than cocoa. It is another one of those quirky health food ingredients that simply needs to be appreciated and enjoyed in its own right and not as a replacement for something else.
Are you familiar with carob? How have you incorporated it into your recipes? I’d love to know more.
I have kept these carrot balls in the freezer since otherwise they do make for a soft ball, even when kept in the fridge. They only take a couple minutes to thaw out enough to eat without freezing your teeth and I actually really love the chilled texture- almost like an ice cream ball! If you prefer them without the chill simply take out of the freezer about 20-30 minutes before you serve.
If you do want to squeeze out some of the carrot and apple juice, go ahead. I haven’t tried it this way but it should just make for a firmer ball, that can be stored in the fridge quite happily.
Recipe: Raw carrot cake balls
Makes approx. 12 balls
- 2 carrots
- 1 medium apple
- ½ cup oatmeal (or GF grains)
- ½ cup dates
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- Pinch salt
- 4 tbs agave
- 3 tbs cashew butter (or almond butter)
- Carob powder/cacoa nibs/coconut flakes for decoration- optional
In a food processor blend the carrots and apple to puree (note they will be very wet and so the resulting balls will be soft- optional to use a juicer and drain away approx. ½ the juice).
Add all the remaining ingredients and blend in a food processor until all small chunks and well mixed through. You should have a very soft mixture that can still be formed into a ball, if too wet add a little more oatmeal.
Decant the mixture into a bowl and allow to sit in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up a little. Once chilled roll into balls and then roll in coconut flakes or carob powder to coat. Lay the balls on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze.
Once frozen they can be stored together. They are best removed from freezer a few minutes before serving and eaten chilled. They can be stored in the fridge but will be very soft (unless a juicer is used to drain part of the vegetable juice).