This is possibly the healthiest carrot cake in the world! My friend over at the awesome Cooking Trips blog developed this recipe, and I, being a huge fan of carrot cake, gave it a go one night after dinner so I could devour it for breakfast the next day. Cooking Trips, much like myself, likes to make delicious treats that are also healthy and virtually “guilt-free”. It is a difficult thing to make things healthy without tasting healthy, and I must say, Cooking Trips has done a fabulous job.
I had never heard of the melted pear tactic until I read her recipe, and I must say, it is pretty cool. I wonder if it can be applied to other fruits as well…Probably bananas or kiwis maybe… soft fruits…Anyway, this recipe has so much healthy stuff in it, so one can even feel free to each more than one slice at a time 😉 Ooh, maybe even make a nut butter sandwich with it? Or French toast? Hmmm…some good food cravings are happening in my head now.
So since Cooking Trips originally posted this recipe on Halloween, I decided to give a little anecdote about my Halloween this year. Now that I’ve been married for a little over a year, my husband and I find ourselves going out to bars and clubs a lot less. By a lot less, I mean, pretty much not at all. It’s sort if funny because the first time we went out together, it was to a bar. I guess we’ve transitioned into the “old married couple” stage. Anyway, our close friends came to visit from out of town and we all decided to go Downtown to some bars and check out the Halloween costumes people were wearing. My friend didn’t want to be the only one to dress up, so to show some solidarity, I threw together what was meant to be a Kim Kardashian costume in about 5 minutes. I had a long black wig, over-the-top gold jewelry, big earrings, a leopard top, heals, bright pink lipstick, and a faux-fur jacket. Realizing that my rear end was not, well, large enough to pull off a Kim Kardashian costume, we tried to find something to pad my pants with. Anyhow, after about 20 minutes of trying everything from T-shirts to Tupperware to stick in the back of the pants, I finally gave up and resigned myself to looking like something in between a prostitute and a Real Housewife of New Jersey. Let’s just say I didn’t win any costume contests this year. I did see a very authentic Jedi Starfighter costume and a guy wearing a T-shirt that had a bow on it and it said “God’s Gift to Women”. Pretty creative way to try to attract women to you.
So now I present the recipe, adapted from Cooking Trips, to which I’ve made some adjustments in the amounts of the ingredients, according to conversion from metrics and what made sense in terms of consistency after converting the ingredients. Firstly, I only had one pear, so I melted it and used ¼ cup granulated sugar. I was lazy so I melted the pear in the microwave instead of in a saucepan on the stove (see instructions below). I also didn’t have wheat germ handy, which is called for in the original recipe, so I used some quick cook oats, which worked out quite well. I decided to try to push the health factor even further and threw in some flax seeds and raisins.
All in all, this Healthy Carrot Cake tasted delicious and left me without an ounce of guilt. It is not overly sweet, I found it perfect for breakfast. My husband put orange marmalade on it and said they tasted really good together. It is also very moist, not dry like a lot of other carrot cakes. The pear adds a nice moisture to it. If you are looking for a higher sweetness of a typical dessert carrot cake, you can probably add another ¼ to 1/3 cup sugar to it. However, if you love carrot cake but not eating sugary, buttery sweets, try out this carrot cake as is!
Healthy Carrot Cake
- 1.5 cups grated carrot
- 1 egg
- 1 pear melted in microwave oven (see instructions)
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- ¼ cup plain (0% fat) yogurt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup milk of choice (I used 1% milk)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup quick cook oats
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- Dash of nutmeg
- Additional add-ins: 1 tbsp. flax seeds, ¼ cup raisins
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, granulated sugar, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly until well combined.
- Use a food processor to grate carrots. You will need about 1.5 cups of grated carrot. Add grated carrots and raisins into mixing bowl and stir to combine with other ingredients.
- To melt pear, cut into chunks and remove the stem and seeds. Heat in the microwave in stages. I first heated mine for 40 seconds. Then I removed and stirred it. I heated again for another 1 minute until juice emerged and pear was reduced to almost all liquid. Mush any remaining pear chunks with a fork. Alternatively, you can melt it on the saucepan on the stove, as described in the original recipe.
- Next add to the mixing bowl 1 cup milk of choice, 1 tbsp. vegetable or light olive oil, ¼ cup yogurt, 1 egg, vanilla extract, and the melted pear.
- Pour the mixed batter into a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 1 hr. Cake should be firm to the touch and browned on top. Cool and enjoy your healthy treat!
*Recipe adapted from Cooking Trips’ “The Healthiest Carrot Cake Recipe for Halloween ”.