As a perfectionist, change comes with conflicting emotion. On the one hand, it gives me the opportunity get closer to that perfect ideal that I so desperately want. On the other hand, it means admitting that I wasn’t perfect to begin with.
So, I often start the new year with mixed emotion. Some years, I have posted lists of resolutions to look at each morning. Invariably, I fail miserably to reach all of them. This year, I told myself that I don’t have to have any resolutions, except to be easier on myself. That doesn’t quite work either. I like having goals to reach; resolutions such as exercising and eating more greens have really improved my life.
The only solution I can really think of is a sign I used to pass outside of a church in my town when I was in high school. It read, “God sees us for who we can be, but loves us for who we are.” It always brought me tremendous comfort. I guess I’d like to see myself, and love myself, this way too. I’m still working on that one.
In the spirit of gentle growth, I’d like to post a recipe. I’ve been working on it for years, and it gets better with every new resolution I make. It’s not the world’s healthiest food, and maybe I’ll keep changing it. But for now, for this day of this year, it’s perfect.
Vegan Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
3 cups of grated carrots
4 Tbsp ground flax seed, mixed with 1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Mix
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan with canola oil cooking spray.
Prepare the flax seed and water mixture in a small bowl first. Try to let it sit for about 5 minutes. Mix all of the wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix with a spoon. Then, add the grated carrots.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 – 50 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz of vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup of powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
With an electric mixer, beat all ingredients together until creamy. Do not frost the cake until it is cool.
1 Tablespoon of ground flax seed + 3 Tablespoons of water replaces on egg in most baked goods. I like to use it in recipes like this where there is brown sugar or molasses so the flax does not effect the color or flavor. You can grind flax seeds in a coffee grinder (I have a separate coffee grinder for seeds) or Bob’s Red Mill sells pre-grond flax. Store extra ground flax in the refrigerator, and try it on top of oatmeal for some Omega 3 in the morning. Yum!
Applesauce makes a wonderful substitute for butter and/or oil in many baked goods (try using it in place of some or all of the oil/butter in your favorite muffin recipes).
Coconut oil has many health benefits and should be available in most grocery stores. You’ll find it in a jar and it will be solid. I used it in the solid form for the frosting. I chose coconut oil for the frosting since I don’t eat butter and I am trying to cut down on my use of margarine. It has a very subtle flavor – you really can’t taste the coconut.