About two months ago I decided it was time to start actually looking after myself. Not just my heart and my soul but my body too. Once you become a mum it’s really easy to succumb to the “burnt chop” syndrome – where everyone elses needs come before your own. I felt completely strung out and exhausted and I knew that I could make a choice. To continue going the way I had been, or to actually take a bit of responsibility for my own wellness. Our Health is perhaps one of the most valuable things we can ever have, without it, life becomes much more difficult… and if we are lucky enough to be blessed with a healthy body, then it seems foolish not to take care of ourselves. Doesn’t it?
So, I started visiting a Naturopath. I took the time and the money to invest in my own physical well being… and it’s been wonderful. My naturopath noted that my constant exhaustion and fatigue may not just the bi-product of being a single mum to a hurricane toddler – but in fact may be a symptom of a long history of emotional stress and perhaps even a low level food intolerance. So I started taking adrenal supplements and I was challenged to take on a pretty hardcore elimination diet for a few weeks to see if I noticed a difference. The elimination diet was hard, I had to cut out a lot of my favourite food groups and it challenged me to think differently about the way that I cook and the way that I nourish my own body. I eat well, and as naturally as possible – but simple things may have been affecting my daily moods in a way that I had never considered.
I had to cut out foods that are considered to be common allergens (including all wheat, dairy, peanuts, soy, chocolate, coffee, cane sugar and acidic fruits) and whilst I found it relatively simple once I got going I found that my sweet tooth was not being satisfied, at all.
And so this little recipe was born. It’s an adaption of the wonderful raw carrot cake by Emily from This Rawesome Vegan Life – and I’m sure the recipe in it’s entirety would be pretty amazing too. I wanted to make something bite size, that I could freeze and take on the go with me that was full of goodness and very satisfying for both Bo and I when that sweet craving hits… I’m off the elimination diet now, I’ve made some subtle shifts in my daily diet and I’m LOVING having coffee again.
I took a tester plate of these to a growers swap in my community on the weekend to see if people liked them. They were devoured quickly by little people and big people alike. I’d say that’s a recipe success, wouldn’t you?
I suppose you will have to just try them and see!
RAW CARROT CAKE BITES + HAZELNUT AND BUCKWHEAT CRUMB
For the Carrot Cake Bites:
3 large carrots (peeled and diced)
1 1/2 cup dates
1 1/2 cups of oats (processed into oat flour)
1/2 cup dried coconut
1 Tbsp pure vanilla essence
For the Crumb:
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup buckwheat (preferably activated)
1 Tbsp Brown Rice Syrup
To make the crumb: Roughly chop hazelnuts and combine well with buckwheat and rice malt syrup in a bowl. On a cast iron skillet toast the mixture by moving it around constantly with a wooden spoon to ensure it doesn’t burn. When the nuts and buckweat are beginning to colour nicely, take the mixture out of the pan to stop the cooking process and spoon onto a plate in a thin layer. Leave to cool.
The mixture will turn into a hard kind of caramel crumb. Break into little pieces and process for about 10 seconds in a high powered food processor.
To make the carrot cake balls: Process your oats into oat flour in a high powered blender. Once the flour is nice and fine throw the rest of the ingredients into the blender and process until nice and smooth.
Roll the mixture into balls and then roll in the beautiful crumb.
Set the carrot cake bites in the fridge for a half hour or so before serving. Alternatively these bites can be stored in the freezer for weeks at a time. Just take them out and leave at room temperature for about half an hour before serving.
Easy. Quick. Delicious.