When I was in college, I had a job working at a bakery. Yes, me, who eats no sugar or dairy or eggs worked at a bakery. And I ate everything!!
Chocolate chip cheesecake.
Pumpkin cheesecake for the holidays.
Chocolate fudge cake with walnuts.
And, my favorite of all… drumroll please… Carrot cake.
This bakery had the most amazingly sweet and savory and moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
I would eat it slices, cupcakes, loafs, and was even known to polish off an entire cake by myself.
Of course, this temporary enjoyment was usually followed by a stomach ache, a headache and a major sugar crash, which is essentially the reason for my diet today.
Since I realized the cake, despite the temporary enjoyment it brought me, was not helping my overall well-being, I haven’t touched anything even remotely resembling carrot cake for years.
That was, until I found this recipe for Carrot Cake Bars that originated on the blog “the little things”. She has some awesome recipes, and, to be honest, I’m not even sure how I found this one. I can only assume I have Pinterest to thank.
A quick scan of the ingredients showed nothing on my ‘do not eat’ list. I can’t lie, I might have started to tear up a little bit…
For real? A carrot-cake-like dessert that I could make easily and eat without questioning how my body would reac tto it??
I had to try it.
First, the ingredients:
- 1 cup oats
- 1/2 cup of water
- about ½ cup grated carrots
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 2 tablespoons grated coconut
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- a sprinkle of salt
- honey or some other sweetener of choice
Miraculously, I had them all.
First, the oven. Preheated to 380 degrees.
From there, I grated the carrots. Of course, I only had baby carrots so it took a little while. I would recommend using big ones and a cuisinart for ease of grating, but sometimes you just have to work with whatever you have on hand!
Added the rest of the ingredientswith the exception of the water to the bowl, even adding a little bit of honey. Although, next time, I think I’ll probably plan ahead a little better and try not to be so impatient and use a paste from dates soaked in hot water and blended together as a sweetener in place of honey. But, again, that’s just me. If you like honey, grab that little bear and squeeze!
Add the water and mix.
I did make one other adjustment. Because of my coconut oil obsession, I added about a spoonful of that after adding the water. I think it might have also helped make it a little thicker. Next time, I might also try a little bit more cinnamon, and even considering some nutmeg.
Press into a baking pan lined with parchment and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until top is slightly browned.
If you can wait, let them cool and slice into bars. Of course, I couldn’t wait and ate a bar – or two – still warm and soft.
They were really good!
So good, I have to admit. I ate the whole batch over the course of the day (and, I was actually out of the house for most of the day!)
I will definitely be making these again!