I have only recently noticed that Whole Foods provides a large selection of recipes on its website. The first one I saw was for this vegan carrot-oat cake, and I immediately wanted to try it. I have already made it a few times, and am quite pleased with this healthful treat.
I love classic carrot cake, and one of my favorite recipes back in the day was the version in the Moosewood Cookbook, which calls for 3 sticks of butter and 4 eggs. Then, of course I wanted homemade cream cheese frosting, which I believe had equal parts butter and cream cheese, and a load of confectioners sugar.
Needless to say, a recipe like that is really best for special occasions, ideally for a large group of people so that there isn't any leftover in the fridge tormenting you. This recipe though, is the perfect alternative dessert, satisfying yet wholesome. I am thinking about how to convert Molly Katzen's inspired but rich banana bread recipe in this same way.
I like the recipe as it is. I love to toast the coconut a bit on medium low heat before baking to enhance the flavor, just until the color changes slightly from white to a creamy light tan. Also, I used golden raisins instead of currants. (I actually made these myself out of green grapes, but that is totally unnecessary. I am just in love with my dehydrator.) Lastly, I used a larger pan than the recommended 9" square, which makes for thinner bars, so I decreased the cooking time 15 minutes. I think mine is around 8"x 12"
1 cup rolled or quick cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup dried currants
1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Method:Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly oil a (9-inch) square baking pan and set it aside.
Pulse oats and walnuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Transfer to a large bowl. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt and mix well. In a second large bowl, combine carrots, maple syrup, currants, coconut and vanilla. Add carrot mixture to flour mixture and stir until completely incorporated. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until cooked through and deep golden brown, about 1 hour. Set aside to let cool before cutting into squares.