Carrot Cake Raw Bars (Gluten-Free and Vegan)
I love carrot cake! I love it in an unhealthy, you shouldn’t eat that much kind of way. Normally I will politely pass on a slice of carrot cake that is being offered to me because of my complete and total lack of self-control once I take a bite. I even made myself sick on a huge slice of gluten-free carrot cake recently at a restaurant here in Long Beach. I tell you, it is ridiculous and shameful. In my head I say ‘Meg, you shouldn’t keep eating that or you are going to feel horrible!’, but it doesn’t help. I just keep rationalizing, “One more bite!” Please, tell me other people have weaknesses like this that usually result in self scolding and total and utter frustration.
Over the course of the past few weeks, I have been putting my raw bar making skills to the test and have really focused on developing a raw bar that has all the flavors that I love in carrot cake, without the guilt that I associate with eating 3 slices in one sitting. These bars contain a whole host of ingredients that are good for my body, and I don’t have to worry if I eat more of these than I should. I have listed a few of the ingredients I chose for these bars below and some fun nutritional facts about each one that will have you smiling when you eat them too!
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene which is really great for your eyes, and for healthy skin, but did you know that they also can aid in preventing heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer?
The mono-saturated fat, protein and potassium contained in almonds are really good for your heart. Almonds also contain vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant and reduces the risk of heart disease. The presence of magnesium in almonds helps to avoid heart attacks and helps reduce C-reactive protein which causes artery-damaging inflammation.
Recent studies have shown that the consumption of dates is good for those who have heart problems. They have the ability to lower LDL cholesterol and since dates are digested very easily they are great for supplying quick energy.
Hemp hearts fall in the “super food” category and are one of the densest sources of plant protein available, which can be a huge benefit to vegetarians, athletes, and anyone looking to add a healthy source of protein to their diet.
Ginger improves the absorption and stimulation of essential nutrients in the body, promotes energy circulation, and increases the body’s metabolic rate. Ginger is also wonderful for reducing inflammation, alleviating stomach discomfort, and boosting the immune system.
Other Snack Bar Recipes
- Cereal Bars – Three Ways
- Granola Style Energy Bars
- No-Bake Peanut Butter Power Bars
- Vanilla & Toasted Coconut Bars
Carrot Cake Raw Bars
Makes 6-8 raw bars or 8-12 balls depending on size
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts
- 1 cup fresh Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped small
- In the bowl of your food processor, mix together the nuts, hemp hearts, and dates. Process until the pieces are all uniform in size and a sticky dough has formed. Add the coconut oil and cinnamon then process well until combined. Add the shredded coconut, carrots, and ginger; pulse just until incorporated, but not too much that the texture is too soft.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and pour the dough out onto it. Shape the dough into one large rectangle and refrigerate until firm, about 5-10 minutes. Slice the bar into desired shapes. *You can also roll this dough into balls straight from the food processor.
- These raw bars should keep in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for at least a week or up to a month in the freezer.
Meg is the blogger, photographer, and recipe developer behind Beard & Bonnet, a gluten-free vegetarian blog that celebrates style, design, food, and family. Along with her husband, she’s also one half of the duo behind award-winning eco-design studio Union Eighteen whose recycled rugs have garnered international acclaim. Her goal is to show others that gluten-free, vegetarian living can be easy and fulfilling, not to mention delicious! You can also find Meg on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!
Read all of her posts here.
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