May 30, 2016

Sugar Free Carrot Cake - Wheat free, sugar free - no guilt and so good

A couple weeks ago I bought a large bag of baby cut carrots at the warehouse grocery store.  We don't eat many carrots due to the high carb count and high(er) sugar count when I can get all the vitamin A I need from other sources that I love and have less or no sugar.  But who doesn't love baby carrots dipped in Ranch once in a while right?  Or my favorite - Buttered Baby Carrots with Salt and Pepper - or when I cook them with sugar free brown sugar or pumpkin pie Torani syrups?

However;  the bag of carrots needed to be used up and I knew my family would appreciate doing so in this way.  Sugar free, wheat free and low carb although your counts will be based on the products and brands you use.  I use a zero carb, zero sugar whey protein powder for example;  that alone changes the count in leaps and bounds.  I'll link to some related products at the end of this post if you are interested in where I get mine (I order it and most of my 'healthy' items online).

Carrot Cake (or Carrot Bars)

4 eggs
1 c coconut oil
2 t vanilla
1 1/2 c almond flour (I used natural, unblanched)
1/3 c whey protein powder (I use unflavored, zero carb, zero sugar)
1/4 c coconut flour
1/8 t xanthan gum
1/3 c Ideal sweetener
1 T Truvia
1/2 t liquid sweetener
1 t salt
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
3 c carrots - finely shredded

Oven preheat:  350
Pan:  Your choice. Larger means thinner, smaller means thicker.  Use a 9X14 or larger for 'bars' and a smaller one, down to 2 - 9X9" for cake with filling options.  Grease or spray the pan(s) of your choice.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with coconut oil and vanilla.  If it's a cold day, you can partially melt your coconut oil, if it's a hot, humid day, it might already be partially melted.  I haven't found it matters when I make these.
Beat in the dry ingredients; almond flour, whey protein powder and coconut flour along with the sweeteners (using 2 or 3 gives the best flavor but just use your favorites if you wish), the xanthan gum, leavening agents, salt and cinnamon.  If you don't have or don't want to use coconut flour, I've added about 1/3 cup total of a mixture of oat or wheat bran before or just added a little more almond flour and whey protein powder to make up the difference.  The coconut flour tends to make it 'less over wet and moist' as is the texture with most almond flour breads and cakes.  Stir in the carrots last.  Pour and spread into a prepared pan.

If you've used coconut flour, let your batter sit for about 3-4 minutes and see how thick it gets.  Coconut flour tends to absorb a lot of liquid.  This should make a nice, really thick batter like a quick bread would be (not a typical flour/sugar cake batter).  Still, if you think it's so thick that it will be hard to spread, you can add a tablespoon or two of coconut milk, stir well. Bake times will depend on the pan you use.  I baked an 9X15" pan about 40 minutes until it was golden brown, just started to pull away from the edges and when I jiggled it, the center did not move any longer.  Let cool completely in the pans before frosting with your favorite frosting.

The frosting I used on the bars above didn't come from a recipe but here is what I used;

1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 stick real butter
2 t vanilla extract
1/4 c coconut milk
Just like Sugar Baking Blend (because it's powdered form) - about 1/2 cup
Few drops of liquid sweener
Added Ideal Sweetener by tablespoons and tasted until I got the sweetness I wanted

Mix on medium high til smooth.  Spread.


Great Sources of Vitamin A

Food mcg                                                                                                     RAE per serving        IU per serving     Percent DV*
Sweet potato, baked in skin, 1 whole 1,403 28,058 561
Beef liver, pan fried, 3 ounces 6,582 22,175 444
Spinach, frozen, boiled, ½ cup 573 11,458 229
Carrots, raw, ½ cup 459 9,189 184
Pumpkin pie, commercially prepared, 1 piece 488 3,743 249
Cantaloupe, raw, ½ cup 135 2,706 54
Peppers, sweet, red, raw, ½ cup 117 2,332 47
Mangos, raw, 1 whole 112 2,240 45
Black-eyed peas (cowpeas), boiled, 1 cup 66 1,305 26
Apricots, dried, sulfured, 10 halves 63 1,261 25
Broccoli, boiled, ½ cup 60 1,208 24
Ice cream, French vanilla, soft serve, 1 cup 278 1,014 20
Cheese, ricotta, part skim, 1 cup 263 945 19
Tomato juice, canned, ¾ cup 42 821 16
Herring, Atlantic, pickled, 3 ounces 219 731 15
Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin A, ¾–1 cup (more heavily fortified cereals might provide more of the DV) 127–149 500 10
Milk, fat-free or skim, with added vitamin A and vitamin D, 1 cup 149 500 10
Baked beans, canned, plain or vegetarian, 1 cup 13 274 5
Egg, hard boiled, 1 large 75 260 5
Summer squash, all varieties, boiled, ½ cup 10 191 4
Salmon, sockeye, cooked, 3 ounces 59 176 4
Yogurt, plain, low fat, 1 cup 32 116 2
Pistachio nuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce 4 73 1
Tuna, light, canned in oil, drained solids, 3 ounces 20 65 1
Chicken, breast meat and skin, roasted, ½ breast 5 18 0
*DV = Daily Value. DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of products within the context of a total diet. The DV for vitamin A is 5,000 IU for adults and children age 4 and older. Foods providing 20% or more of the DV are considered to be high sources of a nutrient. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Nutrient Databaseexternal link disclaimer Web site [8] lists the nutrient content of many foods and provides a comprehensive list of foods containing vitamin A in IUs arranged by nutrient content and by food name, and foods containing beta-carotene in mcg arranged by nutrient content and by food name.
Dietary supplements
Vitamin A is available in multivitamins and as a stand-alone supplement, often in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate [2]. A portion of the vitamin A in some supplements is in the form of beta-carotene and the remainder is preformed vitamin A; others contain only preformed vitamin A or only beta-carotene. Supplement labels usually indicate the percentage of each form of the vitamin. The amounts of vitamin A in stand-alone supplements range widely [2]. Multivitamin supplements typically contain 2,500–10,000 IU vitamin A, often in the form of both retinol and beta-carotene.
About 28%–37% of the general population uses supplements containing vitamin A [9]. Adults aged 71 years or older and children younger than 9 are more likely than members of other age groups to take supplements containing vitamin A.

Products related to this post:
Almond Meal / Flour, Natural Unblanched
Ideal Sweetener No Calorie 10.6 Oz 6 Packs
Just Like Sugar Baking Sweetener -- 16 oz
Bob's Red Mill - Organic Coconut Flour, 16 Ounces

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