Carrot Nut Oat Bars & Orange Maple Silken Tofu Frosting.
Grated organic carrots, ground natural almonds (pulse in food processor), ground oats (pulse in food processor), silken tofu, currents, walnuts, lemon & orange (for zest), nutmeg, cinnamon.
Salt, maple syrup, and and agar-agar powder was included in the recipe but not seen here.
In a large bowl, combine the chopped walnuts, ground almonds, oats, grated carrots, currents, pinch of salt and cinnamon (to taste-I add lots because I love cinnamon!)
Add a tablespoon or two of maple syrup and mix to combine.
Using a microplane grate in some nutmeg and mix everything together to combine.
Grate some orange zest into the carrot mixture…
Using a food processor, pulse the carrot mixture into a chunky dough. Do this in 2 stages, to ensure even distribution and break down of ingredients, and not overload the processor.
Press the blended mixture into a lined cake pan. Store in the freezer while you make the frosting.
The first step in making the frosting is prepping the Agar (it’s super easy I promise!). You can purchase this brand of agar at asian markets, in China Town, or Crudessence restaurants. Eden organic also makes agar flakes which you can find at health food stores, but this is the only kind I use. To make the agar agar solution, dissolve the agar powder with 4 tbsp of hot water in a small sauce pan, stir on gentle heat for 5 minutes or so and quickly pour the agar solution into the food processor with the silken tofu mix. Go HERE for more detailed info on prepping agar!
What is agar-agar anyway? It is an organic substance obtained from algea/seaweed, a vegan version of gelatine, given it’s natural gelatinous property, which is activated when mixed with hot liquid. Agar is made up of mostly fiber, so it acts as a healthy intestinal regulator! Traditional to Asian cuisine, used in desserts with a gelatinous texture, or in Easter europe, where it’s used to make jam-instead of pectin.
In a food processor, blend the silken tofu with 1 heaping tbsp of agar-agar, 3 tbsp maple syrup, and orange zest. Mix until smooth and creamy.
As with all soy products, it is important to buy only organic, as most of the soybeans grown today are Genetically Modified. The type of silken tofu I use is by Mori-Nu.
Remove the carrot base from the freezer and spread the silken frosting using a spatula. Place back into the freezer to let set for an hour minimum. Once set, remove the cake from the pan by using the sides of the plastic wrap, and place on cutting board to slice into squares.
Zest over a little orange peel and enjoy!
This is the raw version! I also baked the bars (see instruction below) which I preferred!
This is the baked version! See how to prep the cooked version below.
This ‘carrot cake bar’ is a healthy plant-based dessert! Made from nutritious whole ingredients, the carrots, oats, almonds, walnuts and tofu all provide complex carbohydrates, good monounsaturated and essential omega fats, plenty of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The carrots are inherently sweet, so make a great base for any sweet preparation. The nutmeg, cinnamon and orange zest add flavour and enhance the natural sweet taste of these other ingredients. The oats and nuts act as the ‘flour’, holding the carrots together to form a cake. Raisins provide natural sweetness, texture, and are a visual reminder of the carrot cake you may have grown up eating. The natural smooth consistency of the silken tofu provides a perfect base for the ‘cream cheese’ frosting, minus the saturated fat and cholesterol! This recipe uses minimal added sweetener in the form of maple syrup, the most an unprocessed/natural and local sweetener available, making these bars an appropriate dessert for diabetics. I made both a raw and cooked version of these bars as seen above, and personally preferred the baked ones. I would recommend serving the baked bars to kids or those who are not accustomed to fully raw desserts – as a transitional dish!
1. Lightly spray the pan with oil, rather than using the plastic wrap, as you’ll be baking the cake.
2. Follow the recipe up until you frost the cake. At this point, the carrot cake has set in the freezer and can then be baked at 350 for 45 min or so, until it’s fully cooked. You could also cut them into squares (as I did) and bake them that way for quicker baking.
3. Once cooked and cooled. Spread the frosting over the cake, and cut into squares. If you baked them already cut as squares, simply frost each square and enjoy!