Chai Carrot Coconut Cake Balls
Last week I experienced my first "black rain" storm here in Hong Kong. It rained for hours on end and felt like it was never going to let up. The whole thing was pretty wild and witnessing it from start to finish on the 30th floor made it feel up close and personal--especially the lightning and thunder! Needless to say, I was stuck indoors for most of the day and in a "what should I do with all of this carrot pulp?" moment, from my Morning Nutrient Dense Shake, I got a wild hair to make cake balls. YES. I've played with a few recipes that included carrot pulp and this is the only one so far that I found myself completely satisfied with and happy to share. It is totally delicious. Don't let the ingredients fool you. You will want to make a double batch to share with your friends because you just might eat the first batch on your own. ;) All natural healthy sugars with fresh ingredients, this is a treat worth getting in the kitchen for. These are gluten and grain-free, and I'm very happy to report kid approved! (Insert high-fives!)
I made this twice...in one week. It's true. The first batch I coated in shredded coconut and a little coconut oil before baking. The second round I went for an icing like coating....I was thinking more along the lines of a cake pop. You know those bite-sized cake treats on a stick? Brilliant. Of course mine involved a healthy take on it and chopsticks--demonstrated below. I'm passing on to you the recipe with the "icing" option. If you are short on time or want an even healthier version just skip the icing and coat the balls in shredded coconut with a little coconut oil to make it stick before you pop them in the oven. *Notes: This recipe yields roughly 10-12 cake balls. You can aslo omit the clove and cardamom for less spice and a more kid-friendly version. Given the nature of the ingredients, you will need to store these in the fridge (if they even last that long). Now on to the yumminess...
1 cup carrot pulp (juiced from carrots or you could try whizzing chopped carrots in food processor)
1 Tablespoon of raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup of pasture-raised butter (ghee or coconut oil would likely work, but be sure it is hard and not melted)
3 Tablespoons of cashew butter
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 Tablespoon of raw honey
2 Tablespoons of greek yogurt (full fat)
1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1. In a food processor, whiz up all of the "cake" ingredients-carrot pulp, spices, eggs, baking soda, coconut flour and oil-and blend until it is batter/dough like in texture.
2. Next you have to form the cake balls. Put a little coconut oil on your hands to help keep them together. This isn't proper batter with tons of flour and sugar so you won't be able to roll them in your hands like cookie dough. ;) Scoop 1-1.5 Tablespoon of the batter and continue to press in between your palms to form the balls. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and continue doing the same with the rest.
3. I put the cake balls in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to set. You probably don't have to do this, but I felt like it was a good idea so went with my gut on this.
4. Bake on 150C/300F for 30-45 minutes. I'm working on a convection oven so time could vary. Good news is that it's mostly carrots so it would take a long time at that temperature to burn. You want the outside to firm up and brown a little while the inside is moist and cake like. *Note if you decided to omit the "icing option," you will cook for 25-30 minutes until the shredded coconut layer is toasted.
5. Now for the icing! Place ingredients (*except for shredded coconut-save for later) in food processor or high speed blender and blend until creamy. You might need to alter the ratios to get the consistency you want. If you want it thick, you can add some coconut butter or more cashew butter.
6. After cake pops have cooked and cooled, prepare two bowls-one with the icing and the other with the shredded coconut. Roll the cake balls in the icing until thoroughly coated and then in the shredded coconut.
7. Pop one in your mouth or on a stick to savor. Store in fridge if necessary. Enjoy!
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