I’ve had a long-standing love of food, which I think stemmed from my mum who has always loved to cook and try out new recipes.

Growing up in a small town called Haywards Heath in West Sussex, England, dinnertime in our house was never dull. I spent a lot of my time watching and helping my mum in the kitchen as she tried out new recipes. The house was always filled with the smell of delicious cooking and my friends looked for any excuse to come round for dinner.

My dad, on the other hand, has never really been one for cooking. His idea of cooking would be chucking anything and everything into one pan, and crossing all his fingers and toes that it tasted good at the end! A particular memory is of my dad doing just this, chucking anything into a pan including eggs, baked beans and mushrooms along with a whole heap of other stuff and calling it ‘Tommy Eggs’. He made out it was an old family recipe… We still laugh about it now.

Besides his amateur attempts at cooking my dad loves to eat and would always take us out for dinner at least once a week. Usually on a Friday, to our favourite Indian restaurant, or for an amazing Sunday lunch at ‘The Priory’ which, as the name suggests, was located within an old priory built for a community of Nuns from Bruges in 1887. This is probably why two of my favourite meals are a nice hot curry (home made these days) and my mums roast dinners!

Now I’m living in Perth, Western Australia, while my family still reside in England. Unfortunately, I have to do all the cooking myself now and can’t just pop round my parent’s house for a free meal whenever I feel like it. I do miss my mum’s cooking and have some particular favourites she always makes for me whenever I visit, which I’m hoping to share with you going forward.

For my first post, and as it’s Christmas, I would love to share with you my Paleo Christmas Carrot Cake. I try and eat Paleo-inspired food as much as possible due to the significant health benefits. I don’t particularly enjoy eating foods containing sugar, grains or legumes as I do find they make me feel sluggish and tired. I try and stick to an 80-20 rule because there are certain foods that aren’t Paleo I still love to eat every now and then.

I hope you enjoy my carrot cake as much as I do. This is a firm favourite in my house for Christmas and by Boxing Day there usually isn’t any left. Enjoy!

Paleo Carrot Cake
Author: Sarah Gasson
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
FOR THE CAKE
  • 5 carrots, grated
  • 185ml maple syrup
  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • coconut oil, for greasing
  • 80g coconut flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 80g walnuts, chopped
  • 80g macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 250ml coconut oil, melted
COCONUT CITRUS DRESSING
  • 90g desiccated coconut
  • 3 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • zest of 2 lemons, grated
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
HONEY-GLAZED WALNUTS
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 80g walnuts
Instructions
  1. Place the carrot in a bowl and pour over the maple syrup. Mix, cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, place the dates in a bowl and cover with warm water. Soak for at least 20 minutes, then drain and mash.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm x 12cm loaf tin with coconut oil and line with baking paper.
  4. Combine the coconut flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, baking powder, walnuts and macadamia nuts in a bowl.
  5. In a separate large bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, melted coconut oil and date mixture. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the carrot mixture and stir until well combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool.
  7. To make the icing, mix the coconut, coconut cream, honey or maple syrup and lemon zest in a bowl. Gradually add the melted coconut oil and mix until smooth.
  8. To make the honey-glazed walnuts, heat the honey in a small saucepan for 1-2 minutes, or until it starts to bubble. Stir in the walnuts and cook for a further 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  9. Remove from the heat and spread the walnuts on a tray to cool.
  10. Once the cake has cooled, cover with the icing and decorate with the honey-glazed walnuts.

Don’t forget to activate your nuts!

If you are a serious Paleo foodie its always best to activate your nuts before using them. Why? Because soaking them increases the nutrient value of the nuts, along with breaking down the problematic compounds in order to enhance their digestibility.

To do this is very simple. Place the nuts in a bowl and add enough filtered water to cover them. Soak the macadamia nuts for 8 hours and the walnuts for 6 hours. After soaking they will look nice and puffy and may show signs of starting to sprout. Rinse them under water, pat them dry and then toast them on 50°C for a few hours. The nuts are done when they feel and taste dry.

If you enjoyed this Paleo Carrot Cake, please share it on Pinterest!

If you're looking for the perfect dessert to make for your holiday celebration, or just have a craving for something sweet that's still relatively healthy, this Paleo Carrot Cake is for you! With wholesome ingredients and a delicious coconut citrus dressing, your guests will be begging for seconds (and probably thirds). Enjoy!

And if you’re looking for more delicious desserts to wow your family and friends with, please follow our Gluttony board where we share all kinds of great finds!

Follow Meraki Lane’s board Chance of Gluttony on Pinterest.

Dani
Dani is a 30-something freelance writer and social media consultant who has an unhealthy love for makeup, hair, and fashion. She lives with her husband and 4-year-old daughter in Toronto, Canada and hopes to move to a warmer climate someday. Preferably tomorrow.

This is an excerpt from the article Paleo Carrot Cake which originally appeared on http://www.cloudywithachanceofwine.com/.