A bit like an Italian carrot cake… Only raw, vegan and made in a food processor.
Confession: I often look up my recipes up on the internet when I need to cook them (#goldfishmemory). Not this one, however. I’ve been making these little vegan numbers for years by following my original apricot-splattered notes. A delicious favourite, permanently ‘in development.’ However, after a flurry of recent requests for the recipe – and a recent addition of some oats to make them drier and less expensive to make – I’m setting my debilitating Goldilocks complex aside with the assertion that they are finally ‘juuust right’.
The crushed whole cardamom pods work beautifully here and offer little surprise pops of antioxidant-laden spice. But if you’d rather skip the cardamom, they’ll still taste really good. I know pistachios can be a bit of a premium ingredient to buy in some shops (I find Middle Eastern supermarkets tend to have cheaper pistachios). If you’re trying to save money and want to simplify, then the mix will also work as an energy ball or a flat slice without the added texture and colour pop of green nuts.
These guys prefer to live in the fridge (a week or so) or freezer (or months), and they come to room temperature as quickly as you can boil the kettle for tea.
Raw Carrot Cake Bites
1/3 cup hulled, unsalted pistachios
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup oats
pinch of salt
A hearty handful cardamom pods, freshly crushed. Alternatively, use 4tsp powdered cardamom (less potent)
zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
1 tbsp coconut oil
A handful of dates (5-8, depending on size)
15 dried apricots (about 180g) if it’s affordable, you might want shoot for apricots that are naturally brown and sulphur dioxide-free (why should I give a s**t about sulphur dioxide?)
1 large carrot or two small (approx 100g) peeled and grated
1 tbsp chia seeds
Optional: 4 tbsp of maca powder
- Pulse the pistachios in a food processor so that they are broken down but still chunky. Some big pieces are fine. Set half aside and add the other half to a large mixing bowl.
- Place the almond meal in the empty bowl of the food processor along with the oats and blitz until fine.
- Add a pinch of salt, cardamom, lemon zest and maca or other superfood powder (if using) and blitz again.
- With the motor running, add the coconut oil, followed by the dried fruits, one at a time, until a wet crumb-like consistency is formed. It should hold together in a ball if you press it with your fingers. Add more dates or apricots, if necessary.
- Add the grated carrot and chia seeds and pulse lightly to combine (but not to liquidise)
- Scoop the mix from the food processor and combine by hand with half the pistachios.
- Line a small baking tray with parchment paper and press the mixture flat. It should be somewhere around 1cm think.
- Scatter with the remaining half of the chopped pistachios, pressing into the mixture so they become embedded in the raw cake.
- Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
- Remove and slice.
- Store in the fridge or freezer.