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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Carrot Cake

A Healthy Take on Carrot Cake!

At first mention, carrot cake may not sound all that good. After all, who eats vegetables for dessert? Of course, if you've ever had carrot cake, you know that its added sugars and fat make it far from tasting like a vegetable. But the following recipe uses a mix of sugar substitutes to eliminate added sugars, while not producing an aftertaste. A bit of whole wheat flour for more nutrients and unsweetened applesauce to help cut the fat make this carrot cake a healthier version of the original.

According to food guru, Alton Brown, carrot cake is not technically a cake due to the way it's mixed; it's more of a muffin. And he's right. The wet and dry ingredients are mixed separately first, just like a quick bread. So does this mean you can have carrot cake for breakfast since it's more of a muffin? Ugh, I'm not going to jump to that conclusion! Regardless, carrot cake is a wonderful spring treat!

Low-Carb Carrot Cake (Printable PDF)

1 ¼ cup raisins

½ cup water

1 packet saccharin

1 packet aspartame

½ cup canola oil

3 cups grated carrots

1 ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

¾ cup egg substitute

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon allspice

4 packets aspartame

2 packets saccharin

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. Neufchatel cream cheese

4 packets aspartame sweetener

2 packets saccharin sweetener

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 to 2 Tablespoons skim milk

Preheat oven to 350?F. Place raisins, water, 1 packet saccharin and 1 packet aspartame in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on High for 2 minutes. Let cool. In a large bowl, combine raisins, oil, grated carrots, applesauce, egg substitute and vanilla extract. In a smaller bowl, combine cinnamon, allspice, 4 packets aspartame, 2 packets saccharin, baking soda, baking powder, all-purpose flour, and whole wheat flour. Stir to combine. Add dry mixture to wet mixture. Mix well. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour batter into the coated pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake is light brown.
For the frosting, beat together cream cheese, aspartame, saccharin and vanilla until smooth. Thin with milk, if needed. Spread onto cooled cake.

Yield: 16 servings

Nutritional Facts (per serving): 210 calories, 10 grams fat, 270 milligrams sodium, 27 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 4 grams protein

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