Carrots are by far the most versatile vegetable among the edible root crops. Although the most common is the orange variety, it does come in other colors such as purple, red, white and yellow. This vegetable is the basis of a lot of cake recipes because it is easy to cook, bake and digest. Not only that, the nutritional value of carrots is very high. What is even more amazing is, unlike other vegetables where they are more nutritious when eaten raw or half-cooked, the beta carotene in carrot is less when digested raw but enhanced when cooked or baked! Carrots can be used in cakes, puddings, jams, juices, soups, stir fried viands, stews and a whole lot more, including the following healthy carrot cake recipe. The distinguishing element in this carrot cake recipe is the zests of both orange and lemon. Very few vegetables, or any other food for that matter, agree with citrus mix factors, much less the lemon. Although we will only use the rind of the lemon, we will incorporate both the rind and the juice of the orange in this mixture. That plus the crunchy nutty ingredients will surely tickle your palate.
– 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
– 3/4 cup cake flour
– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
– 1 tablespoon carob powder (optional)
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
– 1/4 cup vegetable oil
– 2 eggs
– 1 orange, juiced and zested to about a tablespoon’s worth
– 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
– 1/2 cup raisins
– 5 dried figs, chopped
– 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
– 2 cups grated carrots
– 1/4 cup chopped cashew nuts
– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
– Grease a 9-inch Bundt pan.
– In a large bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, cake flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, carob, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
– Make a well in the center and pour in the molasses, oil, eggs and orange juice.
– Mix until the dry ingredients are moistened, then stir in the orange zest, lemon zest, raisins, figs, poppy seeds, carrots and pecans until evenly distributed.
– Pour into the prepared pan.
– Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
– Cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan.