Welcome guest blogger Sara from Carob Cherub! I am excited to share here what Sara is generously sharing with us….
Normally, people eat cake on their birthday. That wasn’t an option for me in 2014.
From January through June 2014 I was living abroad in Spain. I spent the majority of my time in a humble apartamento in Getafe, an outer suburb of Madrid. The kitchen was compact and didn’t include an oven.
Despite the lack of an oven, Rob and I tried to bake. Mainly whole wheat bread. But it never worked. Our results turned out semi-edible, but never ideal. After spending all of March trying to bake bread in large pots and a pressure cooker, we gave up on baking.
We were stuck with just a stove top.
April rolled around and I wondered what to do for my birthday. España wasn’t a vegan-friendly country. There was a slim chance we would find a restaurant or bakery that sold vegan cake.
And a party didn’t make sense. I was only close to two people whilst living in Spain.
I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money at a restaurant either.
All in all, I had no clue how to celebrate my birthday.
I thought about it often, but never came up with any appealing ideas. The more I thought about it, the more distressed I became.
April 14th arrived. I emotionally admitted to Rob that I didn’t know what to do for my birthday. He quickly came up with an idea to make my birthday fun and special without a cake or spending too much money.
There were 3 components to my birthday that year:
2. Homemade sushi
3. Carrot cake balls
The balloons were a creative source of entertainment without spending much. We bought the balloons and a few markers from a nearby store. Then we blew them up and drew on them whatever our hearts desired.
For the sushi, we cooked rice and sliced various vegetables that we had. Celery, carrots and red bell peppers made our first attempt at brown rice sushi colorful and delicious. It was the best sushi we’d made up to that point.
For the carrot cake balls, we modified a recipe Rob found online.
The original recipe called for grated carrots. We had carrot pulp left over from juicing, so we used that instead. The recipe also rolled the carrot cake balls in desiccated coconut. We bought carob from a local health food store to replace the coconut.
Since that day, we’ve always preferred carob over cacao and cocoa.
Though I was distressed leading up to my first birthday abroad, this birthday turned out to be unexpectedly eventful. I didn’t receive any presents or spend lots of money, but I got more than most people. I spent the day hanging out with my best friend and amor.
Celebrate your birthday (or any occasion) with these light and sweet carrot cake balls. They’re less work than a cake and more nutritious, too.
Vegan and free of added salt, sugar, oil, gluten, soy and seeds
Reasons to love this recipe: raw vegan, simple, chocolatey, uses “waste” ingredients
Serves up to 8
• 1 c. carrot pulp
• 20 fresh pitted dates* (around 160 g or 5.5 oz.)
• 1/4 c. pecans, chopped
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. ginger
• 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
• Dash of turmeric
• 3 tbsp. carob powder
Add the carrot pulp, dates and spices to a food processor. Process until smooth**.
Transfer the carrot and date mixture to a bowl. Add the pecans and stir.
Form balls out of the carrot mixture***.
Add the carob powder to a small bowl. Roll the balls in the carob powder to fully coat them. Don’t be shy about it.
Refrigerate for at least an hour. Enjoy!
*If you don’t have fresh dates, soak the dates overnight in 50 mL of hot water.
** This can take a few minutes depending upon the power of your processor and the dryness of the dates.
***It’s best to first form the balls and then coat them in carob powder. Your hands won’t get as messy transferring between the wet carrot mixture and the dry carob powder.
Sara is a health and nutrition coach at Carob Cherub. She lost 70 pounds through a lifestyle change and advocates eating whole, plant-based foods. Sara’s passionate about showing the world how to lose weight healthfully.