CARROT, DATE AND WALNUT BREAKFAST BREAD.

I am obsessed with making healthy cakes (or breads) to have for breakfast at the moment. As the mornings become colder, breakfast must become cosier! What better way to start the day than with the comfort of cake?

I have experimented with banana breakfast cupcakes and pumpkin bread, so it was time for a new morning treat. This time I turned my attention to my favourite vegetable, the humble carrot. Often overlooked due to its firm association with bad school lunches and the unwanted extras of the Sunday roast that you are made to wade through, one unhappy mouthful after another, in order to reach the ultimate prize of pudding. However, when you escape the painful memories of the boiled-until-it-tastes-of-nothing-and-has-somehow-faded-from-brilliant-orange-to-a-murky-grey-carrot , there are many reasons to learn to love this vegetable!

1) Versatility: whether grated, fried, peeled, steamed, boiled, juiced, mashed, roasted, or raw – this vegetable can be eaten during at any meal, in any form

2) Super SUPER good for you: contains lots of fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C (and others) as well as being a great source of iron

3) Makes you see in the dark (okay maybe not exactly) : this was my mother’s number one selling point when she was advertising the vegetables on my plate to a young me. Although (unfortunately) you will not gain infrared night vision from carrots, the beta-carotene is good for vision!

3) Cheap! And available at any supermarket or vegetable shop, any season, all year round

4) Pretty and orange – no explanation needed.

This cake is gluten free and free from processed sugars. It is naturally sweetened by the dates, giving the bread delicious gooey pockets.

INGREDIENTS.

-100g dates

-400g grated carrot

-3 eggs

-150g ground almonds

-100g walnuts

-2 heaped tsp cinnamon

-2 tsp vanilla essence

-3 tsp coconut oil (melted)

-2 heaped tsp baking powder

-1 tbsp maple syrup

-1 tsp jam for extra sweetness!

METHOD.

Preheat the oven to 180°.

Beat the three eggs well until frothy, then stir into the grated carrot. Add the vanilla essence and coconut oil.

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In a separate bowl combine the ground almonds, cinnamon and baking powder. Fold the dry ingredients into the carrot mixture. Then add the jam and maple syrup to suit your taste.

Crush the walnuts (I used a pestle and mortar but you can easily chop them into smaller chunks.) Then chop the dates roughly into thirds. Add the nuts and dates to the mix.

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Place in a well greased baking tray and bake for about 40 minutes. If the top appears to be browning too much, cover with tinfoil. Remove when there is still a slight wobble as you do not want a dry texture!

I stored mine in the fridge to make it last longer – I also prefer the taste of carrot cake when it is cooler as the texture is so dense. This is my favourite breakfast bread so far and I’ve been having it for breakfast with greek yoghurt, berries and maple syrup! This is also a perfect guilt free, on-the-go snack.

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ENJOY!

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