Happy November!

I am just coming down from a chaotic wrap-up of October, but feel calm and excited as November gears up and I delve into the season of holidays, families, delicious food, homemade gifts, and more. I have a lot of new things planned for the upcoming months so keep your eye on The Sweet Life!

To start with, I have begun a month long food challenge. Perhaps bad timing considering Thanksgiving is around the corner, but challenge: accepted. Additionally to eating 100% vegan, I will be cutting out gluten and refined sugar. Are you ready for wholesome and delicious recipes that everyone can enjoy? I will be posting a lot of Thanksgiving recipes with my new stricter restrictions, so pass on the word to anyone who is facing cooking and/or dietary challenges this upcoming holiday.

For the first recipe of the month I have these delicious raw Carrot Cake Bites inspired by this recipe.

Raw Carrot Cake Bites
vegan. gluten-free. grain-free. refined sugar-free
makes about (15)1 x 2 inch bites

Carrot Cake

2 1/2 cup shredded carrots (about 3-4 large carrots)
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt

Cashew Cream Frosting 

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp raw agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

walnuts and extra cinnamon for finish

Line a 9” springform pan, 8×8 square pan, or equivalent sized loaf pan with parchment paper so that the edges hang over the sides of the  pan.

By hand or in a food processor with the grating attachment, shred carrots. Place in large bowl and set aside. With the blade attachment, blend together walnuts and dates until mostly smooth, with a few smaller chunks. Add coconut, spices, and salt and blend together. Add carrots and blend until well combined, scraping down the sides often.

Scoop cake into prepared pan, smooth top, and chill.

To make cashew cream, drain and rinse soaked cashews in clean water. In a food processor or blender combine cashews, water, agave nectar, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice. Blend VERY WELL, scraping down the sides often, until VERY SMOOTH. Depending on the strength of your blender this make take up to 10 minutes. Add melted coconut oil and blend to combine. Spoon onto chilled cake and smooth the top. Freeze for 2 hours.

Pull from freezer and remove cake from pan by pulling up the sides of the parchment paper. Let thaw 10 minutes. With a hot, sharp knife cut cake into (approximately) 1 x 2 inch pieces. Decorate with walnuts and dust with cinnamon. Let thaw an additional 15 minutes before serving or return to freezer, thawing 25 minutes before eating.

Do you have any specific dietary issues you are dealing with for the Thanksgiving holiday?

If you do, are looking for ideas, or have any questions regarding special diet foods, leave a comment below and perhaps I can help you come up with some ideas.