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Healthy Carrot Cake with Streusel

I am a believer that food should nourish our bodies, heal it, and provide us with good energy. Unfortunately this criteria puts food in a "healthy" category. I really dislike that. Yes I did title the recipe "Healthy Carrot Cake", but I believe health is a balance. It's not about a strict certain way. It my wellness coach profession I believe it is about moderation, a little bit of this, some of that, and occasionally some foods that are not part of our daily in take of quality foods. Anything in excess is bad and we know this. The same applies to our food intake. When we balance our diet with a good amount of vegetables and fruit, good sources of protein whether it be animal or plant, whole grains, legumes, and fats we can then have a pretty "healthy" diet. 

This recipe is a perfect example of balance. The main ingredients in this cake are carrots, a vegetable! It is a naturally sweet vegetable so the sugar content is lower, therefor makes the cake already better for you. By using apple sauce to produce more moisture than a ton of butter, which butter isn't bad for you just in moderation and not in every dish, we still get a delicious slice of moist cake without all the unnecessary added calories. The addition of walnuts provides a good quality of omega 3 fatty acids and healthy forms of fat. 

So in my book, cake is healthy, delicious, and can be a part of your diet. Give it a try and trust me you won't be disappointed!

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RECIPE:
Yields 8-10 servings 

Time: 60 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (about 4 large carrots) 

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (I like a lot of walnuts in my carrot cake) 

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce 

1/3 cup cane sugar 

1/4 cup brown sugar 

2 large eggs 

STREUSEL TOPPING:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter- melted

2 tablespoons flour 

2 tablespoons brown sugar 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan with butter and lightly dust with flour. Set that aside. 

2. Grate 1 1/2 cups of carrots. If you have kids get them involved in this part. It is a wonderful way to get them in the kitchen learning fun ways bake and cook.  

3. In a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugars. Then add the apple sauce, eggs, and shredded carrots. 

4. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. With the mixer on low add the dry mixture to the wet. Once a batter is formed fold in the walnuts. Pour the batter in the greased loaf pan. 

5. In a small bowl add the streusel ingredients and mix with a fork. It should look crumbled. Sprinkle this on top of the batter. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes until the center is cooked through. 

6. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes. Then gently remove the cake and allow it to completely cool. 

Store in the fridge wrapped tightly in plastic and foil to keep the moisture. 

Enjoy! 

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