Almost Vegan Carrot Cake Bites

I’ve never been a huge fan of carrot cake but when I saw this recipe I was intrigued and wanted to try it.  I made a few changes and I already have ideas of how I will do it next time. These are soft, chewy and have a fun bite size texture similar to a slice of ordinary carrot cake.  I added my own little pizzazz of a cream cheese layer because what is carrot cake without a little cream cheese?  I topped it with a homemade orange marmelade because I think it needed a little zing. These are very easy to make if you need to put something together quick, just make sure they have some time to chill, (freezer is always a great quick option) so they firm up.

Ingredients:

3 organic carrots

5 dates (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes)

1/2 cup toasted walnuts

1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds

pinch of cinnamon and ginger

-Shred carrots in blender, remove.  Blend dates with nuts, add carrots back and add spices.  Create bite size balls. I made around 15. (*See note for crunchier bite)

Cream Cheese Coating: (omit for Vegan)

1/4 cup cream cheese

1 tbsp agave/honey

water to thin

-Mix all, & coat bites.

Coconut Coating:

Shredded unsweetened coconut

1 tbsp orange zest (Whenever I buy citrus, before I juice something I will zest it and store in container in the fridge. It’s a great addition to many recipes-lime, orange or lemon)

Orange Marmelade:

Zest 6 oranges to get roughly 1/4 cup.

Squeeze the juice of 6 oranges (easiest when they are room temp) or use your favorite OJ to achieve 1.5 cups.  Place in sauce pan and cook over medium heat till it reduces by half.

Add 2 tbsp maple syrup, orange zest, and optional pinch of nutmeg.

Add a pinch of cornstarch if you want to thicken.

*If you want a crunchier bite, only mix the sunflower seeds in the carrot cake mix. Take the 1/2 cup walnuts and crush to small pieces by placing in plastic bag and using a frying pan to crumble. Mix this in with the coconut coating OR omit the shredded coconut altogether and only roll them in cream cheese and then the walnuts to achieve a very authentic reproduction of carrot cake!

(I placed them on top of some left over coconut whip, YUM!)

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