VEGAN INSPO : an unrefined vegan | raw carrot & cream cheese squares

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this vegan inspo episode is all about the simple things. good, healthy, wholesome food to satisfy any craving. annie from an unrefined vegan creates recipes just like that – her blog is filled with completely craving-causing photos. i mean just look at this stir fry, i haven’t been able to get that out of my mind all week.

i tried annie’s recipe for raw carrot cake & cream cheese hearts (although mine ended up square shaped). let’s watch !

autumn is here, so all those warming spices used in the carrot cake is just what i’m craving. i want a chai latte so bad right now – i’m writing chai tea on today’s grocery list as we speak.

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raw carrot cake and cream cheese hearts
i actually made just half a batch, so the number of squares in the video / photos here is what you get by halving the recipe below

cream cheese layer
250 ml / 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, soaked in water for about 30 mins and drained
250 ml / 1 cup raw cashews pieces, soaked in water for about 1 hour and drained
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (i like mine zesty so i added a bit more)
1 tsp vanilla extract (i used vanilla seeds directly from the pod instead)
30 drops liquid stevia, or your favourite sweetener, to taste (i used 1 tbsp agave syrup)
60 ml / 0.25 cup coconut oil, gently melted

carrot cake layers
750 ml / 3 cups carrots (about 10 small), peeled and roughly chopped
750 ml / 3 cups raw pecans
500 ml / 2 cups pitted prunes
2 tsp vanilla extract (again, i used vanilla seeds from the pod instead)
3 tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground ginger
0.25 tsp allspice (i used gingerbread spice mix)
0.25 tsp ground cardamom
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp flaxseed meal

cream cheese layer
– line a quarter sheet (8 1/2″ x 12″) baking pan with parchment paper.
– put all of the cream cheese ingredients into a high-speed blender and process until very smooth. this will take several minutes and will require stopping and stirring or tamping throughout the processing. (as you can see in the video, ours didn’t turn out that smooth. we just didn’t have time to blend it properly, still delicious though !)
– scrape the mixture onto the prepared pan and smooth to completely cover the bottom. cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the carrot cake layer.

carrot cake layers
– line a quarter sheet (8 1/2″ x 12″) baking pan with parchment paper. (actually used 2 dishes instead. one small for the cream cheese layer, and one double the size for the 2 carrot cake layers. see video.)
– put the carrot chunks into the bowl of a food processor and process until broken down into small pieces.
– add all of the remaining ingredients and process until fairly smooth; you’ll need to stop the processor and stir occasionally. you can make this as smooth or as “chunky” as you like. i prefer a smooth texture.
– divide the mixture in half and store one half in a bowl or container, cover, and place in the refrigerator. (as said above, i skipped this step and prepared all of the carrot cake mix at once, dividing into two equal halves in the pan before refrigerating.)
– scrape the other half of the mixture onto the prepared pan and smooth completely to cover the bottom. cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
– let the cream cheese and carrot cake layers set up for a few hours in the refrigerator.

assemble the layers
– remove the cream cheese and carrot cake layers from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. carefully loosen the cream cheese layer by running a knife along the edges of the pan. this layer will be fairly firm.
– with one swift move, turn the cream cheese layer on top of the carrot cake layer. the parchment paper will come along for the ride – keep the parchment paper over the cream cheese layer while you gently and firmly press it onto the carrot cake layer. (watch the video above to see hoe i did this, since i made the 2 carrot cake layers at once.)
– remove the parchment paper and discard.
– spread the reserved half of the carrot cake mixture on top of the cream cheese layer, spreading it evenly over the whole surface. gently press the mixture so that it adheres evenly to the cream cheese.
– loosely cover with plastic wrap and put back in the refrigerator. let chill for a few hours or overnight. (since i had made the two carrot cake layers at once, the cake didn’t have to set for long. i refrigerated the layers for maybe 30 minutes before serving.)
– run a knife along the edges of the carrot cake. place a cutting board on top of the baking sheet and carefully turn in over and tap until the cake comes out of the pan.
– dip a heart-shaped cookie cutter into water and firmly press down into the carrot cake. remove the ehart and place the cake aside while you repeat the process until you’ve cut up all of the cake.
– i use the “scraps” to make carrot cake / cream cheese balls. alternatively, simply cut the cake into squares. that way, no “scraps” ! (as you can see, i decided to follow this last tip and cut into squares.)

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thank you so much annie for lending your beautiful recipe !
and guys – go have a look at an unrefined vegan if you haven’t already. you won’t regret it ^^

can’t get enough vegan inspo ?
check out the latest episodes :
rawsomeveganlife2small jennymustardplantstrongvegan3smaller ourfoodstories7

love // jenny

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