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Hiding carrots in vegan cakes, cookies, and brownies

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If you're trying to get kids to eat carrots and other vegetables, you might try a healthier recipe of ground carrots and prunes mixed with ground flaxseeds, oat bran, and garbanzo bean flour. Check out a recipe online for carrot cake and compare this unleavened vegan variety without the milk, sugar, wheat flour, or eggs. See, "Carrot Cake Brownies." To make unleavened brownies you don't need bleached white or whole wheat flour. You don't need eggs or salt or sugar or milk. You don't need leavening that adds sodium. You can make a vegan, no-salt added, fruit-sweetened chewy dessert by substituting flaxseed meal for eggs to hold the dough together and mashed prunes for fat or oils to keep the 'cake' moist.

The cake or cookie won't rise very high, but if you flatten the dough an inch high, it will taste good enough cut in squares. And the prunes will keep the dough sweet enough. Any dried fruit such as raisins, prunes, or pieces of dates or figs can be used, but prunes are the traditional substitute for fats that chefs use. And some chefs mix mashed prunes with a tablespoon or so of lecithin granules as a fat substitute. But you don't need lecithin to make these vegan chewy treats.

In a blender or food processor chop or grate a small bag of baby peeled carrots with a package of prunes and a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Then add this mixture to enough oat bran, flaxseed meal (ground flaxseeds) and garbanzo bean flour to make a paste-like consistency. Mix and knead until the dry ingredients are coated by the wet ingredients.

Depending on how many people will be eating the treats, you might start with a cup of oat bran, a cup of garbanzo bean flour, and a half cup of ground flax seeds (flaxseed meal). Moisten the dry ingredients with the ground up carrots and prunes.

Line a glass cookie sheet with a handful of brown sesame seeds, so you don't have to grease the cookie sheet. Sprinkle a handful of raw pumpkin seeds on top, and over the sesame seeds. Now put the mixture of carrots, prunes, oat bran, flaxseed meal, and garbanzo bean flour on top of the sesame seeds and nuts on your cookie sheet. Pat the dough flat with a spoon or your hands. If you use hands, run your hands under water so the dough won't stick to your fingers. Rinse your fingers.

After you've spread out the dough on your cookie sheet and flattened it about a half inch high, cut it in squares like a tic-tac-toe, with lines running up and down or diagonally, as you prefer. Sprinkle the time with more sesame seeds, or if you prefer ground nuts of your choice, if desired. Or sprinkle grated carrots on top. Bake at 350 degrees until the ingredients are dry enough to the touch to taste like chewy brownies or cookies.

If you don't want to use almond milk to moisten your grains/flours, you can use carrot juice or carrot juice to which a tablespoon or two of unsweetened cocoa powder is added for a chocolate taste. Or sprinkle with cinnamon or cloves, or allspice if desired, as you prefer. Your kids won't realize they've just eaten a bag of prunes and grated, peeled carrots. But don't eat too many. Carrots and prunes are laxative in nature if you eat enough of these chewy vegan treats. No sweetener is needed as the prunes are sweet enough. You may prefer to use prunes that come naturally in the package without added preservatives.

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