Carrot Cake w/ Fig Cream Frosting

Okay, I think I’ve outdone myself with these. It’s always difficult to wing it while baking, as measurements are extremely important to get the texture and taste just right, but luck was on my side this morning. I wanted to create a sugar-free, fat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free whole-wheat carrot cupcake without anything bizarre in it, even a flax-egg or almond/soy milk. Simple does it. And boy did simple do it good. Mmmmmmmmm…breakfast, snack, or dessert…who cares.

Carrots: prevent cancer by virtue of compound (almost exclusive to the vegetable) falcarinol, improves vision with its high vitamin A and beta-carotene content, prevent heart disease with its carotenoids, lower blood cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of stroke, nourish the skin, helps slow the process of aging, and contributes to dental health.

Vegan Carrot Cupcake with Fig Cream Frosting

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (12 cupcakes)

For the Cupcake

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup water

For the Frosting

  • 5 figs, soaked and drained
  • 2 tbsp molasses or carob syrup
  • 1/2 can (7 oz) of coconut milk (the thickest part)

Instructions

For the Cupcake, combine the cinnamon, raisins, and chopped figs in a saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes. The water will evaporate, leaving behind the dried fruit infused with cinnamon taste and slightly caramelized aroma.

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In a bowl, pour the hot dried fruit mixture over shredded carrot. Let cool and then add 1/3 cup of orange juice. Fold all the ingredients together until well combined.

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Combine all the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. fold the dry mixture into the wet dried fruit mixture. Add 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of apple sauce and mix until all the ingredients are evenly combined.

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Scoop the cupcake mixture into greased muffin tins, either sprayed with canola oil or lightly coated with coconut oil. This recipe will yield 12 muffins.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins have browned and the center has set (check that a toothpick comes out clean).

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For the Fig Coconut Frosting, food process five figs that had been soaked and softened in lukewarm water for at least 30 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of molasses (or carob syrup) and 1/2 a can of coconut milk (only the thickest part of the can, which collects at the top).

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Blend until smooth.

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Oh. My. God. I’m surprised this lasted long enough to make it to a cupcake. It tastes soooo guilty – caramel-like with a creamy texture. Unreal.

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Top the muffins with the cream.

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Garnish with leftover shredded carrot and raisins.

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So moist, rich, creamy…

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You will beyond love these!

xo Aylin

Garlic Lime Shrimp Stew

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NOW, for some shruuuump.

In these parts – along the Turkish Mediterranean, specifically – shrimp stew is a popular dish that is traditionally baked in an earthenware pot with spices, topped with white cheese, and broiled to perfection. However, when using frozen shrimp, which is more budget-friendly and easier to prepare (cleaning shrimp hater, right here), I generally cook the shrimp stovetop as to boil off the pool of water the shrimp would otherwise end up swimming in if baked, transfer to a single-serving pot, top with cheese, and then broil to perfection. I also like to add some traditional flavors reminiscent of the Caribbean, such as lime and red pepper.

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If you have normal cholesterol levels, shrimp is completely acceptable in the diet, except don’t fry it! Grill, bake, or steam shrimp and you’ve got yourself a glowing prospect.

Shrimp: provides the body with 48% of the daily value of cancer-fighting selenium, keeps the skin, hair, and nails healthy, prevents anemia due to its vitamin B12 content, boosts energy with iron, builds strong bones with phosphorus, aids in processing fats due to its niacin content, fights depression with omega-3 fatty acids, promotes prostate health with zinc, contributes to a healthy thyroid due to copper content, and stabilizes blood sugar levels with magnesium.

Garlic Lime Shrimp Stew

by Aylin @ GlowKitchen

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 300 grams baby shrimp
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 cup white cheese, grated
  • Lime slice and red pepper flake garnish

Instructions

Begin by melting the butter over medium heat with the chopped garlic. Once melted, add the baby shrimp.

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Pour in the juice of half a lime and add the salt and red pepper flakes.

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Close the lid of the pan for approximately 1 minute. Remove the lid. As the frozen shrimp cooks, it will melt off a lot of water. You know the shrimp is done when the water evaporates completely.

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Sizzlin’!

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The flavors have concentrated and the shrimp are just tender. In a small, single-serving dish, put the shrimp and top them with freshly shredded white cheese. You could use cheddar or Monterey jack cheese. Pop into the broiler on high for approximately 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese is just melted or slightly browned (for those of you who like crispy cheese).

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Serve with a slice of lime and a garnish of red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin