Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sticky Carrot Squares #SundaySupper

Hallelujah! It's finally Spring - well officially, at least. Outside, we're still dealing with blustery winds and waking up to snow or light frost on our cars, and we know that "real" Spring is still a few more weeks away. That said, I am still more excited than ever that the season has begun, since the heirloom seeds I ordered for this year's crops just arrived! I've got Rosso SicilianBlack Pineapple
and Black Vernissage tomatoes on the go in seedling pots now, plus Gelber Englischer Custard, Kuri and Delicata Squash that I'll be starting in the next week or two. Once the ground thaws (it has to eventually!), there's Lutz beets, Spanish Black and Atomic Red carrots and even tigernuts to be directly sown. I haven't decided which herbs to grow this year, but I'm telling you the sight of green shoots will be a gift in itself!

To celebrate the bounty that is yet to come, I put together a recipe adapted from Jenna Zoe's book Super Healthy Snacks and Treats dense, just this side of squidgy carrot bars laced with almonds. Packed with flavour, texture and indulgence, they're perfect if you (like me) adore all things carrot, not to mention they're all these things while also being vegan, gluten free and sugar free! I kept things over on the "dessert" side of the taste spectrum by using a combination of xylitol and liquid stevia, neither of which "bake out" like sugar does, ensuring a moist final product. The two-part baking process was unusual to me too, leaving semi-crispy shells with sticky middles of goodness rather than dry-all-the-way-through biscotti. They were devoured by everyone I served them to, and even froze and thawed spectacularly (without losing any of the delectable squidginess!).

Sticky Carrot Squares

What does Spring mean to you? Well, our #SundaySupper group is celebrating the beginning of the season with all things food this week, with hosts Valerie of Lifestyle Food Artistry and DB of Crazy Foodie Stunts. Check out all our fresh fare below!

Beverages

Appetizers


Sides


Entreés


Desserts


Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sticky Carrot Squares
Makes one 9" pan, 16 pieces
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
⅓ cup hot water
½ cup unsweetened apple butter
⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup canola oil
¾ cup xylitol
¼ tsp liquid stevia
½ tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cardamom
1 ¼ cups gluten free all purpose flour (I used Artisanal Gluten Free Flour)
½ tsp guar gum
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
8 medium-large carrots, finely grated
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup slivered almonds, plus additional almonds for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9” square pan with a “sling” of greased foil.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flaxseed, water, apple butter, almond milk, oil, xylitol, stevia, salt and spices until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the flour, guar gum, baking powder and baking soda. Stir to combine well.
  4. Fold in carrots, raisins and measured almonds.
  5. Scrape into the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with additional almonds.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Cover pan tightly with foil and return to the oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove bars from the pan (use the “sling”) and cut into 16 pieces - these will still be gooey.
  9. Place pieces on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet and bake 30 minutes.
  10. Cool on the sheet, then store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 163.3
Total Fat: 8.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 47.2 mg
Total Carbs: 22.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
Protein: 1.8 g