Well, today is my 114th post on my humble little blog. A few months ago, I began documenting my journey into health and wellness. I am really passionate about this new direction my life has taken, keeping myself well in the best way I know how. In the last 8 months, I have embarked on a journey of eliminating foods that, like most everyone, I grew up eating, loving, and the idea of giving them up was truly unthinkable. I’ve read about why these changes should be made, have come across sometimes conflicting or confusing information, and am always reading and trying to learn more. Overall, I have been enlightened and seen such positive results in my life from making these changes. I’ve always loved cooking and I love some good problem solving, so I’ve enjoyed the challenge of cooking foods that taste good but also keep in my line with my ever-evolving nutritional parameters. I’ve had some major successes and some epic fails, but it’s all a journey!
I am so humbled by the fact that people actually follow my blog! Sometimes you folks even like my stuff and comment! Crazy business! Photography is obviously not one of my strong suits and I so aspire to eventually master those beautiful food shots with my new camera. Hopefully I can get there – or at least enlist some of my photographer friends to help! In the meantime, thank you for following my blog and joining me in my nutrition & kitchen adventures. It blows my mind and I want you to know that you help keep me on track and inspire me to continue trying new things.
Today also happens to be my birthday. What’s also cool about this day is that it marks 8 months that I’ve made these lifestyle changes. Over these past months, I wasn’t quite ready to commit fully on things like holidays and special occasions. I didn’t want to be a bother, didn’t want to let go of traditions and comfort foods, and also thought, well every now and then can’t hurt. Whereas in the past I totally would have seen my birthday as a reason to “treat” myself and just have a regular cake, I don’t see it that way anymore. Eating foods that make me feel poorly just isn’t really a treat, is it? So, what’s a girl to do but bake her own birthday cake! Organic Carrot Cake is my favorite cake!
Organic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
2 cups all-purpose, organic flour
2 tsp organic cinnamon
2 tsp organic baking powder
2 tsp organic baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup organic walnuts or pecans
3 cups peeled and grated organic carrots
1/2 cup all-natural, organic applesauce
1/2 cup organic light olive oil
2 free-range, organic eggs*
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 tbsp organic butter, chilled
1 (8 oz) package organic cream cheese (preferably Neufchatel cheese – also called 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1 lb package organic powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated organic lemon rind
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using butter, evenly coat 2 round, 8-inch cake pans and lightly dust with flour.
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Mix all wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well (note: batter will be very stiff).
Spread the batter evenly into TWO round, 8-inch baking cake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of each cake pan comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 5-10 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen cake layers from sides of pans using a narrow spatula or plastic knife; turn out onto wire racks; and let cool completely (about 30 minutes to 1 hour).
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Beat butter and cream cheese at high speed of a mixer in a large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon rind; beat at low speed until just blended (do not overbeat, or icing may become runny). Cover and chill.
To frost the cake, place 1 cake layer on a large plate. Spread about 1/3 the cream cheese icing on top of the layer; spreading carefully from the center out to just the edges of the cake layer (it is easiest to use a large knife). Top with the second cake layer and repeat, however this time use all the remaining icing and spread the icing over the sides/edges of the cake layer, making sure to evenly spread the remaining icing over the sides and top of the cake.
I plan to only add a few candles on my cake because if I added all the lit candles on my cake for my age, the cake would probably burn up! LOL