Iced Carrot Cake

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It just can’t officially be spring without enjoying a buttery and sweet carrot cake.   I actually used to dislike carrot cake until I tried this recipe; that’s when I realized that what I thought I knew about carrot was completely wrong.   Amazingly, the carrots hardly add any flavors except for a subtle sweetness that pairs wonderfully with the gooey cinnamon-sugar element of the crumbly cake.   Between these fluffy layers, sweet icing melts into them creating a glaze throughout the cake.   This carrot cake is a harmonious combination of natural flavors and textures for a delectable spring dessert.  So in honor of Easter and the emergence of spring, give this carrot cake recipe a try and enjoy its sweet and delicious taste.   Just be sure you hide it from all the hungry, carrot-hunting bunnies.  
  
 
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This delicious cake also happens to be free from the most common allergens such as gluten, soy, corn, dairy, and eggs.   It is also made without refined chemicals, sugars, or preservatives.   The simple goodness from whole plant ingredients constructs a naturally sweet dessert because nature provides the best flavors that could never be created in a food lab.

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Iced Carrot Cake

Dry ingredients:

4 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (a food processor makes this step much easier)
3 cups gluten free flour e.g. Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. unrefined salt
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
optional 1/4 cup raisins

 

Wet ingredients:

2 cups unrefined sugar
1 tbsp. molasses
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. ground flaxseed mixed with 1 cup water (let sit for ten minutes until thickened)

 

Icing:
1 cup room temp coconut oil or earth balance buttery spread
6 cups powder/castor sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. unrefined salt

 

Directions:
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and start by washing then peeling the carrots. Next finely shred them with a grater or in a food processor for a much easier process. Add dry ingredients to a medium sized bowl and whisk. Add in the shredded carrots and mix. Next, combine the ground flaxseed with a cup of water and whisk, set aside for ten minutes. Meanwhile, combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl and taste just in case. Add the thickened flax-water mix to the wet ingredients, mix, then add wet to dry. Mix until cake batter forms and transfer to two standard sized greased circle pans. Bake for around 20 minutes or more depending on climate. Just keep checking until a fork inserted comes out clean. Take out and let cool. Prepare frosting and once cake has cooled, flip one cake onto a plate and frost. Next, top with other cake layer and frost that one. Slice, garnish, and serve. Enjoy the sweetness!

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Sweet Potato Soup

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This sweet potato soup’s texture is amazingly creamy.  It is as smooth as velvet and creamier than many common cheese sauces or cream soups.   It’s also the perfect base that many herbs and spices can be added to for endless different flavor combinations.  Use it as a sauce or simply a creamy soup that is delicious with so many foods.
 
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Sweet potatoes and yams are one of the most nutrient-dense foods.   They contain high amounts of vitamin A and are rich in beta-carotene.   This wonderful tuber is not only extremely nutritious, but it is delicious as well.   When slow-roasted, their flavors fully develop and the flesh becomes caramelized.   You can also steam them for a fluffy and soft texture.   And when turned into a puree they become an incredibly smooth and buttery sauce or soup that can be transformed into so many recipes.   This recipe uses mild herbs and spices for a tasty dish with subtle flavors.
 
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Sweet Potato Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 4 sweet potatoes, cooked until soft
  2. 2 cloves minced garlic
  3. 1/4 tsp. dried basil
  4. 1/4 tsp. dried parsley
  5. 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  6. dash of paprika
  7. dash of salt
  8. 1/2 tbsp. oil of choice
  9. optional toppings: extra seasonings, sprouts, and seeds
Instructions
  1. Add cooked sweet potatoes to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend on high until very creamy. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend on low until flavors combine. Pour and serve. Top with additional seasonings and toppings. Enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie Bowl

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In this recipe, juicy blueberries are swirled into vanilla soft-serve along with buttery and chewy sweet mulberries for a taste that is reminiscent of blueberry muffins.  It is like eating the ice cream version of a berry cake or muffin only the recipe is made purely from fruit. :)
 
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Blueberry Muffin Smoothie Bowl
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Ingredients
  1. 5 frozen ripe bananas, slightly thawed
  2. 1 peeled banana ripe with spots
  3. 1 cup blueberries
  4. 1/2 cup raspberries
  5. 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  6. 1/2 cups dried mulberries
  7. optional cinnamon
  8. extra berries for topping
Instructions
  1. Blend all the bananas on low in a food processor or blender making sure to shove the fruit into the blades every now and then. Once bananas are very smooth and have reached a soft-serve consistency, add blueberries and raspberries to the blender and blend on low until berries are swirled into the soft-serve. Pour mixture into a bowl and top with the dried mulberries, maple syrup, cinnamon, and additional berries.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Fruity Smoothie Bowl

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Full of fruity goodness, this nutritious smoothie bowl is allergen-free and extremely healthy for you.  It contains vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein.  Feel free to mix up the toppings and smoothie flavor depending on what’s in season.  Also, frozen fruit is a convenient way to add good-quality fruit to a recipe.  Berries, sliced bananas and mangoes as well as a sprinkle of cinnamon and maple syrup make excellent toppings.  Whip up this easy smoothie bowl for a quick and nourishing breakfast or snack. It is truly a creamy and delightful bowl of sweet fruits.

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Fruity Smoothie Bowl
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Ingredients
  1. 6 frozen bananas
  2. optional non-dairy milk (recommended if not using a high-speed blender)
  3. 1 tbsp. maple syrup or other sweetener
Toppings
  1. berries, sliced bananas, mangoes
  2. cinnamon and male syrup
Instructions
  1. In a high speed blender or food processor, blend frozen bananas on low making sure to push them into the blades every now and then until completely mixed. It should resemble a soft-serve ice cream consistency. After fully blended, add in maple syrup and blend until just mixed. Pour soft-serve into a bowl and top with additional ingredients. Enjoy this creamy and delightful bowl of sweet fruits!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Italian Herb Infused Tomato Sauce

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This classic tomato sauce is infused with savory Italian herbs and lightly sauteed garlic.  The richness and saltiness of the tomatoes creates an amazing sauce that goes well on so many foods–not just pasta! It is delicious coated over noodles/rice and tender veggies.  While this tomato sauce is made from scratch, it happens to be quite simple to make.  You can use any variety of fresh or canned tomatoes.  Just imagine how amazing this sauce will be made with fresh and juicy summer tomatoes that are bursting with flavor from the glorious summer rays.&7nbsp; But even with simple canned tomatoes, this sauce tastes delicious.  Prepare and chop your ingredients from the recipe below, grab a pan, and start making this easy sauce that comes together in minutes!
 
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Garlic-Herb Tomato Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
  2. 1 tbsp. coconut or olive oil
  3. 1/2 cup tomato paste
  4. 3 chopped tomatoes
  5. 1/4 cup water
  6. 2 tbsp. organic sugar
  7. 1/2 tsp. of dried: basil, oregano and parsley
  8. or 1/4 cup fresh herbs for each if using fresh herbs
  9. Italian seasoning spice mixture
  10. a pinch of rosemary
  11. lots of salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. First, prepare and chop ingredients; set aside. Sautée minced garlic in oil until garlic is soft and golden, add in chopped fresh herbs or dried herbs or a mixture of both and coat in the sautéed garlic. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix. Simmer on low for a few minutes or until warm, and fragrant.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Golden Spiced Tomato Rice with Pea Cream

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Full of tender vegetables and whole-food carbohydrates, this dish is rich in iron, protein, vitamins and minerals.  After all the ingredietns are prepped and the pea cream is blended, they combine together in a skillet and meld with several warm and flavorful spices.
 
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To save time when making dishes with lots of herbs and spices, I usually combine all the spices/herbs together in a cup before they’re needed so that they can quickly be dumped into the dish at the right times.  Many have probably already discovered this time-saving tip, but it’s worth reiterating because it really helps the cooking process go smoothly instead of burning ingredients while you are running back to the cupboard to get yet another spice–I’ve been there many times.
 
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Golden Spiced Tomato Rice with Pea Cream
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Pea Cream
  1. 4 cups green peas
  2. 1 cup hot vegetable broth
  3. 1/2 cup non-dairy plain milk or yogurt
  4. 1 clove minced garlic
  5. 1/4 tsp. cumin
  6. 1/4 tsp. paprika
  7. 1/4 tsp. thyme
  8. 1/2 tbsp. dried cilantro
  9. 2 tsp. coconut oil
  10. optional 1/4 tsp. ginger powder
  11. unrefined salt and pepper to taste
Main Dish
  1. 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  2. 1/2 tbsp. curry powder or just turmeric for low spice
  3. 1/4 tsp. dried basil
  4. 1/4 tsp. dried parsley
  5. 1/4 tsp. paprika
  6. 1/2 tsp. cumin
  7. 2 cups cooked white rice
  8. 1 tbs. organic sugar
  9. 1/2 cup tomato paste
  10. 1/4 tsp. mustard powder
  11. prepared pea cream
  12. 1/2 cup peas
  13. steamed broccoli
  14. 4 cups finely chopped greens
Instructions
  1. First, steam broccoli and cook rice. While those are cooking, prepare ingredients and purėe peas with the liquids in a high-speed blender or food processor until very creamy; then blend on low with the rest of pea cream ingredients until mixed; set this aside for later. When rice and broccoli are done, start sauteing garlic, coconut oil, and the spices in a skillet; then add rice and broccoli and the rest of the ingredients plus the pea cream. Stir until everything is mixed together and warmed, add greens towards the end of cooking. Serve and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Extra liquid might need to be added during cooking
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

15-minute Gluten-Free Pasta & Pea Alfredo

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This dish is wonderfully creamy and satisfying and couldn’t be any easier to make!   Simply boil noodles, steam the peas, and blend with a few other ingredients and it’s ready to eat.   Using a high-speed blender, simple peas transform into a velvety and thick sauce with a savory flavor reminiscent of Alfredo sauce.   It is also the perfect allergen-free and plant-based healthy meal.  This nutritious and delicious meal is simple to create.
 
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Gluten-Free Pasta & Pea Alfredo
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 package pasta such as of gluten free brown rice spirals
Sauce
  1. 4 cups frozen sweet peas
  2. 1 to 2 cloves minced garlic
  3. 1 cup hot vegetable broth
  4. 1/2 cup warm non-dairy milk
  5. 1 tbs. coconut oil or earth balance buttery spread
  6. 1/4 tsp. basil
  7. 1/4 tsp. parsley
  8. salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Prepare noodles according to package and boil or steam the peas for about ten minutes. After cooked, add peas to a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth, then add in the rest of the sauce ingredients and blend on low. Pour sauce over the cooked and rinsed noodles. Garnish with additional herbs. Enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Curried Coconut Veggies

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You might be thinking that this blog is starting to become the curry and coconut blog, but this winning combination is just too delicious not to add it to everything…except for cookies.  Curry cookies takes that idea a little too far.  :)

Now onto the recipe–coated in a creamy and flavorful sauce, these tender curried veggies are a warm side dish to complete any meal.   The simple steamed vegetables absorb the rich sauce, which is infused with golden curry spices that add a wonderful aroma.

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Curried Coconut Veggies
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Ingredients
  1. steamed frozen or fresh veggie mix such as broccoli, peas, cauliflower, carrots, baby corn, bell peppers etc.
  2. 1 cup coconut milk + optional scoop of plain coconut yogurt
  3. 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  4. 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  5. 1 to 2 cloves minced garlic
  6. 1/2 tbsp. curry powder
  7. 1 tsp. turmeric
  8. optional 1 tsp. chili powder
  9. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Whisk flaxseed into coconut milk and set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, steam vegetables until tender. Sautee garlic in coconut oil at low heat for a few minutes. Add spices and let the heat bring out their flavors then add coconut/flax mix and stir. Add steamed veggies and mix to coat with the sauce. Add salt and pepper, optional scoop of coconut yogurt and serve.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

One-Pot Red Lentil Dal

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Happy 2015!   Celebrate the new year with this soothing and healing batch of lentil dal. It is easy to make, very nourishing and will facilitate health and satisfaction.
The aromatic spices in this dish mesh with the warming and creamy lentil dal for a comforting dish that will warm and satisfy a hungry stomach.  These fragrant spices add a delightful touch to the simple yet satisfying lentil that can be left in a pot on the stove over medium heat until the mixture absorbs the moisture and flavors fully, where it becomes creamy and thick.   


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According to ancient medicine, it is healthy in the winter to consume foods that have a warming effect on the body, such as cooked soups, beans, legumes and rice with warming spices and herbs.  It also helps the body’s immune system to keep it warm and fuel immunity and general health. On the other hand, it says how the juicy fruits and crisp veggies available during summer have a cooling effect on the body. 

One-Pot Red Lentil Dal
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  2. 6 cups water
  3. 2 cloves minced garlic
  4. 1 tbsp. oil
  5. 1 tbsp. turmeric
  6. 1 tbsp. curry powder
  7. 1 tbsp. dried cilantro
  8. 1 tsp. dried ginger
  9. 1 tbs. cumin
  10. 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  11. optional fresh chopped cilantro and 3 handfuls spinach stirred in at the end
  12. pink salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except brown sugar, greens, and s & p. to a large pot and bring to a boil; mix ingredients together then turn down to simmer covered for 40 minutes to an hour. You will know it's done when lentils have fully absorbed all the moisture. It should be creamy and thick with little excess water. Stir in brown sugar, greens, and salt and pepper and allow to cool before serving.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/