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When I was growing up, one of my favorite recipes was carrot cake. Sweet, moist carrot cake. Mmmmm, I can still taste how amazing it was when my Grandma Isabel made it from scratch. Last week I was in the mood to bake a similar sweet carrot cake like Isabel made… but it turned out more like a vegan bread than a cake. Probably because it was made in a loaf pan and used way less sugar and whole, fresh ingredients. So, we’re gunna call it carrot bread, k?
Baking this gluten-free bread recipe got me to thinking about how there are no rules when you are baking and cooking. It’s really whatever you make of it. You combine a bunch of ingredients and out comes a fabulous surprise. Writing your own recipe is a lot like writing your own prescription for your health.
What do I mean by this?
Well, over 6 years ago when I first became sick, I listened to every Western medicine doctor and took the steroids and water pills and so on… I didn’t listen to my body, I didn’t love it, I didn’t honor it. I didn’t ask my body what it needed.
Now, I listen.
I listen closely everyday and make sure I’m feeding my body the best quality ingredients and also using quality ingredients on my skin and around my home such as household cleaners and organic sunscreen, shampoo, hand soaps, etc. I tossed all the chemicals and toxic ingredients in my pantry as well as in my medicine cabinet and everywhere else.
I simplified my life.
Kinda like how I simplified this bread.
I used almond extract, ground cinnamon, fresh carrots and coconut flakes for a sweet touch along with chia seeds and water instead of using eggs. The recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar but if you’d rather not use that much, you can surely cut back on this measurement to your liking.
I was going for a mixture of carrot cake and zucchini bread in this recipe (minus the zucchini, obviously) but you get the picture, right? The look of a zucchini bread is so beautiful and moist – I feel like everyone loves it… I know my Uncle Mike is a huge fan (which reminds me I need to bake him a loaf soon)! Anyway, back to the recipe… carrot cake is one of those recipes that is so unique and I feel like it’s not as common as it was back in the early 90’s. This recipe is simply a healthier carrot cake – partially because it’s more of a bread and it doesn’t have icing and food dye on top.
Just like I simplified my carrot bread recipe, I’ve simplified my life. Now that I’m 30 life is a lot different from when I was 20 and 25 and even 28. It’s amazing how the older I get – I want to simply everything. Less ‘stuff’ in my apartment, less ‘wants’, less ‘needs’, etc….
I grew up fast getting sick almost a decade ago. Sometimes I feel like my 20s were a blur that I can’t even recall anything other than getting IVs and taking advice from doctors who really didn’t know what they were talking about. It made me realize that in order to simplify my life to the fullest, I needed to understand what was going on inside my body. Ya see, for so long I just relied on what the doctors said, how they transcribed by test results and CT Scans and biopsies. But then one day it dawned on me – why were my white blood cells 1.8 for the past 15 years and no doctor ever put up a red flag to tell me this was an issue?
I honestly don’t.
And who’s to blame here? Me? My doctor? Who?
It woke me up 6 years go and it made me take the time to learn about my body – to try to understand why my body was fighting me and why I wasn’t healing. I tried everything, read every book possible and I still do.
I’ve come a long way. And I’ve surely learned a whole lot more than if I just simply listened to my Western medicine doctors.
Was it more expensive?
Is my life insanely expensive?
My doctors don’t take insurance because they are specialists and my food is 100% organic and my Manhattan rent is a wad of money you don’t even wanna know about. Ha!
But that’s okay.
Because I’m happy. And I’m healing. And I know someone has put me through medical insanity for a reason.
I’m here to teach, to heal and to help all of you and everyone else out there suffering.
While I’m not as great as I felt when I was 23 – I’m getting there. Slowly but surely. I still have a long road ahead of me. But don’t we all?
Don’t we all have something in our lives that holds us back or upsets us?
I feel like we do… even if we don’t know it.
So, that brings me back to this gosh darn great carrot bread recipe because sometimes you just gotta simplify things.
Plus, it’s summer.
So go put on your fancy sunglasses and summer hat and pour yourself a glass of fresh iced tea.
O ya, and you may wanna put on the air conditioner because your kitchen is gunna heat up from baking this bread.
But, believe me… it’s worth it.
Just stick your head in the freezer for a few seconds and you’re all set.
- 3 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 9 Tbsp. water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups carrots finely grated
- 1 ripe banana mashed
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. almond extract
- 3 cups Gluten-Free Cup 4 Cup Flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 2 Tbsp. coconut flakes
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine chia seeds and water together in a medium bowl; mix well then let sit for 15 minutes.
Combine sugar, chia mixture, carrots and banana in a large bowl; mix well to combine. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; mix well to combine.
Transfer to 2 loaf pans.
Bake for 1 hour or until bread is set.
Remove from oven; set aside to cool before eating
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this brand of gluten-free flour, here is a link to purchase the Cup 4 Cup Gluten-Free Flour. I just learned about it and tried it for the first time. The flour is used exactly cup for cup to regular flour.