Healthy fresh foods combined with a strong focus on holistic fitness and health is where I find happiness. Hoping to motivate others to follow the same path. Our bodies are our homes - lets keep them clean :).
Sweet (grain-free and refined sugar free) Carrot Bread
I am home!
The boyfriend and I have been travelling for the last (almost) 3 weeks throughout parts of South East Asia, which was absolutely amazing and definitely gave me some much needed time away from the daily grind. I thought I would miss cooking.. but for some reason, I really didnt! I think I had gotten to a point that my love for cooking and baking had meant that I was spending all day, every day thinking about what I would cook or bake next and then spending every night, before bed sampling everything as if it was my last meal.
I would go to sleep feeling so full every night.. and then regret it the next morning. Of course everything I make is maximally healthy however I firmly believe that too much of anything is bad and also that the major issue creating the obesity epidemic is over-eating.
While away, not only did I venture out and eat things that I wouldnt usually eat at home, such as; pasta, noodles, rice, baked goods made with "normal" ingredients, ice creams, milkshakes etc. but I also found that I was eating less and less frequently because I had become more lenient on myself. I think the psychology behind this is that if I have mentally decided that I am "allowed" to eat whatever I feel like, I dont feel deprived and I dont feel that I have to gobble down all the delicious food in sight right now!
SO! I was eating less, but eating things that are usually on the banned list... yet I felt more lean and confident in a bikini than I have in a long time!
In addition to this I did unfortunately end up with food poisoning toward the end of our holiday which made food the enemy for a good few days but the point of what I am saying is that my attitude toward food has definitely changed.
Since returning, I have reverted to many of my old eating habits (mostly paleo) largely because the foods I ate previously were foods that I genuinely enjoyed but instead of forcing myself to say no to a slice of "farewell cake" at work or making something different when the family has crumbed fish, I have eaten these things, brushed it off and gotten straight back to my normal eating. Of course I wouldnt have that piece of cake every day or even every week (and probably wouldn't feel like it every day/week) but on occasion, these things are ok. It sounds like the oldest trick in the book but moderation really is the key!
I could be very wrong and I may well start ballooning in a few weeks time, but I can say that before we left for our trip I was exercising more than ever and eating almost 100% "paleo-approved" foods but I was just eating too-much and had reeeally low self esteem. Too many "paleo" baked goods, too much coconut butter - I couldnt stop when I was full and lacked the strength because the evil half of me would say "but it's healthy!".
So - my return to baking happened yesterday (even though I said I would wait until June :| ) and the below recipe was inspired by a piece of carrot cake I ate in Ho Chi Minh City! It was delicious... and it got me thinking about a healthier version and how the flavours all work together to make carrot taste deliciously indulgent.
The experiment started with two bowls and whatever ingredients I had on hand, an oven and the desire to make a delicious warm bread for what was our coldest day yet this winter season.
Paleo Carrot Bread
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp almond essence
3 tbs organic Honey (I used Organic Australian Rainforest Honey)
1/2 cup almond milk
2tbs coconut oil (melted)
1 medium sized carrot (grated)
255g almond meal (this was one packet for me)
1.5 tsp baking soda
Salt (I used Pink Himalayan Crystal Salt)
Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius.
Pre-prepare a loaf pan with baking paper.
Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in the other.
Once the contents of each bowl are well combined, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix well and then pour into pre-prepared loaf pan.
Place in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on your oven) or until the loaf has browned, springs back when lightly touched and also when a cake tester comes out clean from the middle.
Allow the cake to cool before removing!
This loaf is delicious served both warm, cold and at room temperature! It does not have an overpowering carrot taste by any means and is deliciously sweet without being too rich. Try it with some honey, almond spread or unsalted butter depending on your dietary preferences!