Healing Kitchen

Carrot Cake
Having always thought of carrot cake as a "healthy dessert", Margaret Stieber of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, was surprised when she took a close look at the recipe. Sure there were a couple of carrots in it, but also a cup of oil, 4 eggs, and 2 cups of sugar for a two-layer cake. It was the frosting ingredients that really stopped her cold: Half a pound of butter and 3/4 pound of full-fat cream cheese went into that irresistible icing! We worked out a recipe that Margaret could enjoy without qualms: It has just 3 tablespoons of oil, two eggs, and healthful extras including dried apricots and wheat germ. The resulting cake has only one-third the original amount of fat!

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The Ingredients

     1/2 cup slivered almonds  2 cups flour  1/2 cup toasted wheat germ  1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder  1 teaspoon baking soda  1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon  1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom  1/2 teaspoon salt  2 large eggs  1-1/3 cups granulated sugar  1-1/4 cups buttermilk  3 tablespoons extra-light olive oil  3 cups coarsely grated carrots  12 dried apricot halves, finely chopped  8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)  1/4 cup confectioners' sugar  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9- x 13-inch baking pan. Place almonds in small baking pan and toast 7 minutes or until golden brown. Leave oven on.

2. In medium bowl, combine flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. In large bowl, beat eggs and granulated sugar until light and lemon-colored. Beat in buttermilk and oil. Fold in dry ingredients. Stir in carrots, apricots and toasted almonds.

3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and cake has begun to pull away from sides of pan. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, in small bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla together. When cake is cool, frost top and sides with cream cheese frosting.

Makes 16 servings

Per serving: 261 calories, 9g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 4.6g monounsaturated fat, 1.2g polyunsaturated fat, 2.3g dietary fiber, 7g protein, 39g carbohydrate, 39mg cholesterol, 218mg sodium.
Good source of: beta-carotene.

Author: the Healing Kitchen staff
Date Published: 05/23/2000
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