Carrot Cake Muffins

Carrot Cake Muffins (from Straight Up Food)

5 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup water

1 3/4 cups rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1/2 of a ripe banana
1 cup soy or almond milk
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the 5 dates, 1/4 cup raisins and 1/2 cup water. Let soak while you prepare the other ingredients (at least 15 minutes).

2. Grind the rolled oats in a high-speed blender until it resembles flour; transfer to a large bowl. Add to this the baking powder, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, and mix with a fork.

3. Transfer the soaked dates, raisins and water to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds). Add the banana and soy or almond milk and blend further until everything is smooth. Add this wet mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and gently fold together using a big spoon; now fold in the carrots, raisins and walnuts. The batter should be somewhere between a cake batter and cookie batter in consistency.

4. Spoon batter into a non-stick muffin pan (or silicone muffin pan) Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned on top and muffin springs back slightly when touched on top. (You can also make a one 8×8-inch square cake. Cook it for 40-45 minutes, until there are a few cracks in the top of the cake. Forty minutes will yield a slightly moister cake.)

5. Remove from oven and allow to cool before eating. Eat as is or top with the carrot cake frosting below.

Carrot Cake Frosting

5 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup raw cashews (not salted or roasted)
3/4 cup water

3 tablespoons lemon juice or crushed pineapple
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (1 teaspoon alcohol free vanilla extract)
2 tablespoons tofu (silken or firm)
1/4 cup water (plus 2-3 more tablespoons as needed)

1. Soak the dates and cashews in 3/4 cup water for 15-30 minutes. After soaking, drain off the soak water into a bow (you will need the soak water!)

2. In a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients (measuring out the 1/4 cup water from the soak water) and blend until very smooth, adding more water as needed to reach desired consistency. Frost muffins (or cake) just before serving.  Leftover frosting will keep refrigerated for 3-5 days.

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