Hello, friends! My little blog is 2 years old!! Is it a birthday, or a blog-i-versary?! I’m not sure, but in any case, let’s celebrate with this yummy carrot cake with cashew coconut frosting…
How I wish you could all gather around my table so I could slice each of you a piece of this cake and say a big “THANK YOU!!” to you all for reading. It does mean the world to me that you would choose to spend your time in my little corner of the Internet.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since I first hit that “Publish” button on my beloved banana oat cookies. (But when I look back and see those photos… oh my! Then I believe it.) These two years have brought a lot of growth to The Expat Dietitian… both as a blog, and to me as a person. Early last year, I considered “rebranding” myself because I was wondering if calling my blog “The Expat Dietitian” was somehow limiting my niche to only “expats.” I strongly considered changing my website name to something with a wider scope, and frankly, something easier to spell. Ha! But the more I sat and pondered what to change it to, and how I wanted the focus of this space to grow, the more I just kept landing back on The Expat Dietitian. It really is my identity! I am, and always will be, a dietitian. It’s not only my profession, it’s my passion. And, for the foreseeable future, I am also an expat. If the time comes when I’m not anymore, I think my experience overseas will have made such an impact on my life that I’ll still be able to write under this name. 3rd culture adult, lol.
And it seems you guys relate too… I actually don’t think it matters if you’re living abroad or not. We can all appreciate a beautiful dragonfruit grown in a local province, even if we’re in the middle of a city… or a basket full of mangoes picked from the tree next door, even if it wasn’t our own tree. We live in a small world now, friends… at least, it feels small to me in how easy it is to stay connected… but big in the sense of the vast opportunities that still await. I want to use this space to “inspire healthy living” no matter what, whether you’re living in your home country with familiar food on grocery store shelves, or in a foreign country with spicy outdoor markets and giant papayas growing in your backyard.
I’ve learned soooo much about the blogging world in these past 2 years, and one thing is, it’s changing faster than I am. I used to have aspirations of monetizing my blog… attracting advertisers, getting sponsored posts… of growing my name in the industry. And while it’s good to dream big, I guess to be totally honest, being a “big name” is not really where my heart lies. Because along with advertisers comes a more cluttered space, slower loading time, and annoying pop-ups… and along with sponsored posts come deadlines, accountability, and obligation to those sponsors. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of fantastic products I use all the time and would love to write a sponsored post about… it’s just not something I’m striving after. For now, I’m content to have ultimate freedom in what I share with you, and content to be found on page 3 or 4 of an internet search. At least I’m findable, and probably more so than I was in the first year… I’m happy for small gains!
So thank you, lovely friends, for growing and adapting right along with me, for welcoming my food, for entertaining (if not doing!) my workouts, and for supporting my new challenge of training for my first fitness competition (now scheduled for October 21!!!) You’re the best.
Now, onto the cake, shall we?? I adore carrot cake with its rich spiciness and creamy frosting. It just feels homey to me. I have to admit I’m not eating much cake these days, what with my bodybuilding diet and all. Cake typically just has too much sugar for me to justify. So I made a few tweaks in my regular vegan recipe to decrease the sugar and up the protein, and changed the frosting from coconut cream-based to cashew-based. It’s amazingly good… moist, tender, and just sweet enough. Because it uses eggs, it’s no longer vegan, but it is dairy-free for those of you who have a dairy sensitivity.
This cake gets its lovely texture & moistness from all the shredded carrots, fresh orange juice, diced pineapple, almond butter, & eggs. It uses only 1/3 cup of coconut (or brown) sugar vs. the usual full cup of white sugar… this is a big reduction! But it still tastes plenty sweet, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder also adds some sweetness (I like this one, because it uses stevia, an herbal sweetener, instead of artificial sweeteners.) If you don’t care to use protein powder, no biggie. Just add an additional 2 T. coconut sugar, and 2 T. coconut flour. Your result will be fab.
Definitely make the frosting! It’s made with blended cashews, almond milk, a little protein powder, and a splash of coconut cream to make it extra creamy. And… I highly recommend you make a double batch of it and put it between the cake layers as well, instead of just on top. I didn’t, but you should. That much more yumminess for you.
I adore you all. Looking forward to sharing more with you in the coming year! Have a beautiful day!
Carrot Cake with Cashew Coconut Frosting
- For the cake:
- 3 eggs (can sub 3 T. flax meal + ½ cup water… mix and let stand 5 min)
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar (can sub brown sugar)
- ¼ cup almond butter
- juice of ½ large orange
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1 T. extra-virgin coconut oil
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 ½ cups shredded carrots
- ¼ cup chopped fresh pineapple
- 1 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (about 30gm/1 oz) (can sub 2 T. coconut sugar + 2 T. coconut flour)
- 1 ½ t. baking soda
- 1 t. baking powder
- ½ t. salt
- 2 t. cinnamon
- ¼ t. nutmeg
- 1/8 t. cloves
- 1/8 t. allspice
- For the frosting:
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked 3 hours & drained
- ½ scoop vanilla protein powder
- ½ cup almond milk (can sub light coconut milk for a richer frosting)
- 1 T. coconut cream
- 1 T. maple syrup
- dash salt
- To decorate:
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 175C (350 F.) Spray 2 square baking tins with non-stick spray and dust with flour.
- For the cake, mix together the egg & egg whites (or flax eggs), coconut sugar, almond butter, orange juice, almond milk, coconut oil, & vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Stir in carrots and pineapple.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, protein powder, baking soda, baking powder, & spices. Add this to the carrot mixture and stir until just moistened.
- Pour evenly into the prepared pans, spread to the edges, and bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for about 15 minutes.
- To make the frosting, place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until very smooth. Chill briefly to firm up, then spread on cake. Sprinkle walnuts over the top.
- Makes 9-12 servings.
7 thoughts on “The Expat Dietitian Turns 2!”
Happy birthday thexpatdietitian. ..omg it is hard to spell and auto correct does interesting things with it!
Anyway…happy birthday! You should have yelled louder, I would have come and helped you celebrate with this delicious cake! Another one for my ‘folder’
Here’s to another year 💕
Jo, thank you sooo much for your ongoing support… it makes my heart warm! 🙂 Here’s to another year and many more cakes… xoxo
A very happy birthday to your blog! It has been so wonderful to “hear” you talking to me from across the seas, because you are talking to ME! We are still neck deep in “moving”, so I haven’t even read the last few blogs – too tired, but happily! See you soon. Love, Pc
You’re right, I AM writing to you!!! 🙂 I love that you can hear my voice in my blog… that’s what I want. I cannot WAIT to see you this summer and pamper you like you’ve always pampered us… love you!!! xoxo
Happy Birthday! Nothing but undiluted joy to have been privileged to journey with you the past 2 years. You have nourished our hearts, our souls and our stomachs with decadence and delight. Love the Blog and all the nutritious recipes. But most of all, how you weave it all together and make it a tapestry of wholesome, healthy treasures …
Dearest Mandi, THANK YOU!!! Your support and encouragement mean the world to me… both in this blog, and in life. 🙂 It truly warms my heart to think that my recipes are gracing your beautiful table and nourishing your family. What a blessing! xoxo
I’ve made quite a few of your creations and have enjoyed them very much. It is always good to try something new.
Keep it up