Who remembers having a slice of mum or grandma’s homemade carrot cake with thick cream cheese icing? Carrot cake has been an all-time favourite for decades and we love it – but even though it has carrots and walnuts, traditional carrot cake is pretty high in carbs, with sugar and wheat flour as the base.
We developed a Carrot Cake Mix that is low carb, high protein, and has no added sugar, plus we didn’t add whey which is great for those with sensitive tummies, and for vegetarian, vegan and plant based diets.
It’s super healthy compared to a standard carrot cake mix, as our mix has a base of lupin, almond meal, sunflower seeds, rice protein, coconut, chia seeds, flaxmeal, natural sweeteners and natural flavours including cinnamon and nutmeg.
As a comparison, Green’s Carrot Cake Mix, which is a common household favourite, has sugar and wheat flour listed as the main ingredients and it comes in at 32g carbs, including 21g sugar, per serve, compared to ours which is only 5g carbs with no added sugar.
Here are all the goodies you’ll find in our Carrot Cake…
Lupin has an outstanding nutritional profile. It has one of the highest sources of plant proteins available which is almost four times more than wholegrain wheat. It is high in fibre, has a high bio-availability of essential nutrients and minerals, is high in essential amino acids and is cholesterol free. These little legumes have a low GI for a slow release of energy as well as being low carb, non-GMO and gluten free.
Studies have shown that lupin can improve glucose metabolism in diabetes, suppress appetite, improve digestion, promote good bacteria in the gut, and reduce blood pressure. Lupin has almost no trypsin inhibitors which are known to interfere with digestion and are often found in other legumes, and is very low in lectins and saponins which are known gastric irritants.
(Lupin falls into the legume family, so be aware if you have a legume allergy.)
Almond meal (or almond flour), which is just ground almonds, contains healthy fats and plenty of micronutrients including vitamin E and manganese.
Because almond meal is low carb and low GI, it is a much better alternative for managing blood sugar levels compared to normal flour. Almonds are also rich in magnesium which is known to be beneficial for glucose metabolism.
It’s also high in fibre for good digestion and to keep you full, gluten free which is great if you are sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, as well as being a really good source of healthy unsaturated fatty acids.
The dried seeds from sunflowers are a good source of vitamin E, which is an important fat-soluble nutrient and antioxidant which has anti-inflammatory effects. They are also a great source of magnesium, which is necessary for energy production, and selenium which is important for repairing damaged cells.
They’re a healthy source of essential fatty acids which are known to contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system and reduce inflammation.
Great for vegetarian, vegan and plant based diets, rice protein is also great if you have a gut sensitivity to whey protein as it’s easier to digest.
Rice protein is low in carbs and low in fat, while being a completely vegan source of quality protein which tends to be better quality than soy protein, and is great for people with soy or dairy allergies or if you’re avoiding soy or dairy for other reasons.
It’s gluten free so it’s great for people who can’t tolerate gluten, and is a great way to boost protein from a plant based source.
High in fibre to keep you full and aid digestion, coconut also contains plant-based iron, which can help with cell growth, as well as copper which promotes the absorption of iron.
It is also a good source of manganese which plays a role in energy metabolism, as well as containing other micronutrients.
If you’re adding in coconut oil as your fat/oil of choice in the cake, you’ll be adding in a dose of lauric acid, which has been shown in some studies to help to boost the immune system and fight off viral infections. Coconut and coconut oil is high in saturated fats, but if you’re keto or low carb you’ll be using fats as your main energy source.
Flaxmeal is ground up flaxseeds (which are also called linseeds). These seeds are high in essential fatty acids including omega 3s, and are high in fibre which promotes healthy digestion. Flaxseeds are a good source of protein and are rich in various vitamins and minerals.
If you are vegetarian or don’t eat fish, flaxseeds can be your best source of omega 3 fats through alpha-linolenic acid, which is one of the two essential fatty acids that can only be obtained from food because your body doesn’t produce them (which is why they are called essential fatty acids). Plant-based ALA fatty acids are proven to have heart health benefits.
Flaxseeds contain up to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods, which are plant compounds that have antioxidant properties and are excellent for balancing hormone levels in the body.
Chia seeds are a good source of essential omega 3 fatty acids in the form of alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Omega 3s are known for their anti-inflammatory effects and being good for heart and brain health.
They are also high in fibre which keeps you full and promotes healthy digestion.
Natural sweeteners (stevia and xylitol)
We only use natural sweeteners, which have minimal effect on blood sugar levels and have much less calories than regular sugar, as well as tasting great.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol which is derived from plant sources. It is indigestible which is why it doesn’t have an impact on sugar levels, even though it tastes sweet. It’s been shown in studies to be beneficial for teeth health as it starves off bad bacteria in saliva which has been shown to prevent cavities.
Stevia is a very sweet (up to 200 times as sweet as regular sugar) natural dried tree leaf that doesn’t raise blood sugars like sugar or some artificial sweeteners do, and has no calories. This ‘sweet herb’ has been used in Brazil and Paraguay for more than 1,500 years.
(If you have a pup, be aware that xylitol is toxic to dogs, so make sure you don’t feed our carrot cake – or banana bread – to your pooch!)
Cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice
Cinnamon can help keep blood sugar levels stable, is high in antioxidants which can reduce free radical damage and may reduce inflammation.
Nutmeg has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects, and mixed spice also includes small amounts of ginger which also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Each loaf of our Carrot Cake has 3 fresh carrots grated in, so you’re packing in a lot of nutrients.
We’ve all heard that carrots are good for the eyes, right? There is truth in this because carrots are full of beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A, and deficiencies in vitamin A are linked to eye disease and blindness.
The deeper the orange colour, the more beta-carotene the carrot contains. Vitamin A is converted with the help of fats (because it is a fat-soluble vitamin), so a small amount of fat is required for it to be absorbed (such as the coconut oil or butter you add to the cake).
Carrots are high in fibre which is good for your gut and keeps you full. They are rich in antioxidants, and contain not only vitamin A, but also biotin, B vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, vitamin C, manganese, folate and vitamin E.
Walnuts are nutrient dense, with a good source of iron, selenium, calcium, zinc, vitamin E and some B vitamins, and are a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They are also a good source of omega 3s, which have anti-inflammatory properties, are important for brain function, and have been shown in clinical studies to boost mood.
Walnuts can also be good for the gut microbiome which increases good gut bacteria. And even though they are energy-rich, there has been some evidence to suggest that consuming walnuts does not cause weight gain.
Studies have also shown that walnuts might have a positive impact on reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, and there has also been research to suggest that walnuts can improve cholesterol levels and markers for inflammation, which is also connected to a reduced risk of heart disease.
To make our Protein Carrot Cake, just add in carrots, walnuts, milk, eggs and coconut oil, mix to combine and bake!
Check out our Carrot Cake Mix below!