Spiced Carrot Cookies

Spiced carrot cookies

These spiced bites are a bit like a carrot cake but in soft and chewy cookie form. They are perfect for a snack or teatime treat for kids or adults and you can make them as healthy as you like, depending on what ingredients you use. They are slightly sweet but not too much so and the sweetness comes naturally from the carrots, raisins and honey.

I personally love the fairly strong taste of the mix of different spices but if you have picky kids who might object to it, you can reduce the quantities of spices a bit or leave any (or all) of them out. If you’re not sure, start with half the quantity of spices stated in the recipe and taste after adding the final ingredients. You can always add more spice (and more honey if you like) at that point if you mix it in well, before rolling the balls.

For the healthiest possible version, I usually use coconut oil instead of butter but either will work. If you don’t have oats, you could substitute for them with another cup of wholewheat flour, so you would then be using a total of 2 cups of flour. And if you don’t have wholewheat flour, you could use plain white flour instead.

The texture of the finished cookies is quite rough since the ingredients are fairly chunky. If you (or your kids) prefer a smoother texture, simply grind the nuts more. You can grind the oats too if you like and grate the carrots very finely. In a worst case scenario, if your kids are extremely fussy, you could even blend the carrots and raisins together to make a puree before adding them.

Note: I made half a batch here, so don’t worry if the quantities look a little less than yours if you are making a full batch.

Ingredients

  • 150g coconut oil or butter
  • 1T honey
  • 1½c grated carrots
  • 1c nuts e.g. cashews or walnuts
  • 1c oats
  • 1c wholewheat flour
  • 1t baking powder
  • 2t ground ginger
  • 2t ground cinnamon
  • 1t ground cloves
  • ¼t ground or grated nutmeg
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1t vanilla essence
  • ½c raisins or sultanas

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Measure out the honey and coconut oil or butter into a small saucepan.

Coconut oil and honey

Put on the stove to just melt, then remove from heat.

Melted coconut oil and honey

In the meantime, grate the carrots.

Grated carrot

Chop the nuts roughly by hand or put them briefly in a grinder. Ideally you want them in biggish chunks though, not ground up too much.

Grind nuts roughly into chunks

Whisk the eggs with a fork.

Whisk eggs

Place the oats, flour, baking powder, salt and all the spices in a bowl and mix them together.

Oats, flour, baking powder and spices

Mix oats, flour, baking powder and spices

Add the vanilla, beaten egg and melted coconut oil/butter and mix again.

Add egg, vanilla, honey and coconut oil

Mix in wet ingredients

Now add the carrots, nuts and raisins.

Add carrots, nuts and raisins

Stir well to form a chunky mixture. This is the point at which you could taste and add more spices and/or honey if you wish.

Mix all together

Using your hands, roll the mixture into balls 3 – 4cm in diameter. You may need to gather up the raisins and bits of carrot and squash them in as it doesn’t stick together very well at this stage. Place the balls on the baking sheet slightly apart and use a fork to squash them down a bit.

Form into balls and squash down slightly

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cookies are light brown.

Baked spiced carrot cookies

Cool on a baking rack before serving either slightly warm or completely cold. They are best eaten fresh or within a day or two of making them.

 

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© Alexandra Lawrence and Inspired Nourishment, 2014

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