Like most Americans, after the excess indulging of the holiday season, in January I resolve to be more mindful of my calories and health. I know the key to maintaining a healthy body and mind is exercise and good nutrition. It’s really a simple matter of mathematics. If caloric input (the food we eat) is more than caloric output (the fuel we burn by moving), then our very efficient bodies store the excess (fat) for leaner times.
To increase my physical activity, I’m going to squeeze in some more exercise; take the stairs, walk to the mailbox, start the morning with crunches, and do some stationery lunges at my desk. On the weekends my husband and I plan to enjoy a new activity like Saturday night dancing, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
The biggest challenge with my eating habits is portion control. For example, those extra tablespoons of butter on my toast or baked potatoes are each 108 calories. Eliminating just one pat a day, equates to losing a pound a month. Instead of eating the entire bag of potato chips, if I enjoy just one serving, it saves 220 calories. Replacing those chips with carrot sticks saves me another 200 calories. Small steps that add up over time.
The best part is that by tweaking my nutrition and watching my portions allows room for the occasional dessert.
Unlike most carrot cakes, Carrot Applesauce Cake is not loaded with extra sugar and fat. Dense, moist, and fragrant with spices, it will satisfy your sweet tooth, even without the gobs of cream cheese frosting. This recipe feeds a crowd, so for portion control, freeze the extra or better yet, share with your family and friends.
Carrot Applesauce Cake
- 2¾ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1½ cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups Apple Sauce such as unsweetened Maine applesauce
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 3 cups grated or shredded carrots
- ½ cup dried fruit: raisin currants or cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and sugar. Stir in the grated carrots, coconut and dried fruit.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, canola oil, vanilla and applesauce.
- Add to the dried mixture, stirring just to combine.
- Spoon into the pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 45 – 50 minutes. Let cool on a rack and cut into 24 pieces.