One bite of these yummy bars and I was immediately taken back to grade school. My elementary school had some pretty amazing hot lunches they served; the same ladies in the kitchen every morning as the sun came up whipping the children up homemade, heart-filled food. We were lucky; so different than things today, and because of it, I have serious aspirations of doing that lunch lady thing someday myself, in some capacity.
Getting nutritious, balanced meals into children’s bodies just once a day over lunch at school could be so beneficial for their health. Regardless of what they are getting at home, how comforting to know they can be guaranteed one solid meal at school. In my opinion, that should be part of the curriculum, along with a quick five minute chat with them about what they are eating, where it came from, and what it can do for their impressionable bodies. Man, wouldn’t that be a game changer. To me, this is just as important as learning about history or 2 + 2. Because none of those fun facts and concepts can be properly maintained and applied without a healthy, nourished body to absorb it all.
So there was this spice cake we would have on occasion for school lunch that was my very favorite. It was a cake-like bar that had the most amazing, warming taste to it. I have been searching for that recipe for years. The taste and light, fluffy, cake-like texture of these Carrot Spice Cake Bars reminded me so much of them that my search may have ended.
They have graced our home a couple of times since that first time I made them, each time enjoyed as much as the first. They are super quick-breakfast worthy (and how stellar to get carrots in your kids before 9 am, right?), snack worthy, dessert worthy and such a healthy treat. We have tried them with dried blueberries instead of raisins and they were just plain great…but the raisins keep them true to the carrot cake game. They are moist and a spicefully perfect cozy food for this time of year.
I didn’t get many photos. Basically, because this is what happened when I set the plate down to adjust my camera. Tiny hands in for the kill…do not mess with these kiddos and their Carrot Spice Cake Bars, they will dominate..
I hope these bars bring a little comfort and warmth to your home this time of year just the way they do ours!
Carrot Spice Cake Bars
notes: Oat flour is available for purchase in most supermarkets. I make my own…it is very simple and cost effective. Just grind up rolled oats in your food processor or nut/coffee bean grinder until they resemble a smooth flour-like texture. I grind large quantities at a time and store them in an air tight container. Be sure to use gluten free oats/oat flour to ensure this recipe is gluten free.
1 1/2 Cups Oat Flour
1/2 Cup Almond Meal
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Allspice
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1/3 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup Whole Milk Greed Yogurt
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
2 Large Eggs + 1 Egg white
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
2/3 Cup Finely Grated Carrots (any color, I just used white in the photos above)
1/2 Cup Raisins or Dried Blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 8×8 pan. In a medium bowl whisk the oat flour, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, allspice and salt together. In a large bowl, whisk the applesauce, syrup, yogurt, buter, eggs + whites and vanilla together. Stir the dry ingredients in to the wet until combined. Fold in the carrots and raisins/blueberries and pour the batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool and cut into bars.