Monthly Archives: December 2010

Gluten, Dairy, Soy and Egg Free Carrot Cake

Have you seen this video of the Hallelujah Chorus being sung in a food court in Ontario? If not, I highly recommend watching it.

Man, I love classical music.

I also love classic cakes, like carrot cake. When my mum asked me to make a cake for a party she was having, I knew that I wanted to make carrot cake. The only downside was the carrot cake I usually make has mayonnaise in it, so it’s a no-go for my family. I did find a recipe on Tasty Kitchen that looked very easy to convert to family friendly.

The recipe doesn’t quite make your taste buds break out in “Hallelujahs” (like mine would for good crème brûlée or rich dark chocolate mousse), but it is still very tasty. It’s also vegan, most common allergen free and pretty healthy as cakes go.  I reduced both the oil and sugar by half and increased the amount of grated carrot. If you want a more flavourful cake, I would recommend increasing the amount of the spices. Plus, If you can have cinnamon, please add some as well!

Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Egg and Cinnamon Free Carrot Cake

1 1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. tapioca starch
1 tsp. xathan gum
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. canola oil
3/4 c. applesauce
1 c. sugar
Egg replacer for 3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 – 3+ c. shredded carrot
1 can 8 3/4 oz. crushed pineapple, drained but keep the juice
1/2 – 1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut, raisins or chopped nuts (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13″ pan.
  2. Sift flours, xathan gum, baking soda, spices and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In separate larger bowl, mix oil and sugar. Then add applesauce, egg replacer and vanilla and beat well.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to liquid mixture. Add small amounts of pineapple juice if the batter seems too thick.
  5. Fold in carrots, pineapple and coconut.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and cook for 40 – 50 minutes or until the cake feels cooked on top and a toothpick inserted into the cake in multiple places comes out clean.
  7. Let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

What makes your taste buds sing “Hallelujah?”

Linked up to Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

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Filed under Baking

Starting a New Adventure

Over the last few months, I’ve felt like there’s not a huge amount of purpose in my life. I know I’ve spent time doing counseling stuff, for my photography course, going to the gym, etc. but most of my time I have been alone at home. I am an introvert, so most of the time I’m quite happy to be alone, but it was getting to be too much. After much pondering, I thought it would be good to do something for my sanity and to give back to the community.

I’ve started volunteering as a receptionist at CUPS’ (Calgary Urban Project Society) downtown lobby a few mornings a week. Why did I choose CUPS? Well, on my internship, the company I worked for sponsored an annual breakfast for CUPS, so I had the opportunity to learn about what they do. I believe that we’re called to look after and care for those who are less fortunate than us (Matthew 25: 35 – 40) and I thought that this would be a good opportunity to try to help.

It’s definitely very different from what I’m used to as the world of homelessness is not something I’ve really been exposed to. (Other than walking past the homeless people while trying to ignore their pleas for change.) Coming from a middle class world, it’s an eye-opening experience dealing urban poverty.

It’s been a very challenging experience for me dealing with people from different walks of life that me. I don’t generally swear a lot, I’ve never done drugs, I drink only occasionally and I’ve never had to worry about not having a roof over my head at night. When I came in for the first time and was dealing with clients who fulfill some or all of those criteria, it was a bit shocking. (And to be honest, it still is!) My heart goes out to these people as they’ve had a difficult life.

I know that over the short time I’ve been there, I have grown a lot. I’ve had to work on my boundaries, realized that I can’t fix everyone as much as I might like to and that I can’t take everything personally. I’m still struggling with these and many other things. Regardless, I do hope to be able to share my adventures in dealing with the homeless and what I’ve learned with all of you. My life is definitely slightly less boring now that I’ve started helping out at CUPS. 😛

Have you ever volunteered for the homeless? If so, how was your experience?

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Filed under Life