This is a wonderful, tasty and healthy carrot cake from "Forks Over Knives" cookbook. Can you imagine a carrot cake without oodles of oil, sugar and butter? Well, this is it and you'll be surprised how delicious it is! One of my favorites! Notice the amount of wonderful spices in this recipe. The cake is sweetened with maple syrup and applesauce, and the pineapple. You see, we can have our cake and eat it, too!

3/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
one 8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained well
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 T ground flaxseeds
1 2/3 cup spelt flour
2 1/4 tsps baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
3 medium carrots, peeled and grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup golden raisins (I've also used dark raisins if gold unavailable)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 batch Vanilla Bean Whip (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare an 8 x 8 inch nonstick pan. (I very lightly coat my pan with a bit of oil.)
In large bowl, vigorously whisk together the maple syrup, crushed pineapple, applesauce, and ground flaxseeds.
Sift in the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Mix well. Fold in the grated carrots, raisins, and shredded coconut.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven, cook in pan for 30 minutes. Invert onto cooling rack and cool completely before frosting with Vanilla Bean Whip.

The Bean Whip:
1 package extra firm silken tofu, drained
1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight and drained (If you have high speed machine like a Vita Mixer, you can just soak cashews in warm water for 30 minutes and then use.)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 T lemon juice
pinch salt
1 vanilla bean (If you don't have vanilla bean b/c they are expensive, you can use 2 tsps of pure vanilla extract.)***

Combine the tofu, cashews, maple syrup, lemon juice, and salt in a blender. Puree until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the blender to incorporate all the ingredients.
Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise with a sharp knife and scrape the seeds into the blender. Blend the mixture until very smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for several hours in frig or until firm.
*** If you're not using the vanilla bean, add the vanilla extract into all the ingredients and blend together.