$50/week challenge – Juicer carrot cake

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When you bake a cake from leftovers that most people would throw in the bin and take it to work and people rave and ask for the recipe – priceless.

Every year in early springtime I bring out the juicer and rediscover making fresh juice.  At the moment I am trying to follow the liver cleansing diet, although I must admit I am being a bit loose with it.  But still, I do feel virtuous about my weekend morning cleanse.  There are a few types of juice combinations I like, including green juices (I like to use those sticky weeds called cleavers or clivers that are the bane of many gardeners in my area in early spring).

Cleavers growing wild
Cleavers or clivers – an edible weed that works kind of like wheat grass when juiced. Great for a spring detox

But one of my favourite treats is a sweet and yummy carrot, apple and ginger juice.  Ginger juice is particularly good in early spring as it has strong anti-inflammatory properties and prevents symptoms of hay fever.  With spring blossoms out and about in Canberra, I must admit to having felt some sniffles.

Having made the juice, the frugalista in me then wanted to do something with all the leftovers.  The remaining carrot, apple and ginger mix was lovely and fine, with a much better consistency than you would have gotten if you grated the original ingredients by hand. Plus – no waste.  I didn’t have any eggs in the fridge when I went to bake, but the apple in this helps coagulate everything together so the cake is fine without it.  Actually, it results in a thick, fudge-like consistency that is super yum. I also didn’t have cream cheese so improvised by making icing with yoghurt labna.

 

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Making yoghurt labna

 

I was up on the Gold Coast last weekend visiting family (more on that soon – it explains in part my silence). I mentioned to my mother that I am so frugal that I even make cake from juicer leftovers. “Don’t you remember when you were younger we had this fantastic juicing machine, and we always made carrot juice and then I made carrot cake afterwards?”  Now that she mentions it, I do recall eating a lot of carrot cake growing up. I never thought of it as being frugal, though.  And I guess that is just it – living a frugal life is all about appreciating what you have and making do with the ingredients you have at hand.  When life gives you carrots you make carrot cake!

This cake is nicest made with the carrot, apple and ginger leftover combination.  Sometimes I still incorporate green ingredients if that is what I am using, e.g. celery, parsley or cleavers. If I am cooking just for me I bake it all in (I quite like the flavour), but if you are worried serving it for guests you can juice the green stuff last and then remove it from the juice leftovers.

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Ingredients

Cake

1 1/2 cups self raising flour
2 cups or so of leftover carrot, apple and ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup of sugar
1/3 cup light flavoured oil
Three tablespoons Greek yoghurt

Icing

25g unsalted butter
1-2 tablespoons labna (made from yoghurt)
icing sugar

Method

  1. Make carrot, apple and ginger juice (I use around two apples, four carrots and a 2-3cm piece of ginger).  Drink and enjoy.  Do not throw out the resulting fruit waste.
  2. Take around two cups of vegetable and fruit leftovers.  Add the flour, cinnamon and sugar, stir until combine then and mix through the oil.  Add the yoghurt to the mix – add more or less depending on how much you need.  This is a rich, dense cake and the mix will be quite solid.
  3. Spoon into a 20cm pan.  Pat down firmly and smooth over with a spatula (the mixture will be quite firm).  Bake at around 170C for 20 to 30 minutes or until done.
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  4. To make the icing, strain one to two cups of Greek yoghurt in a piece of muslin, cotton or (clean!) chux cloth overnight. Save the whey that drains out and use it for making pancakes or other creations.  Cream the softened butter together with the yoghurt labna until smooth, then gradually add in the icing sugar until it is a soft and spreadable consistency. I always find that I need much more icing sugar than I realise, but even if the icing is a little bit runny (like it is here) it is still yummy.

Cost

Flour – 15c
Carrot, apple and ginger leftovers –  free
Cinnamon – 10c
Oil – 20c
Yoghurt (homemade) – 25c
Sugar – 15c
Butter – 15c
Icing sugar – $1

Total cost:  $2

Pinterest graphic for the carrot cake

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