After moving out here to California, from New York last year, the list of things that we love about living out here just continues to grow and grow. There really isn’t much to complain about when you live less than a mile from the ocean, the sun shines every day and you are living the life you always dreamed of. That said, the one major draw back to being here in California, is being away from family. After living 15 miles or less, away from my family my entire life, being roughly 2,500 miles away from them this past year has been the only thing I don’t love about being in California.
This is something that bothers me most of the time, but for obvious reasons with the holidays it is the hardest. Even the smaller holidays, like memorial day or labor day. Because I know if we were living at home in New York, no matter what we had going on, we would all take a break from our busy lives to get together at my parents house for an entire day, brunch in the morning, cocktails and snacks in the afternoon, playing with the kids and of course, a huge dinner. Since living in California, Mark and I haven’t gone home for any of the holidays and we have done out best to make the most out of them together. Both Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years were full days, planned with friends and majorly delicious meals and we made brand new traditions and memories. Walking barefoot on the beach on Christmas day, definitely didn’t suck. That said, both last year and now likely this year too, we didn’t plan a thing for Easter. It kinda crept up on us.
Easter isn’t a big holiday for my family, by any means, but we would always get together with the family, the kids would have some sort of easter egg hunt, we would often times have brunch with the extended family and then we would have a traditional dinner or ham or something similar back at my parents house.
Yesterday morning after I woke up, I headed to the kitchen, opened the fridge and was deciding what to make for breakfast, I had a full quart of my homemade almond milk that I had just made, so I opted for a smoothie. I didn’t have many of my usual add-ins, so I pulled open the crisper drawer, saw the carrots and without even realizing it, I found myself motivated by the holiday. I was instantly reminded of all of the amazing Easter-inspired carrot cake recipes I have been seeing online lately. A carrot cake smoothie. Why not?
This creamy and subtly spiced Carrot Cake Smoothie has all of the traditional flavors of a homemade spiced carrot cake. It is thick, creamy and filling and its ‘s unique, plus I love that beautiful, subtle orange color. I seriously cannot wait to make this smoothie again. My favorite thing about this smoothie, is that I finally have a new use for all of the carrots we’ve been getting in our CSA boxes. I love carrots, but I find myself struggling to get creative with them sometimes. Not anymore.
Even if we don’t celebrate Easter this year and there is no traditional meal, I can at least say I served up one Peter Cottontail-worthy dish this Spring!
Do you do anything for Easter?
[print_this]Carrot Cake Smoothie – Gluten-free + Vegan
Makes 1 large serving or 2 small servings
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and then grated (if you have a high powered blender like a Vitamix, you could probably just roughly chop them)
- 1 organic banana, frozen
- 1 1/2 cups homemade almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
- 1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for two hours (or 1/4 cup homemade cashew nut butter)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Medjool date
- 1 tablespoon organic raw shelled hemp seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Optional – instead of the hemp seeds, for additional nutritional support, you could also opt for a scoop of Vega Plant-Based Protein Powder, either the Vanilla Chai or straight Vanilla would be great.
Directions: Add all of the ingredients to your high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Top with a little cinnamon and a pinch of grated carrots. Enjoy immediately. [/print_this]
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Yum! I’m in the same Trying to Use up Carrots boat as you, but have made a carrot-ginger-mango smoothie with them. This sounds like a tastier, more indulgent use 🙂
Yum your smoothie sounds amazing, too! I will have to try that. Thanks for sharing. I hope you enjoy this one, if you make it.
Oh Yum, you never fail to impress me. What an awesome way to get your carrot fix. I can’t wait to try this. Happy Easter 🙂
Aww thanks Michelle. I agree, I couldn’t think of a better way to get those carrots! Hope your Easter was nice!
Carrot cake in a cup?! Yummy! 🙂
Oooh yeh!! You can’t go wrong with this one 😉
Yum! This looks amazing! I love all things carrot cake!
I’m planning a trip to California to go along the coast, visit San Francisco and more -I can’t wait! I imagine I won’t want to leave. I’ve never been, actually! It’s a place in the states that I’ve always wanted to travel to.
I don’t do anything special for easter other than relax 🙂
Thanks Allison. Me too, the flavors of carrot cake are just brilliant together.
Yay for your California trip, you are going to love it, I can definitely tell you, that you won’t ever want to leave.
This was delicious! I made the following changes to fit my own food intolerance issues and it still turned out great:
– rice milk for the almond milk
– 1 tsp maple syrup instead of vanilla
– 1/4 cup pumpkin seed butter instead of a nut butter (expensive but I can’t have sunflower either!)
Mmm, I can’t wait to try this smoothie this week. I’ve had some weird cravings lately and a carrot cake smoothie definitely sounds like something right up my alley 🙂 I love me some fresh ginger for all it’s healing benefits and use ceylon cinnamon always. Adding these little medicinal + healing spices + herbs to my food makes it that much sweeter!
Looks so good. Just restarted my whole 30on 1/2/16. This will fit in great!
Just made this for the first time – oh my goodness – so delish!! thanks for the recipe!
I’m always on the lookout for kid-friendly snacks since trying to eat healthier, and this looks so good! I don’t have a Vitamix-style blender though. Will a regular, basic blender work for this recipe?
Perfect smoothie in this summer with healthy carrot & delicious too
just fyi vanilla extract is not whole 30 compliant
Heather, alcohol free vanilla extracts exist and could very easily be swapped in, as could a sugarless vanilla paste or powder, fresh vanilla bean, or it could very simply be left out. Lots of options and a very very simple tweak to make whole30 compliant.