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Oz Kitchen Book - Carrot Cake
Credit: Quentin Bacon

Ever wonder what Dr. Mehmet Oz and his family eat? You may be surprised to learn that it's not all kale and broccoli. Like most of us, the preeminent TV doctor and cardiothoracic surgeon enjoys the pleasures of a good meal. In The Oz Family Kitchen: More Than 100 Simple and Delicious Real-Food Recipes from Our Home to Yours ($22; amazon.com), his wife, Lisa, shares some of their favorites, including pastas, soups, and, yes, even desserts, each accompanied by healthy eating tips from her husband.

"The recipes are about joyful eating that happens to be healthy—unrefined, unprocessed, real food made at home," writes Mehmet in the book's foreword. "They are designed to help you live fully, with passion, through meals that tantalize your senses while nourishing your body." When it comes time to indulge, this carrot cake with cashew frosting is the couple's go-to. Considering the healthy monounsaturated fats and amino acids you'll get from the cashew nuts, it's a fairly guilt-free after-dinner treat. Read on for the recipe.

Oz Kitchen book
Credit: Courtesy

Carrot Cake with Cashew Frosting

Makes: 9 servings


Cashew Frosting

1 1/2 cups unsalted and unroasted whole cashews (6 oz)

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1/3 cup coconut milk, as needed

Carrot Cake

2 cups shredded carrots (use the large holes of a box grater)

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (2 oz)

Grated zest of 1 orange


To begin the frosting: Put the cashews in a large bowl and add enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Let them stand until softened, at least 2 and up to 4 hours. Drain well.

To make the cake: Put 1 cup of the shredded carrots in a medium saucepan. Add enough cold water to barely cover the carrots and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Purée the carrots in a mini food processor or blender. You should have 1/3 cup purée.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly and evenly coat the inside of an 8-inch square baking pan with solid coconut oil. Dust with flour and tap out the excess flour.

Beat the brown sugar and coconut oil with an electric hand mixer at high speed until slightly paler in color, about 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, vanilla, and the carrot purée and beat until foamy, about 1 minute more. Whisk the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda, allspice, and salt together in a large bowl, being sure to break up any baking soda clumps. Pour in the brown sugar mixture and mix just until combined into a thick batter. Stir in the remaining 1 cup shredded carrots with the walnuts and orange zest. Spread the batter evenly in the cake pan.

Bake until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the center with a fingertip, about 35 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire cake rack.

To complete the frosting: Transfer the drained cashews to a food processor. Add the confectioners' sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt, and pulse until the nuts are finely chopped. With the machine running, and occasionally stopping to scrape down the sides of the work bowl, add enough of the coconut milk to make a smooth, spreadable frosting. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake. Cut into squares and serve.

Reprinted from THE OZ FAMILY KITCHEN Copyright © 2015 by Lisa Oz. Published by Harmony Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.