Shake up your vegetable routine with my super-simple carrot & ginger soufflé, made with coconut flour! It is vegan, grain-free, healthy, and so very delicious!
Before proceeding, let me be clear: this is not a soufflé.
I know, how deceptive is that? But hear me out: this quick, easy, and delicious side dish has the light and fluffy texture of a soufflé. It is also based on a classic Southern recipe that is called a soufflé, but is also not a soufflé. I could have added quotation marks (“soufflé!”), but quotation marks around food feels wrong. And a tad creepy. Like, “Surprise, this is made out of crayons!”
So while this is not, by any technical measure, a soufflé, it is nonetheless worthy of the moniker, as well as the (short amount of) time and effort required to make it. Because it is delicious!
It is also:
*Easy to prepare
As mentioned above, my version is a based on another carrot soufflé recipe, one that I encountered at several church dinners and potlucks. It turns out that it is a popular Southern recipe (look up carrot soufflé on sites such as SouthernLiving). While delicious, it is also very rich (many eggs, butter, cream, flour) and quite sweet.
California yankee-hippy that I am, I was determined to make an enlightened version.
And so I did! It is even easier than the original, and the ingredients are familiar and far fewer in number, too. The primary players are pictured below: carrots, coconut flour, coconut milk, and maple syrup.
Peel the carrots and then steam them until they are very soft and tender. The original Southern recipe calls for boiling the carrots, but seaming is just as easy, plus it retains the nutrition (and vivid color) of the carrots.
Let the carrots cool slightly (or entirely), and then place in a food processor, Add the coconut milk and maple syrup, plus some vanilla and lemon juice (these add so much flavor to the dish!) and process until smooth and light. Add the remaining ingredients and process until blended, stopping to scrape once or twice to scrape down the sides.
The coconut flour, in combination with the baking powder, lend this dish the light, fluffy texture of a soufflé, despite the absence of eggs.
My choice of coconut flour stems from failure. Make that failures. Not with this dish, but from countless other attempts to make breads and cakes with coconut flour, but no eggs. My attempts almost always failed. Despite looking like a cake or a quick bread, I would end up with something more akin to…a soufflé. My results were light and fluffy, and (in most cases) delicious. But I have a thing about eating bread with a spoon, so I considered them unsuccessful.
Despite my many defeats, I learned a lot about what coconut flour can and cannot do. One thing it definitely can do is fluffy, and that is exactly the texture of the batter, even before baking. Spread the batter into an 11×7 (or 9-inch square) baking pan, smoothing the top.
Now bake, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, until risen slightly and the edges are just beginning to turn a light golden brown.
If you are looking for more simple and delicious ways to eat your vegetables, this should definitely go on your list! Note that rewarmed leftovers are still excellent (for lunches or for two dinners in a row).
- 1 pound peeled, coarsely chopped carrots
- ⅔ cup full-fat coconut milk (well-stirred before measuring)
- 2 and ½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 and ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a large saucepan with a steamer attachment inserted, steam the carrots for 15 to 20 minutes until very tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly or completely.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or spray an 11x7-inch or 9-inch square baking dish.
- In a food processor, process the carrots, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients; pulse until blended.
- Scrape the carrot mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes until lightly puffed and edges are just beginning to turn golden brown. Serve!
Coconut Milk Options: Full-fat coconut milk plays the role of both milk and fat in this recipe. If you want or need to replace it, I recommend the following: Use ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon milk AND 1 and ½ tablespoons oil/fat of your choice