Carrot Kugel (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

Kugel is a strange but tasty beast.  Half dessert.  Half side dish.  All decadence.  This one is truer to tradition than my sourdough kugels (I don’t often post those… they’re a savory and acquired taste…).  That said, it’s not as sweet as most recipes kicking around and a fair bit heavier on the carrots, which alongside raisin are plenty sweet on their own.  It is a moist and cakey kugel, yet completely gluten-free thanks to oat and buckwheat flour!  While it does contain added oil, if you do the oil-free thing, you can replace the oil called for with applesauce or applesauce and nut butter blended instead.  And if you do like your kugel super-sweet, then add a couple of tablespoons of coconut sugar to the batter.

Yield: an 8”x8” pan

What you need:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ground up to a flour in a food processor or spice grinder
  • 1/2 cup plain buckwheat groats (NOT kasha, you want the untoasted stuff), ground up to a flour in a food processor or spice grinder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or a bit less) freshly grated nutmeg
  • zest of 1 organic lemon
  • juice of the zested lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/3 cup sunflower or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons water (it’s actually not as scrappy as it sounds: basically it’s gluten-free starches with some psyllium husk that acts as a goopy thickener since I prefer not to use flax in heated cooking applications.  You could also use a flax or chia egg if you prefer)
  • 3 cups finely grated carrot (fine grating hole of the food processor is helpful here; about 4 medium carrots)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and have an 8”x8” glass or ceramic baking dish ready.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, buckwheat flour, salt, soda, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg and lemon zest.
  3. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the apple juice, lemon juice, oil and egg replacer until frothy.  They won’t actually coalesce, but it will look pretty even and foamy.
  4. Pour the wet stuff into the dry stuff and mix well.
  5. Fold in the carrots, raisins and chopped almonds.                                                   IMG_4038
  6. Press the mixture evenly into the 8”x8” baking dish.
  7. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.
  8. Let cool 10 minutes or so, to set the interior a bit.  Serve hot or room temperature.  Leftovers store well in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container.  You can also freeze the squares for up to 3 months (airtight container again).

Variation:

  • Instead of just using carrots, use 1 cup each carrot, parsnip and sweet potato

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