Food Dehydrator Love, Part 3: Teff Carrot Cake Bars (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

by Maria Theresa Maggi on September 29, 2014

Raw Teff Carrot Cake Bars   You know what they say about the third time being a charm? I think it’s true. And isn’t it usually the third wish in fairy tales that sets the story in dynamic motion? Often though, that magic is bestowed upon the heroine by the humblest looking creatures, ones we wouldn’t expect to hear talk, let alone have the power to make wishes come true.

Like fairy tale princes disguised as frogs, these bars fall into the category of Food That Tastes Way Better Than It Looks.  It’s necessary to get past any dismissive first impressions based on appearances. But I guarantee you, if you have a food dehydrator and a food processor and are willing to soak your grains for 4 hours, you are in for a treat.

These humble little bars are made with the world’s smallest grain: teff. Teff comes in a variety of colors, but up here our co-op carries brown teff, so that’s what I used. Teff is a gluten-free nutritional powerhouse. Among many other things, it’s extremely high in protein and calcium. If you’re unfamiliar with teff, here’s a fun Huffington Post article to introduce you to why some are calling it the new (but ancient) superfood. While I was not able to chomp on a whole carrot as I awaited my dental work, I decided to try something similar to the zucchini bread bars, but with carrots as the vegetable ingredient.  I thought the extra calcium and minerals in the teff might help my teeth. And if I whirred up my carrots in the food processor I could still eat them, even if I wasn’t chomping on whole ones for the time being. These bars are quite tasty even though I purposely made them a bit less sweet then the zucchini bread bars. But sadly, they aren’t much to look at, as you can see from these before dehydrator and after dehydrator photos. DSC03175 DSC03162   Humble in appearance though they may be, these are one of the delicious and extremely nutritious ways I treated myself to my carrots  until I could chomp on them whole again.

Since I made these earlier in the season while awaiting my fate at the dentist, i’m pleased to announce I have once again been able to do (a little) chomping on an actual raw carrot. I’m grateful my teeth and mouth  seem to be healing up fine from both the effects of what needed work and the work itself. Nevertheless, I’ll make these humble but magically sweet and spicy bars again. They are the healthiest carrot cake I will ever not bake. Maria (moonwatcher)

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Veronica September 30, 2014 at 11:09 am

They sound delish! I’m glad to hear you’re back at chomping carrots, and the dental woes are (hopefully) behind you. Once I get a dehydrator, these will be on the list, too!


2 moonwatcher September 30, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Thanks, Veronica–I can’t wait to see what you come up with once you get a dehydrator! 🙂


3 Lee at Veggie Quest September 30, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Oh man, these sound DELICIOUS! I’ve been wanting a dehydrator for ages now, and this recipe might put me over the edge. Do you think I could get away with omitting the pecans, though? I’m trying to keep my fat intake to a minimum lately, because I got WAY off the wagon earlier in the summer eating too much fat (and processed junk), which caused some hormonal/pain issues. Needless to say, I’m trying to be extra cautious until I’m feeling better!

And congrats on being able to eat raw carrots again!


4 moonwatcher September 30, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Hi Lee–I’m glad these sound good to you. And yes, it’s worth a try to leave out the pecans. One thing you might add instead that’s in the zucchini bread bars I posted a while back is some psyllium seed husk. Or maybe more some “buckwheaties”–soaked then toasted buckwheat groats, which can be done in the dehydrator of the oven. Or heck, just leave it out and see what happens. Do what’s best for you. It’s really fun to have a food dehydrator. Happy new adventures to you when you get yours. 🙂


5 Nicole O'Shea October 10, 2014 at 10:59 am

Teff! It’s got the best name, doesn’t it? Teensy teff. 🙂

Sometime before 2005, Charlie Trotter made a cookbook called RAW that had a bunch of recipes using a dehydrator, and I’ve wanted one ever since. I got the book that Christmas, the photos of the food are gorgeous!

Do you use the dehydrator a lot, Maria? They seem so cool. We don’t have one, and our oven does not heat below 275 degrees, so we can’t “make” one out of it. But I want to play!



6 moonwatcher October 10, 2014 at 12:16 pm

HI Nicole–I go through cycles with the dehydrator, which I got years ago for free, as my first dehydrator post tells about. It has no fan, very low tech. But this summer I really started to experiment more–thus the 3 posts–and was happy with the results. I hope you can find an affordable one and experiment. The book sounds neat. I will look it up. Now that’s the season is changing I might not be using it as much, but it’s great when it’s too hot to cook and also when you have a bounty of something and want to dry it.


7 Nicole O'Shea October 10, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Yes it seems great for hot weather and Oh Laws! but do we have hot weather something fierce here in LA 😉 xoxo

We also want it for practical reasons – to have food to reconstitute for camping or earthquake situations.


8 moonwatcher October 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Good idea. 🙂


9 Pongodhall November 8, 2014 at 2:33 pm

I hope your teeth are sorted out soon.
I do not have a dehydrator but see that some recipes are alright done in very low oven. I like this sort of thing.
I cannot eat meat, fish, eggs, yeast, gluten and some things but I get along with ancient grains mostly very well.
I was not worried that it does not look perfect, but with some tomatoes, grated cucumber and carrot it would be a lovely meal.


10 moonwatcher November 8, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Teeth are doing much better, thank you, Pongodhall. You could probably try these in a low oven. Let us know how they come out if you do.


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