Tag Archives: carrots

Granola-Carrot Bread

I’ve never heard a quick bread being described as “rustic,” but I think that’s the perfect description for this Granola-Carrot Bread. It’s a real down-to earth quick bread, made with whole wheat flour, grated carrots, granola, light olive oil, and chopped nuts. And it looks kind of rustic, with the texture of the nuts, carrots and granola showing inside and out. It’s a very lightly sweet quick bread, getting  it’s sweetness from the brown sugar and bits of granola (I used 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar in my loaf; for a sweeter loaf, increase the brown sugar to 3/4 cup). Adding raisins is optional, but they would add a little to the sweetness, too.

I first saw this recipe in an old cookbook and, since I’m a big granola fan, thought it was definitely worth trying. I made a few small changes and liked the way it turned out. When I first tasted it, I thought it might not be sweet enough, but by the second slice, I decided I liked the lightly sweet taste of it. I used some of my homemade granola in this recipe, my Apricot-Honey Granola, but you can use any kind of granola, homemade or store-bought. This quick bread is great for breakfast or for a healthy afternoon snack!

GRANOLA-CARROT BREAD by NancyC, adapted from Breads, Quick Breads, and Coffee Cakes

Makes one 9×5″ loaf

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (1/2 cup will give you a lightly sweet loaf)
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite granola (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
  • Optional: 2/3 cup dark or golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, add the brown sugar, granola, flour, and grated carrots, stirring with a large spoon to combine. Add the oil and blend ingredients together. Then add the baking powder, vanilla extract, salt, eggs, and buttermilk, stirring everything until just combined (do not overmix). Fold in the chopped pecans.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake at 350˚F for 42 to 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or almost clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

I love that this quick bread has carrots in it, because I never eat as many carrots as I should. So this is a tasty way to add some beta-carotene into my diet! 🙂 It’s always nice when you can bake a treat that is good for you too. Have you been baking any healthy goodies lately?

 

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Carrot Cake

When I think of Amish food, I think of good, homestyle comfort food. That’s why I was interested in reviewing the recently published Amish Community Cookbook: Simply Delicious Recipes from Amish and Mennonite Homes. I was in the mood for some comfort food and there are lots of comfort food-type recipes in this book…breakfast items, casseroles, main dishes, sides, and desserts. I thought I’d try the Carrot Cake because I really love carrot cake and this one sounded really easy to make.

It was easy, but there are some positives and negatives to this recipe. The positives are that it tastes great, and it has three–yes, three–cups of shredded carrots in it. All those cups of carrots made me feel a little better about eating this cake. The cream cheese icing, which I turned into a thicker frosting, is really good too (but not healthy at all)!

The negative thing about this recipe is that it sunk in the middle when I made it. It was higher at the edges and lower in the middle. I made a batch-and-a-half of frosting to fill in the sunken middle and make the cake appear level. And sprinkled the top with chopped pecans. So it ended up looking fine. I’m not sure if the sunken middle was due to something I did wrong or if it always turns out that way. So if you try this, you’ll have to let me know if your cake sunk or not!

At any rate, everyone I shared this cake with loved it. So I guess that’s the most important thing!

CARROT CAKE adapted from Amish Community Cookbook

Makes a 9×13″ cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups (granulated) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

CREAM CHEESE ICING

(Note: I made a batch and a half of the frosting to have enough to generously cover the cake and the sunken middle: 3/4 cup butter, 4.5 ounces cream cheese, 3 tsp. vanilla, 6 cups powdered sugar; I also topped the frosting with 1/3 cup chopped pecans. Below is the original icing recipe from the book)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar or more as needed for consistency (I used 4 cups of powdered sugar because I wanted a thicker frosting)

In large bowl, beat eggs well. Add sugar, beat until creamy. Beat in oil and vanilla. Stir in carrots.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Add dry ingredients to egg/sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Pour into ungreased 9×13-inch pan and bake at 350˚F for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Spread with cream cheese icing. Keep cake refrigerated.

If you’ve looked over this recipe and have any ideas why this cake may have sunken in the middle and how to fix that, be sure to let me know! Even with the sunken middle though, I would make this again because it really does taste good. If you’re a carrot cake fan, I’m sure you will like this! Have you made carrot cake before and do you have a favorite recipe for it?

Sharing this at Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday.

Cinnamon-Glazed Carrots

I’ve never been very crazy about raw carrots. But I do like them cooked or roasted. So when I found this recipe for Cinnamon-Glazed Carrots in my review copy of No Excuses Detox, I knew I wanted to make them! As the subtitle says, this book includes 100 recipes to help you eat healthy every day.

Written by Megan Gilmore, No Excuses Detox features recipes that are quick and easy, affordable, and yummy–not the kind of recipes you’d expect to find in a “detox” cookbook. In fact, I was surprised that there are recipes for lots of comfort food-type foods with a healthy twist–like Butternut Mac n’ Cheese, Skillet Breakfast Hash, Speedy Black Bean Burgers, and even Carrot Cake Cupcakes. Lots of great recipes to choose from! But the Cinnamon-Glazed Carrots recipe was calling my name and I had just bought some organic rainbow carrots at Whole Foods, so it was the perfect time for me to try this out.

I used large carrots when I made this, but you can slice your carrots or use baby carrots and if you do, your cooking time will only be about 10 minutes. Since I used large carrots I had to cook mine a little longer. So here’s the recipe–it’s a great way to eat your carrots!

CINNAMON-GLAZED CARROTS from No Excuses Detox

The addition of cinnamon and naturally sweet maple syrup makes these carrots taste like dessert, plus they can be ready in just 15 minutes!–Megan Gilmore

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 pound baby carrots, sliced carrot coins, or halved large carrots
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

In a Dutch oven, melt the coconut oil over medium heat and saute the carrots for 2 minutes. Add the water, which should start bubbling right away, and lower the heat to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook the carrots for about 10 minutes, until fork-tender (note: since I used larger carrots, my cooking time was more like 15 to 18 minutes). Check the pot periodically to make sure the water doesn’t completely evaporate so the carrots don’t burn.

Once the carrots are tender, raise the heat to cook off any excess water, then stir in the maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt (adjust seasonings to taste). Serve warm. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

There are other recipes I want to try in this book. It’s always nice when you can make great-tasting food that’s good for you, too. Do you have some favorite healthy recipes of your own?

Sharing this at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Full Plate Thursday.

Retro Beef Stew

Retro Beef Stew @ NancyC

I found a beef stew recipe in a vintage promotional cookbook that was published in 1961, the Cutco Cook Book. I found the Cutcocookbook at a flea market for $1.00, so I couldn’t pass it up! I love the vintage illustrations in these old cookbooks and it’s always fun to try recipes from them.

I first made this stew about four years ago, and this is actually a repost of the recipe–my original photo was really bad–this one’s a little better! I made a few more tiny changes to the recipe, too–I used light olive oil instead of vegetable oil (you can also use canola oil), used a little less water, and added a little more peas. The new amounts are updated in the recipe below.

Winter is the perfect time to eat a hot bowl of stew and I made this on one of the coldest days we’ve had so far this season! It’s a very chunky stew, so if you’re wanting to make something hearty, you’ll have to try this. The cookbook says the recipe serves four, but I think it’s more like six–it makes a big potful of stew! If you like your food well–seasoned, you’ll probably want to add additional salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning to taste; otherwise you may find this stew a little bland.

I made the stew in my cast iron Dutch Oven, but you can use whatever kind of pot with a lid that you like–just make sure it’s a large one! 🙂

RETRO BEEF STEW by NancyC, adapted from the 1961 Cutco Cook Book

Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds stew beef (or chuck or round beef, cut into 1-inch chunks)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 (1-lb.) bag baby carrots that are peeled and ready to use–slice each baby carrot in thirds OR use 8 medium-size carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ thick slices
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen peas
  • additional salt and pepper (or your favorite seasoning) to taste, if desired

If you are cutting your own chunks of meat, trim excess fat from meat first, then cut into chunks.

Combine flour, pepper, and salt in a large ziploc bag; add chunks of meat; shake until pieces are coated.

Add oil to Dutch Oven over medium heat; add meat chunks and brown on all sides.

Add diced onion and garlic, then boiling water, canned tomatoes, and Worcestershire Sauce. Stir well to combine ingredients.

Cover and reduce heat to low; simmer for 1 hour. Add potatoes, carrots, and peas, and simmer for another hour or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Season with additional salt and pepper (or your favorite seasoning) to taste, if desired.

Stew is just the thing to warm you up on a cold day! Have you made any good stews this winter season? What ingredients do you like to use to add more flavor to them?

Linked to Fiesta Friday. Sunday Features, Happiness is Homemade, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Wow Us Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Create It Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Share Your Style, Thursday Favorite Things, Showcase Your Talent Thursday.

Rejuvenating Beet Smoothie (Non-Dairy)

ncRejuvSmoothie1nm

There sure are a lot of big food-related holidays and events during the winter. There’s Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Day, Superbowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day–no wonder it’s so hard to diet this time of year! If you feel like you’re needing a little dose of something healthy, this is just the thing. I was inspired by this Beet Rejuvenator at New Nostalgia and decided that yes, I did need some rejuvenating! 🙂 I don’t eat a lot of beets, but I know how good they are for you. This smoothie is supposed to be super cleansing–it also has carrots, cucumber, lemon, and ginger root in it, so I’m sure it is! I made a few changes, using a whole (small) beet instead of half, and using the juice from one lemon. I also added some honey, so I’m not sure if or how that affects the cleansing qualities of the smoothie. I thought the blend of the veggies with the lemon juice and ginger was good, but I liked having the smoothie a little sweeter. I used raw honey, which has more nutrients than the processed kind.

Also, I used a blender, so I cut my veggies into chunks for easier blending. If you’re using a juicer, you won’t need to do that. If you use a blender, you’ll probably have to stop and stir the ingredients a few times to help blend it, and you’ll have a thicker smoothie. Be sure to use organic veggies if you can! This smoothie does make you feel like you’re getting a little healthy boost, so if you’re in an unhealthy food rut, try this out for a refreshing change!

REJUVENATING BEET SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from New Nostalgia

Makes about 2 servings (16 ounces)

  • 3/4 cup sliced carrots (about 1 large or 2 small carrots)
  • 1 medium-size cucumber, cut into slices or chunks
  • Juice from 1 large Lemon
  • 1-inch piece of Ginger Root, cut into small chunks
  • 1 small Beet Root, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons raw honey

Put all ingredients in your blender or juicer, and blend till smooth (if using a blender, you may have to stop it and stir to help the mixture along). Pour into 2 glasses and serve.

Have you ever made a smoothie with beets? What other healthy kinds of smoothies do you like to make?