Monday, July 23, 2007

Farmer's Market Inspiration

The ARF / 5-A-Day Tuesday event over at Sweetnick's is coming up once again, and I'm not one to want to miss out on such an event! Eating right is very very important to me, you see, for my health isn't great, and I will fill you in on the details in a later, non-food post. I eat pretty much every fruit and veggie under the sun, excersise regularly and pretty much live off of whole foods. But I digress. I love sweets. And I didn't want to do another baked good for this ARF Tuesday so I scouted around at my local Farmer's Market (which is literally 5 stalls along a parking lot... sigh) for some inspiration. It came in the form of these:Carrots! Possibly one of the greatest gems of the plant family. According to the Carrot Museum in the UK (yes, there is such a thing!):
  • They are rich in antioxidants Beta Carotene & Alpha
    Carotene
  • They have high levels of Phytochemicals and Glutathione,
    Calcium and Potassium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and E, which are also
    considered antioxidants.
  • Ingesting carrots is good for the skin.
  • They contain a form of calcium easily absorbed by the body.
  • Carrots also contain Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese,
    Phosphorous and Sulphur.
  • It is highly recommended that vitamin A be consumed from the
    diet rather than from supplements because vitamin A from a dietary
    source offers the maximal potential of health benefits.
  • Alpha carotene may be more powerful than beta carotene in
    inhibiting processes that may lead to tumor growth.
  • Carrots are pivotal in:

    • Boosting immunity (especially among older people).
      Reducing photosensitivity.
      Improving symptoms of HIV.
      Easing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
      Helping to heal minor wounds and injuries.
      Reducing the risk of heart disease.
      Reducing the risk of high blood pressure.
      Cleansing the liver, and when consumed regularly, can help the
      liver excrete fats and bile.
      Fighting bronchitis.
      Fighting infection

    Holey moley!!!

    Now, I still don't have a camera at my disposal *sob* but I can share a recipe that one of the very kind farmer's wives gave to me for a snack that her niece made for a "health day" at school. It's a little odd but she swears that it's amazing and smooth, and that the carrots add a "bodied" sweetness while the nuts give texture and crunch. The ground ginger gives them a little "pep". Ready for the treat? Here it is: Nutty Carrot Caramels. I'm serious! I'm going to give these a shot though, and maybe pawn off a square on Mom, Dad and the poor guinea pig Andrew. Who knows, maybe the few remaining farmers in our area are on to something!

    Nutty Carrot Caramels
    16 Caramels
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    3 tbsp water
    1 lb. carrots, grated
    1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
    1/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
    2 tbsp lemon juice

    1. Dissolve the sugar in the water in a saucepan over low heat.
    2. Stir in the carrots, then bring to a boil.
    3. Boil for 30 minutes, or until mixture is very thick.
    4. Remove from heat and stir in the ginger, walnuts, almonds and the lemon juice.
    5. Pour into a greased 8" square pan.
    6. Allow to cool, then cut into squares.
    7. When completely cool, remove from pan.
    8. Cut and wrap each piece in waxed paper.

    1 comment :

    Margarita Valli said...

    Hmmm. These sound very interesting, but carrots are sweet and make delicious carrot cake, so I bet the caramels are delicious as well!!!