Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday's Carrots

Whenever we have dinner guests at our house, the "hot vegetable" items my mom puts out are always one or two of these choices: broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots. Yes, just like those iconic, frozen medlies that peppered the cafeteria line, our grocery cart would gain an extra head or two of the green or white balls or our crisper would become home to a 2 lb bag of gigantic carrots.

Unfortunately, as is all too common when cooking for a crowd, any of these normally delicious foods are grossly overcooked. Even with a proper holding system in place, my mom is still cooking from the school of "when everything is mushy it's done". Luckily, she does make an incredible cheese sauce that can somewhat salvage the cauliflower and broccoli, but still, those tureens are never quite as empty as the rest of the meal's offerings. And since certain members of the household eschew leftovers of any persuasion, my mom is usually left to cart the remains to work for the next week. The one leftover she's not overly fond of are the boiled carrots, which I can't really blame her for, unless they're tossed in a buttery honey-citrus sauce in which case I'd eat them stone cold! Usually, though, these carrots are plain as day and as boring as any work routine, and are usually pushed to the back of the fridge day ofter day until they go bad.

However, I have to say inspiration struck the last time we had leftover carrots. Popping them into a baking dish and roasting them at 400F for a half hour gave me morsels of incredibly fragrant veggies that were just beginning to caramelize. I knew that re-cooking (already overcooked) them was counterintuitive, but in all honesty I was curious as to what I could do with them! My eventual end solution for the carrots, which as tasty as they were were still a little unnerving texture-wise, was what any logical (and frugal) baker would have done - make something sweet! I knew that at the very least it would also be an opportunity to clear out some of the other "extras" hidden in the fridge and pantry, and that more people would eat a baked good than mushy carrots!


So, I tossed the carrots into my food processor and pureed them, along with a cup of leftover coconut milk and some pineapple jam, then mixed it into an "oatmeal" quickbread batter with a sad-looking apple lurking behind the oranges. The result was reminiscent of the feel of a carrot cake in terms of smell and moisture, though obviously the texture was vastly different from the traditional layered kind.

"Sunday's Carrots" Loaf
Serves 12
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup hot water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup pureed roasted carrots
2 tbsp pineapple jam
1 tbsp vanilla
1 large apple, peeled and diced

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, grease a loaf pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flaxseed and water, let stand 5 minutes.
  4. Add sugar, coconut milk, carrots, jam and vanilla. Stir until well blended.
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix in, then fold in the apple until just mixed - do not beat.
  6. Bake 55-60 minutes, until tests done.
  7. Cool in the pan 20 minutes before unmoulding onto a rack and cooling completely.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 151.4
Total Fat: 5.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 78.7 mg
Total Carbs: 26.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 3.4 g 

2 comments :

Jannett said...

This sounds like a very nice loaf... :)

Chef Dennis said...

hey Sarah...
when life gives you carrots make carrot loaf! sounds like you found a way to make the best of leftovers.
god call adding oats to the loaf!
Cheers
Dennis