We like to stock up for emergencies, everything from water to canned food.. In the process, we discovered two things.
1. Nobody in our house likes canned carrots.
2. Canned goods expire faster than you think.
I found myself with eight cans of carrots nearing that not-so-fresh feeling, and no takers. What to do.
Well, first, I pureed all of them, and drained it in cheesecloth, ending up with a texture similar to pumpkin.
I searched for recipes using cooked carrots, and found one for cookies, but that was it. I had already made that recipe, and wanted something new. After pondering, I figured it would be a fun experiment to swap it into a pumpkin bread recipe and see what happened. Carrot bread totally happened, a spiced, sweet taste treat.
Curious? Here's the recipe.
2 cups sugar
1 cups canola oil
2 cups carrot puree
3/4 cup water
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. table salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease loaf pans with butter or non-stick spray.
2. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat sugar and oil together
until blended. Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition. Add carrot puree and water and mix until blended.
3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, clove,
nutmeg, and allspice. Add to the mixer and mix only until just
incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes. The loaves are done when center
springs back when touched.
Not bad, eh? But I still had a lot left, so I got more creative, and we have carrot bars. Sort of like a cross between cake and pie, with a tender texture and cinnamon-spice flavor.
I added a light vanilla glaze to pep it up a bit, but it's also very good plain. Try it for yourself the next time you find yourself with a plethora of carrots.
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 cups mashed cooked carrots
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a 13" X 9" pan.
2. Mix shortening, sugar, eggs, and carrots.
3. Blend in flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into pan.
4. Bake until center springs back when touched, 35 - 50 minutes. Cool and frost with vanilla glaze, or just enjoy.
Both were happily enjoyed by my family, particularly the "carrot cake", as my kids called it. I had requests for more, in fact.
So if you find yourself with a whole lot of canned carrots that your family barely gives the side-eye to, sneak them into some delicious baked goodies, and all will be well.