Carroting Around the Issue
If I haven't posted much recently, it is because I've been buried under lots and lots of produce. Nobody piled heaps of fruit on top of me, but I have been struggling to can things before they go bad. So far I have done two more batches of strawberry-rhubarb jam, tomato jam, red hot cinnamon wedges. Next on my agenda is tomato preserve, followed by salsa, apple butter and tomato sauce. It's been so exhausting that after this post I'm taking a break to knit up a cute top. I wish I was kitting along with the ladies at Sexy Knitters Club, I will just have to dive into Knitty for some free patterns.
In the future my goal is to post once a week. Expect to see a lovely veggie introduction on the Weekend Herb Blog Round-up the brainchild of Kayln's Kitchen. The goals seem to match up with my desire to introduce things for you the readers to be able to learn more about and to maybe add your own experiments to the Weekend Herb Blog. Anything else will be a happy suprise.
The carrots I recieved in my farm share this week were crying for some special attention. The results were this delicious carrot bread:
Storage: Cut off the green tops and place carrots in perforated plastic bags in the veggie drawer. (Stab a ziploc a few times to let the bag breathe and get out any aggressive feelings). The carrots should keep 1-3 weeks this way. If they become limp, you have two choices - soaking them in icy water can revitalize them or turn on the creative juices and make a baked treat! Carrots can be kept frozen also, but remember to blanch them before placing in the freezer Also carrots were the first veggie to be canned, so grab your pressure cooker and save all those sweet slices.
Uses: Carrots are a great addition to salads as well as a great snack. Steaming allows more of the available vitamin and minerals to be processed by your body. But that of course is only the beginning, Fall has arrived and with it the ubiqitous soups, stews and casseroles. At other times of the year or now you can try this delicious veggie roasted, boiled, stir-fried, grilled, pureed, sauted, fried, or baked. Carrot Juice is another tasty alternative with less benefits.
Flavor Enhancers: Bay Leaves, Chives, Cilantro, Cloves, Curry, Dill, Ginger - fresh or ground, Honey, Mace, Maple Syrup, Marjoram, Mint, Nutmeg, Parsely
Health Notes: Carrots pack a wallop in the Beta Carotene and Vitamin A camp, but also let some other vitamins tag along such as B3, C and E. If you eat them raw you get additional benefits from 4 other minerals - potassium, calcium, iron and zinc. These sweet veggies will not raise your blood sugar but rather lower it. Bring on the carrot cake! Oh, wait that has sugar.
We all grew up being told one of two things as a kid. Most commenly that we would have improved eye sight from eating carrots. Less common is the belief that you will gain a natural tan by ingesting large amounts of carrots (they told us this at my high school to get the girls to eat their veggies). The Germans stared speculating about improved eyesight of the British during WW2 during air raids, since the British populace ate lots of carrots. This was not accurate because of carrots but rather for the multiple radar stations. It is true that lack of vitamin A causes night blindness so eating a carrot every couple of weeks can be beneficial. Most of the carrot's nutrients are found in the outside wall. To preserve this, eat them freshly washed. If that turns you off, take a sharp knife and scrape away a thin layer. Only peel really thick carrots.
Safety Notes: If you do eat a lot of carrots to prove that they will give you a tan, be prepared for yellow skin or at the least slightly orange skin. Avoiding them for a while will reverse the coloration. If you don't return to your normal color in two weeks, consult a doctor about jaundice. Amazingly carrots can help combat food poisioning by killing some food-poisioning bacteria. So next time you travel make friends with some nicely bleached and rinsed carrot sticks instead of the chalky pink bottle. Much more tasty.
loosely adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
I doubled the recipe but this makes a single loaf
- 3/4 c raisin yellow raisins were used for extra color
- 1/4 c rum or orange juice I used Bacardi but wonder if carrot juice would be good
- 1 1/2 c all purpose flour
- 3/4 c sugar
- 2 t baking powder
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 t ground allspice
- 1 egg
- 1 c finely shredded carrots (about 3 large carrots made enough for two loaves)
- 1/4 c cooking oil
- 3/4 c chopped walnuts
- Spray the bottom of bread pan with oil. In a small bowl begin intoxicating the raisins with the juice.
- In a 2nd larger bowl, mix dry ingredients to create a well in which to later add wet mixture.
- In 3rd bowl - hopefully you have enough - combine egg, carrots, and cooking oil. Throw in the now bloated-with-goodness raisins. Once all is mixed together, place in the well of the dry mixture and combine till just moist.
- Gleefully dump into pan. Bake in average temp oven of 350F until toothpick passes the clean dip test. This was about 50 min for me. It should not be more than 60 min. Cool on racks.
- Eat small chunks of the fresh warm bread to savor the hint of rum. Then send to work with your husband to feed the rest of the crew.