Fresh Food Friday: Carrots

It's Friday! Ready to talk Fresh Food? How about carrots? We're not quite ready to pick our carrots here, but it's never too soon to know what to do with them.

In the past we've just chopped, blanched and frozen our carrots by the bag. We also like to do a big crock pot of honey ginger carrots. Just wash and chop, then put them in the crock pot with an couple inches of water. Add some chopped fresh ginger (about a 1 inch piece, chopped up), or 1-2 tsp ground ginger. Stir to coat and then drizzle with honey. It takes a good four hours or so for them to get really nice and soft and sometimes I have to add more water. Serve drizzled with more honey. Here's a couple other recipes I'm excited to make this year from our own carrots. 

I shared these carrot chips a while back, but I'm looking forward to making them again. 

The boys liked them and they're pretty easy to make.

This spring, Sunset Magazine had a recipe for "Miracle Carrot Muffins." I changed the recipe a bit, and love the results! These are like the zucchini bread of carrots. Here's my adapted recipe:

Cranberry Carrot Muffins (and Cupcakes!)

1/4 cup butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups shredded carrots
1 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp each- salt, cinnamon, ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cups flour (+ 1/4 cup if at high altitude)
1/2 cup old fashion oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
sunflower kernels

*These can be turned into cupcakes by topping with orange cream cheese frosting. See frosting recipe at the end.

Preheat oven to 375º
combine sugar, butter, carrots, dried cranberries, salt, spices, and 1 1/3 cups water in a sauce pan.
Heat on high, stirring occasionally, until mixture just boils. Remove from heat.

Mix flour, oats, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. Stir carrot mixture into flour until just combined. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds, if you want to eat them as muffins, leave the seeds off if you want to turn them into cupcakes. 

 Bake at 375º for 15 minutes for regular muffins, 10 minutes for mini muffins.

To make the cupcake version:
Mix 1 block cream cheese with 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1-2 Tbsp orange zest. You can add more sugar if you like your frosting sweeter. Pipe onto cupcakes. 

This is a pretty sweet way to eat carrots : )

Have a happy weekend!
- Haley


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