March 29, 2012 at 8:35 a.m.

It's about carrots today


It’s about carrots today. Carrots rarely play a starring role at the table. But if the day ever comes when Academy Awards are presented to produce, carrots would be a contender for supporting veggie! They are probably one of man’s earliest foods as they were first grown in Afghanistan having shades of purple, red and black in color. I can’t visualize purple carrots on my dinner plate, can you? However, in the middle ages, the Dutch developed orange carrots, thank goodness. Carrots are the richest natural source of beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, helping to ward off colds and infections. They’re right up there with chicken soup! They are inexpensive are available to us all year and are low in calories...generally 30-40 calories in a medium to large carrot. We eat a lot of carrots and they can be used in many ways besides serving them buttered.


Let’s try some of the many ways.
One of our readers asked if there was a low-fat recipe for carrot cake. I think I used this recipe before, but here it is again.


LOW-FAT CARROT CAKE
2-1/2 c. flour
2-1/2 t. cinnamon
1-1/2 t. baking powder
1-1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. each, cloves and nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
2 large egg whites
1 large whole egg
1-1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. each, applesauce and buttermilk
2 T. canola or vegetable oil
2 c. shredded carrots
Cream cheese glaze

In a large bowl, whisk together first seven ingredients. In another large bowl, on low speed, beat the next 6 ingredients until blended. Slowly beat in flour mixture just until combined. Fold in carrots. Pour into a 12-cup bundt pan sprayed with cooking spray or greased with shortening (not butter), spreading evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan on rack 10 minutes. Invert cake onto rack; let cool.
Makes 16 servings.

CREAM CHEESE GLAZE
2 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, at room temp.
1/4 c. powdered sugar
2 to 2-1/2 t. water to make pourable glaze
In a small bowl, beat together until smooth. Spoon glaze over cake. Refrigerate 30 minutes until set.
Nutritional value per 1 slice: 195 calories, 1 g. saturated fat, 39 g. carbs, 222 mg sodium, 16 mg cholesterol. Note: One of our readers recently asked if I could include nutritional values with the recipes. Many of the recipes I use do not give this info, but I will print it if it is given.

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CARROT-PINEAPPLE SLAW
4 c. shredded carrots
2 c. shredded cabbage
1-20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained well, save the juice
1/2 c. chopped walnut
1/2 c. mayo
2 T. each, sugar and cider vinegar
1/4 t. white pepper or 1/2 t. black pepper
In a large bowl, toss together first 4 ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together rest of ingredients including all but 1 T. pineapple juice. Pour dressing over carrot mixture; stir in gently. Cover and refrigerate 2-24 hours.
Makes eight - 10 servings.
Note: You can substitute 2 cups packaged cabbage mixture for the 2 cups shredded cabbage. This is easily cut in half if the amount is too much. Nutritional value per serving: 217 calories, 96 mg sodium, 8 mg cholesterol.

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CARROTS AU GRATIN
1/2 c. corn flakes crumbs*
5 T. margarine or butter, melted
1/3 c. diced onion
3 T. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1-1/2 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
4 c. sliced, cooked carrots, drained
1 T. parsley flakes or snipped fresh parsley - optional
In a small bowl, combine corn flakes with 3 T. of the margarine; set aside. Add onion to rest of margarine and saute until transparent. Over low heat, stir in flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add milk to onion mixture. Increase heat to medium and cook mixture until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly. Add cheese to mixture and stir until smooth. Stir in carrots and parsley. Spread in shallow 1-1/2 qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with crumbs and margarine mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and crumbs are golden brown.
Makes eight servings.

*You can substitute 1/2 c. coarsely crushed packaged fried onion rings and omit the 2 T. margarine and cornflakes crumbs.

Thought for the Day: Nothing is all wrong; even a clock that has stopped running is right twice a day.

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