As I’ve mentioned before, Mr. Moo loves his carbs. Recently, he has started to really dislike eating fruits and vegetables unless they come in yogurt form. And, as all adults know veggies in yogurt is kind of nasty. Ergo, I’m always trying to cram more vegetables into the little man’s diet.
Enter vegetable breads… specifically, carrot, zucchini, and pumpkin/squash. I found this easy, remarkably flexible recipe in my Joy of Cooking.
Carrot Nut Bread
- 1½ C all-purpose flour
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 t baking powder
- ¼ t ground cinnamon
- ¾ C sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ½ C vegetable oil
- 1 t vanilla
- ½ t salt
- 1½ C grated carrots
- 1½ C ground pecans or walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan. Whisk the first four ingredients together. In a separate bowl, blend together the sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla, and salt.
Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Blend the carrots and nuts in with a few strokes. (Don’t over mix, but make sure that everything is evenly combined.)
Scrape the batter into the greased pan. Bake until the bread pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 45 minutes (mine took about an hour). Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.
Here are a few variations that I’ve found to work:
- Add ½ C raisins to the carrot bread for additional sweetness. (Soak the raisins in a bit of water or orange juice to plump them up before mixing them in.)
- Replace the carrots with 2 C grated zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture.
- Replace the carrots with 1 C pureed pumpkin, squash, yams, or sweet potatoes. When making this change, use ¼ t baking powder (instead of the full teaspoon) and then add 1 t ground ginger, ½ t ground nutmeg, and ¼ t ground cloves in addition to the cinnamon.
- If you have a nut aversion, this recipe still works if you just leave them out.
Now, I’m not saying that this bread recipe is the best vegetable delivery mechanism, but when you’re dealing with a picky toddler, it’s a bit better than just serving up plain bread. For grown-ups, it holds up pretty well in the morning with coffee.