Sunday, May 15, 2011

Carrot Pudding, or I Gave My Kids Veggies For Dessert, And They Liked It

A post on the Well Trained Mind forum left me with a serious hankering for carrot cake. Unfortunately, we don't have much in the way of carrot cake ingredients in the house. I searched through GF, paleo, and raw recipes, and everything required almonds or some other form of alternate flour.

Fortunately, we buy the 10lb bags of carrots, and that's kind of a key ingredient. So I decided to make carrot pudding instead.

6-8 carrots
1-2 apples (I used one ginormous apple)
1/4 cup coconut milk or cream
1 tablespoon Fat Of Choice (I used bacon grease, but coconut oil, butter oil, or butter would work well I'm sure. You could probably leave this out without much harm, but it makes it a bit richer)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (best guess - I grated it)
Sweetener to taste

Cook carrots until soft. I steamed them, but you could boil them too (one similar recipe uses broth, which might add a bit of nutrition, but I wasn't sure about the flavor - save the broth for something else if you go this route! I really should have done it this way, as the pot was used for reducing broth immediately afterwards), and roasting would probably bring out the sweetness even better. Cut apple into chunks while the carrots are cooking.

When carrots are soft, throw them in the food processor (or blender) along with the chunks of apple. Process until relatively smooth. Add coconut milk or cream if you need a little more liquid. Add other ingredients and process to mix. Taste, and add some sweetener (or maybe just some more apple) if you think it's necessary. If you're using good quality carrots and apples, it likely won't be. I'm using standard grocery store produce, and it was sweet, but not quite dessert-sweet, so I added a bit (like maybe a tablespoonful) of maple syrup.

Add raisins, pineapple chunks, and crushed pecans or walnuts as desired (or not) :) If I could eat dairy, I'd want to make some sort of cream cheese whip for the top, I think.

Makes about 4-6 servings.

This turned out good enough that all three kids liked it (LemurGirl is currently literally licking the bowl. I am pretending not to notice.). I think it was better warm, but just fine cold, too.

This was, incidentally, Baby's first bite of anything even vaguely resembling baby food. She's had appropriate sized and shaped chunks of whatever we're eating to gnaw on for the past month or so (or an apple slice or boiled veggies if what we're having doesn't seem appropriate), but no purees.

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