Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sweet carrot bread

Enjoy this easy, healthy recipe for sweet carrot bread, a perfect snack or breakfast bread. Serve either plain or lightly toasted and topped with a little crunchy, sea-salted butter.

healthy sweet carrot bread recipe

So let's talk cookbooks. Do you still use them? I do -- well, not really. Or sort of. Let me explain.

I don't buy many cookbooks anymore. Historically, I found that I would wind up liking only about six recipes in each 200-plus page book. And those books take up way, way too much real estate for that kind of return on investment.

The exception to this rule is my collection of Cooking Light recipe annuals. Basically, after getting me to subscribe to the magazine for a year, the crafty marketeers at Cooking Light then convinced me to shell out a bunch of money for a book that contains all the recipes from every issue for that year.

(Yes: I just paid for the same content twice.)

For years, I justified it by congratulating myself on all the bookshelf space I was saving by replacing 10 bulky magazines with one simple book. Until I ended up with 10 books. Fail.

Finally, after much agonizing over how it might mess up my recipe-saving system, I just said no to the annuals.


Honestly, it has worked out fine for me because, once I started this blog, recipe variety had to become my new middle name. I rarely make the same recipe twice anymore (with a few exceptions, of course) because I'm always looking for new, healthy-and-delicious recipes to share with all of you . Because, unlike some other bloggers, I blog about what we actually eat around Casa de Ninj: no special blog-only recipes, just our daily fare.

healthy sweet carrot bread recipe

But sometimes, my peeps, the inspiration well runs dry. That's when I pull out one of those 10 annual cookbooks. I'll peruse the current month from several years for seasonal inspiration or turn to one of the pages I flagged to indicate a family favorite.

Here's the best part, though -- occasionally, when I get to one of the flagged pages, I discover something entirely new on the facing page. It's like FATE! As was the case with the inspiration recipe for this carrot bread, which I adapted to make even healthier.

Let's be clear, this is not carrot cake. No, no, not nearly so sweet and desserty. This is definitely carrot bread, perfect for breakfast au naturel or lightly toasted then schmeared with a little sea-salted butter.

When I find one of these old-to-the-book-but-new-to-me recipes like the carrot bread, it feels like getting a whole new magazine of recipes, as I explore all the recipes that I overlooked the first time I read it.

Hmmmm. I think I may have just talked myself into buying those annual cookbooks again.

Well played, Cooking Light marketing department: Well played indeed.

How about you? Do you buy cookbooks? How many recipes do you actually make from each one? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

healthy sweet carrot bread recipe

Sweet Carrot Bread

(adapted from Cooking Light, July 2008)

1 cup sliced carrot
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon flax seed meal (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring some water to a boil in a small pot and add the carrot; cook until soft (about 15 minutes). Drain, place in a food processor and process until smooth.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, flax seed meal, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ginger and cloves. In another smaller bowl, whisk together the carrot puree and the remaining ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until just combined.

Spoon the batter into a prepared loaf pan and bake for about 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
-- print recipe --


  1. I've been much more selective about buying cookbooks...but I'll admit I go way overboard. You know what my biggest weakness is now...BLOGGER cookbooks. I have all the cookbooks published by my favorite bloggers. And there are some cookbooks that I use almost every other day like Essentials of Cooking which basically just gives you technique. But, I'm getting a little better with actually cooking out of some of my favorite books. Definitely not enough to justify the excessive amount of books I have, but I just can't give them up.

    I definitely understand the excitement in finding something new from a book you haven't looked at in a while. All of a sudden different things look good. This bread is really interesting. I'm loving the ingredient list, and it does sound like the perfect bread for trying all different toppings. Nice find!

    1. Thanks, Sandra. I'm thinking of trying a version with added zucchini, too, since it's getting to be that time of year. I think the one cookbook I use all the time for reference is Joy of Cooking -- lots of great how-tos.

  2. I love flipping through cookbooks and food magazines. I often fall asleep at night with a mag in hand. I just can't get in to the kindle thing (strange admission from someone who's lifestyle depends on it ;-) but I'm a bit of a luddite at heart). You've got some great spices going on in this loaf and I'm liking the yogurt too. I might be tempted to add some orange zest or enjoy a slice with melted orange butter :).

    1. I'm a Kindle convert for books I read for pleasure, but there is NO WAY I can use it to replace food magazines. It's just not the same! And I love your idea of adding some zest to the carrot bread -- great thought!

  3. Okay I feel like that is ALWAYS happening to me. I fold down the page on a recipe, flip to it a year later and then want to make the recipe on the opposite page. Also, carrot bread? Yes please!

  4. I do buy cookbooks on occasion, but like you, rarely use them! Whenever I look at them, I feel a bit guilty too... like I'm neglecting them or something.

    This carrot cake looks beautiful! It must taste amazing!

    1. Ah, cookbook guilt. Don't let it get you down! :-)

  5. Like you, I have way too many cookbooks. I need to figure out how to get rid of them, but it just seems wrong to chuck 'em. I know! I'll send them over to you! Oh, and I would love to come eat at Casa de Ninj if you're serving this creative!

    1. We should really have a food blogger cookbook swap, David!