Nothing beats fresh baked quick breads with ingredients right from the garden – or, in this case, your neighbor’s garden.
When I was writing about our garden this year, one element of the process that I emphasized was how much more enjoyable gardening was when you had people around you to share with. The giving and receiving of fresh produce added a communal aspect to our gardening. In years past, before we planted a garden of our own, we happily accepted fruits and vegetables from our neighbors. But this year, we had our own garden bounty to share and be proud of.
So, when one of our neighbors shared some of their bright carrots, I had to give back. Even after including the carrots in stir fry and salads, we had some left over. And I went straight to work baking three mini loaves of carrot walnut bread, both for us to munch on and to share with our generous neighbors.
Carrot walnut bread is a great way to use those leftover carrots that are just hanging around. Salads and a colorful stir fry, among other dinner recipes, are great ways to carrot-up your food, but carrots taste great in baked goods, too. Instead of baking a calorie-laden carrot cake, I like to opt for carrot nut bread. Packed with carrots, walnuts, and spices, it’s a sweet and satisfying way to eat your carrots and soothe that sweet craving, too.
This quick bread is easy and fun to make. Two bowls, one spatula – done! No standing mixer necessary for this one. My recipe yields one large loaf or three ample mini loaves. This is one you can feel good about eating as well, with olive oil versus vegetable oil and only a moderate amount of sugar.
So, here’s to gardening, here’s to carrots, and here’s to great neighbors!
Carrot Walnut Bread
Yields one standard loaf or three mini loaves
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, grated
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- Crack eggs and place in a bowl. Beat well. Add sugar and olive oil to eggs and mix until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and sea salt. Blend very well.
- Add dry ingredients to egg mixture, incorporating slowly and mixing well.
- Fold in carrots and walnuts, ensuring a thorough distribution through the batter.
- Using a 9×5 loaf pan or mini loaf pans, pour batter into the pan(s). If you’re using mini loaf pans, fill until around 1/2 full. If using a standard loaf pan, fill with all of the batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees. For a standard loaf, bake for one hour or until golden brown. For mini loaves, bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until golden brown. Either loaf will be fully baked when a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.
- Allow to cool in pan for five minutes. Then, gently remove to a cooling rack for further cooling.