Tag Archives: granola

Carrot Cake TO GO: Version 2.0

Before we get to cooking, I need to get something off my chest. I have been watching this season of American Idol. *shame* And I like it. *double shame* And it’s making me like Jennifer Lopez. *weird* Whew. I’m glad we shared that moment. Now I can be my true, embarrassing self.

On to more important things. This past weekend I auditioned for Recipe To Riches with my Carrot Cake TO GO bars. I didn’t make the cut. Cray, I know. Tear. Sob. Whatever. But that means that I can share my perfected recipe with all of YOU!

You may remember a similar recipe that I made this past summer. Back then it was a portable trail mix with lots of carrot-y goodness packed inside. But I thought that the folks at PC might be looking for something a little more universal, so after about 15 versions, I ended up with this recipe. It’s basically a fusion between a granola bar and carrot cake. It’s incredibly moist, filling, and satisfies my sweet-tooth craving (which can be ferocious at times). It is also moderately health, so you don’t have to go run 5 k after eating a bar. Although if you do “run” they would be a perfect take along. Do people bring snacks on runs? I’m not all that familiar with “exercise”.

This recipe makes about 24 bars, depending on how large you’d like them. You’ll need:

  • 6 cups large rolled oats
  • 6 tbsp canola oil
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 9 cups grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup sultana raisins
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 150 grams white chocolate discs

In a small pot over medium heat combine your oil and 6 tbsp honey and heat until gently boiling. Pour over the oats in a bowl, and toss until evenly coated. Spread oats onto a large parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 325 for 20 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes. Your oats should be golden brown.

Spread your carrot across 3 large parchment lined baking sheets, and bake at 300 for 15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes. This will steam some of the extra moisture out of your carrots so your bars hold together.

Let both of those ingredients cool, while you soak your raisins in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes.

In a LARGE bowl toss together your granola, carrot, raisins (drained), sugar, oat flour, flax, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together your remaining honey, corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and toss until everything is throughly coated.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment, and press your bar mixture into it to a height of about 1.75 cm. If your sheet is too large, you can just create an edge with your fingers instead of spreading the mixture all the way to the rim of the tray. If your tray is too small, you can bake the rest of your mixture in a small cake pan. Try to keep the height uniform across the bars.

Bake at 325 for about 35 minutes until the bars are firm with a bit of give to them. Let them cool completely before cutting them up. I like to use a bench cutter for this (It makes me feel manly. Why I want to feel manly, I do not know.), but you can use a kitchen knife if you don’t have one.

When you’ve cut your bars, put your chocolate in a zipper seal bag (If you are afraid of plastic leaching into your food, you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler. I’m a rebel) and melt it in the microwave at 30 second intervals. Squeedge the chocolate around before adding more time. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate, because there is no going back.

Snip a small bit from the corner of your baggie and drizzle chocolate back and forth on a diagonal across the bars. You don’t need much, the bars are pretty sweet on their own. You can even skip this step if you want.

Now since I have made so many versions of this recipe, I have a few tips for you. If you want to cut back on the processed sugar, you can sub your corn syrup for pureed dates. This will make the bars a little firmer (and in my opinion less delicious), but it is lower cal. You can also add more flax, and less oat flour if you like, but again, the bars will taste slightly different. Have fun experimenting, and happy baking!

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Filed under cake, pop culture, relatively healthy, squares

Carrot Cake, To Go

 

Who doesn’t love carrot cake? It’s moist, and sweet, with thick creamy icing. And the best part is that you can trick yourself into thinking that it’s good for you, ’cause you’re eating VEGETABLES!

I’ve taken everything you love about carrot cake and packaged it up in a perfectly portable snack. My “carrot cake trail mix” can follow you to work, on a hike, just about anywhere. This recipe makes about 8 cups worth, and trust me, you’ll eat the whole batch. You’ll need:

  • parchment paper
  • 6 cups grated carrot
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups yogurt covered raisins

 Dried carrot: Preheat your oven to 250 degrees, 225 if you have convection (preferable). Toss spices, sugar and carrot together, and spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Slowly dry your carrot mixture in the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours, tossing occasionally, until almost all the moisture has evaporated. Set aside to cool.

 

Granola: If you wish, you can save time by purchasing 4 cups of store bought granola (without added fruit and nuts), or use this recipe. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with your oil, and set it in the oven to heat up. When the oil is hot (about 10 minute), toss in your oats until they are coated, and then spread them in a thin layer. Bake them for about 1/2 hour, then add your corn and maple syrups, coating the oats evenly. Place them back in the oven and continue to bake for another 45 minutes to an hour, tossing the mixture frequently. They will be ready when the oats are golden brown and slightly crunchy. Set aside to cool.

 

When your granola and carrots have cooled, toss them together in a large bowl with your yogurt covered raisins and walnuts. Keep in an airtight container for up to a week. If I were you, I would plan to take this on a very long, and very steep hike, because it’s deadly. Once you start eating, you won’t be able to stop. Enjoy! 

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Filed under new flavours