Carrot Cake, and a Trip to the Farmers Market!

by Jennifer

We have a great farmers market here in Madison, which is where I spend most of my Saturday mornings from Spring to Fall. Buying local food, if you can put the time and money into it, really comes full circle and benefits you and the community.

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I’m a big fan of picking up goat cheese and a rhubarb bar. However, my favorite stand might be the man who wears a beehive hat and sells honey every weekend, all season long.

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While the summer definitely boasts its own assets (strawberries and sunflowers), the fall atmosphere at the farmers market is something akin to sacred for me. All the vegetables are coming to an end, which means the entire market is flooded with them – perfect for me!

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Consequentially, I’ve been making a lot of foods with veggies in them – who would’ve guessed?! I just can’t beat making zucchini bread out of the largest zucchini I have ever seen, for which I only paid a dollar. One stand has green, red, and yellow chili peppers hanging from all around the tent.

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The baskets of carrots, all lined up, just look too good to pass up. So here we are – one of my favorite foods of all time.

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I made a few alterations to the original recipe by reducing the amount of sugar and swapping out white flour for whole wheat flour. I also omitted walnuts in place of raisins, but feel free to put any sort of fruit or nut in it – they all go pretty well together! Additionally, feel free to make a cream cheese frosting. I opted not to, but it would certainly make it more of a dessert as opposed to a sweet bread.

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I had to include a picture of my measuring cups – I’m obsessed with them! They’re little nesting matryoshka dolls.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • raisins (optional)

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Set oven to 350 degrees.

Add sugar and oil together and mix until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well.

Add flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon to first mixture.

Fold in vanilla, carrots, and nuts.

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Pour into a greased 8×8 inch pan and bake for 30 minutes.

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I couldn’t help but dive in early – hence the gooeyness! I would let it cool for an hour or two.

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My pieces here weren’t as firm because I cut them out when the pan was still warm, but when I cut the rest out later they came out as firmer, clean cut pieces. I ate them so fast, I forgot to take a picture of them when they actually looked nice! Typical.

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Recipe adapted from here.

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