My family really likes breakfast breads and I really like that. It makes mornings much, MUCH, MUCH easier to have something ready when both the 4 year-old and the 2 year-old come down the stairs with growling tummies, wailing “I’m HUNGRY!” to a mommy who hasn’t even poured water into the coffee pot yet.
Banana chocolate chip muffins are everyone’s favorite – hands-down – but the cranberry almond muffins are a close second place. The kids even love moist cranberry orange scones, which tend to be a grown-up only pastry. My only breakfast failures have come from one culprit – vegetables. I’ve tried several breakfast recipes that use vegetables, but one bite and they got the thumbs down.
When I saw a recipe for spiced carrot bread on Good Cheap Eats, I was skeptical yet hopeful. Could it be a recipe that had vegetables, and the kids ate it?! This would be a wonderful answer to the “What do I do with the remaining 8 pounds of carrots I just bought?” question that goes through my head when I’m at Costco.
The taste-test results were unanimous – empty plates and a “can I get more” from the 4 year-old. YES! Both Mr. Crumbs and I liked it too, although next time I’ll made it with a bit less sugar and a bit more spice. I think the *love* that I added may contributed to the sweetness and possibly lessened the impact of the spices. Either way, I started with seven loaves in the morning and was down to two by the end of the day. I think we found a winner!
Spiced Carrot Bread with Vanilla Chips (makes 2 large loaves, or 7 mini-loaves – 14 cups of batter, to be exact)
1 cup oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon juice (or the zest of half of one lemon)
2 cups sugar
2 cups shredded carrot
4 cups flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1 cup vanilla baking chips *love*
Optional glaze: 1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of milk until a glaze is formed (use less milk for thick, more milk for thin)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray your pan(s) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and lemon juice (if you used it). Add the sugar until mixed well. Stir in the carrots.
3. In another large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, lemon zest (if you used it), baking soda, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Wisk to blend well.
4. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix to combine well.
5. Pour the batter into your pan(s) – dividing evenly if you used more than one – and bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. This is about 1 hour for a 8.5″ x x4.5″ loaf pan and 30 minutes for mini-loaves. Since every oven is different, check often to ensure the bread isn’t over-baked!
6. Drizzle the glaze over cooled loaves. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag if desired.
The total cost of this recipe, as written, is $5.37. That’s $0.77 per mini-loaf and that one loaf fed myself and both kids this morning! If you made muffins instead, they’d be overflowing and only $0.26!
Why pay $2.95 at Starbucks when you can have a much better version at home for a fraction of the cost!
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