A Second Life For Carrots

I don’t like to throw away stuff, especially stuff that’s still usable.

This goes for food. And this reminds me of Mary, a good friend who refuses to discard chocolates from her fridge. I can be like Mary too.

I can feel extremely guilty about throwing away edible food. Must be all those years of my dad admonishing me to finish up food on my plate as a child because “the kids in Africa are starving”. Mentally I have that picture of a starving African kid each time I throw food out.

The one with the bloated tummy and huge, limpid eyes.

Now it’s better because the food goes into my compost pots in the garden. At least they’re turned into fertilizer. That’s a second life for food.

Ever since I got myself a juicer, I’ve been churning out fresh carrot juices about twice a week (when I am not too lazy to wash the machine!).

I never knew having carrot pulp could be such a guilt trip. It does when you have pulp from 5 Australian carrots staring you in the face, daring, simply daring you to chuck them into the compost bin.

So I refrain. I pack the pulp up into plastic containers and freeze them.

In the end, I realized that I could do something with the carrot pulp. I could make carrot cake!

You see, back in the days when I didn’t have a juicer, I would grate carrots by hand. Terrible job, that. Hated that but loved chomping on freshly baked carrot cake.

So now I solved my carrot cake woe. I had plenty of carrot pulp to make carrot cake with. (I am not a big fan of cheese frosting so I omit that plus storing cake with frosting is one mean, messy job.)

So here’s the carrot cake recipe which I fall back on because it’s simple and tastes great. I actually stumbled on  a secret tip that makes carrot cake moist….the addition of green apple. That’s also because I juice carrots and green apples together in one go (yes, to make a healthier juice than say, just carrots).

A moist and yummy carrot cake made from carrot pulp
A moist and yummy carrot cake made from carrot pulp

The sweetness level is just right because I can’t stand overly sweet cakes. That’s why I make cakes with brown sugar.

I love this quick cake because it is easy to mix up and easy to eat. What’s not to love about a cake like this? And it contains carrot pulp and green apple pulp which means extra fibre and health-inducing qualities.

All you need to do for this carrot cake is to mix all the ingredients
All you need to do for this carrot cake is to mix all the ingredients

(And I add beetroot pulp to chocolate cakes but that’s totally another story for another blog post.)

Moist Carrot Cake

130 gm self raising flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp ground cloves

130 gm brown sugar

2 cups grated carrot (or carrot pulp from 5 medium size carrots + pulp from 1 green apple, if you like extra moistness)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup golden raisins

2 eggs, beaten

150 ml vegetable oil or melted butter

1/4 tsp salt (omit salt if you’re using salted butter)

1. Preheat oven to 180C . Grease and line your pan. Or if you’re like me and can’t be bugged with greasing and lining, just grease your pan and sprinkle flour all over the greased pan. Shake off excess flour but ensure flour coats the bottom of the entire pan.

2. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground cloves.

3. Mix in sugar, carrot pulp, walnut and raisins. Pour in eggs and oil (or melted butter).

4. Plug in your electric mixer. On medium speed, beat this mixture until well-combined about 3 minutes.

5. Pour mixture into your pan and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until your cake is done.

Frosting option:

Once your cake is cool and removed from the pan, you can make your frosting. In a mixer on high speed, whip 60 gm cream cheese with 30gm butter and 1 tsp lemon juice. Add 2-3 tbsp icing sugar and whip till smooth. Smooth over your cooled cake.

Pour into a pan and bake for 20-25 minutes and that's it!
Pour into a pan and bake for 20-25 minutes and that's it!

Cookies, Cookies Everywhere

I can’t keep this secret to myself any longer as she’s going to officially start selling her cookies soon and with a website to boot too.

I’ve been privileged to move to my new neighbourhood and automatically get new neighbours who are both like friends and family.

It’s been great settling in and making new discoveries about our new neighbourhood. (Ah, the only thing which bugs me is that this middle-class neighbourhood which is 2 minutes’ from Queensbay Mall is a magnet for the damn snatch thieves but more on that later.)

Anyway, she stops taking orders come 1 Feb so hurry and make your orders before she takes a break for Chinese New Year.

I’ve tried many of her cookies (that’s the beauty of being neighbours – we get to be ‘guinea pigs’) and I can personally vouch that she uses premium ingredients and she never stinges! Each cookie and slice of cake is a pleasure to eat because they’re really full of lip-smacking goodness.

Oh, I haven’t introduced her ya? Well, she’s Vern’s mom. Vern’s my blogger friend who became a friend and then she interned at Redbox Studio and then we became neighbours since last November. It’s a story that is worth telling over and over. What a strange way to become neighbours huh?

Anyway, Mrs Hor’s quite the maestro in the kitchen and she is always trying out new and exciting recipes. Her baking foray is due to egging from her children and friends like us!

So let me point you in the direction of yummilicious cookies. But order soon as orders close 1 Feb.

Lest you think I’m partial to her cookies, I’d say I’m partial to GOOD STUFF.

The other ‘baker” I like is my aunt as she makes ONLY pineapple tarts. I always tell clients and friends that these jam tarts are limited edition stuff because they’re made with love and passion and therefore tastes like heaven.

Another equally good baker is my friend Ai Tee. You can find out more about her goodies from this post of mine.

I’ve also tried other so-called homemade cakes and cookies, the most recent being some carrot walnut cake which I bought at a seminar last Saturday.

The lady who sold the cake who was the baker of this cake of course exclaimed how much carrot and quality walnuts she used (“200gm you know and you know how expensive walnuts are but you feel my cake? Dense right?”). I was taken in by the fact that her cake was quite fragrant so I bought a slab for Vern’s mom to taste while I bought a slab of cempedak cake.

But what a disappointment! The carrot cake was tasteless while the cempedak cake didn’t really live up to expectations. The cake texture was dry and after 1 day in the fridge, it was drier and harder! And this from a woman who waxed lyrical about her own cakes and silly old me got taken in and bought them. But I always say, well, I have to sometimes eat some lousy cakes in order to appreciate well-made cakes.

😉