Waving Hello Peeps!
As I’m off on the ##FPPlayAmbassador press trip – you know, cruising around the Western Caribbean – I asked some of my favourite bloggers to help keep my blog fresh while I’m away.
Today’s guest post is courtesy of one of my very favourite bloggers: Shauna MacKenzie from Kindergarten Confidential. Whether you’re a mommy looking for well-balanced, nutritious (and delicious) snacks – or just trying to find inspiration to get out of a food rut – you’ll want to follow her blog for sage advice, tips, and meal ideas everyone can make. Her recipes for Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches, Baby Bok Choy and Mini Cheesecakes are in heavy rotation chez moi!
Blog Blurb: “When my son came home from Kindergarten with a list of nut-free snack ideas suggested by the school, I was disgusted by the amount of junk food listed. Do hot dogs really belong in a young child’s lunch bag? If the thought of preparing healthy, nut-free school snacks makes you cringe, worry not! I’m here to help with snack & lunch ideas, easy recipes, and tips to simplify this part of your busy life. Open your mind to delicious, healthy food that will stay with your busy bees throughout the day!”
Today Shauna so sweetly shared her recipe for Carrot Cake Muffins. Is it a muffin… or cake? You decide!
We all know that carrots are a delicious, über healthy vegetable that we should all be consuming daily. The convenience alone is good reason for daily snacking, along with high sources of fibre and vitamins.
We all know, as well, that children are easily bored by eating the same foods week after week. They may be tired of eating carrots raw with dip, or steamed and served with dinner. Get your little ones ready with their aprons and wooden spoons, and bake up a batch of Carrot Cake Muffins! I am ready and willing to share the absolute best carrot cake recipe EVER, given to me by my mother long, long ago. She still has the original Toronto Star newspaper clipping and this recipe has been passed along to family and friends with great results!
The recipe below is for a traditional carrot cake, cream cheese icing included – yum! I have provided instructions on making muffins. I ice the muffins for dessert or to treat my co-workers. For Aidan’s school snack I leave them plain, slicing into three portions. The muffins are very moist, full of flavour and they do not fall apart. He never misses the icing, but I sometimes spread a little in between the slices for an extra special treat.
3 1/2 cups grated carrots
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon (I sometimes use Pumpkin Pie Spice instead)
3/4 cups vegetable or canola oil
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon in a small bowl.
3. Combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl, mix well.
4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mix until just combined (do not over mix).
5. Add grated carrots and mix until just combined.
6. Pour batter into two round cake pans. I like to line them with aluminum foil (the pans stay clean and the cakes don’t stick at all).
7. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Check at 45 minutes with a toothpick. Cakes are ready when toothpick comes out of cake clean.
8. Allow cakes to cool completely before icing. The cake can be halved easily once cooled – it will not fall apart. Perfect for making a gorgeous 4-tiered cake.
** This recipe makes 21 muffins. Bake at the same temperature for no more than 45 minutes. Allow to cool before icing. Muffins will freeze well in a freezer bag for a convenient snack option.
Cream Cheese Icing (optional…if you can resist!)
1 package of cream cheese (use full fat, not low fat), room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp juice (any citrus juice or juice blend will do)
1. Using a mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla and juice until creamy.
2. Add the icing sugar in four parts, mixing well before adding each one.
3. Ice cake immediately or cover the icing in a bowl and refrigerate for up to 4 days. The icing also freezes well in a zip-seal plastic bag or container.
** This icing is also delicious on chocolate brownies or chocolate cupcakes.
1. Before sending your little one with homemade baked goods for a school snack or with their lunch, check with their teacher to make sure that this is allowed. Many schools have banned homemade baked goods, due to high numbers of children with nut allergies.
2. Freeze extra muffins in a freezer bag for quick and easy breakfast options.