Carrots, carrots, carrots!

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Did you know that enough carrots are grown in the Holland Marsh to provide every man, woman and child in Canada with four pounds every year? 

Located just north of Toronto, in Ontario’s Greenbelt, Holland Marsh is known as Ontario’s “vegetable basket”, growing not only carrots but a copious variety of other crops: onions, lettuce, celery, potatoes, cauliflower, beets, radish and parsnips just to name a few. 

Carrots are awesome – they are full of vitamins and are extremely good for you – they contain carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. Carrots are also excellent sources of vitamins B and C.

There are many ways to eat your carrots. Have them raw with dip, boil them, roast them, mash them or bake with them!

One of my favourites: Carrot cake

Following Jamie Oliver’s recipe and using Ontario’s very own carrots – with a citrus twist:

You’ll need:

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g light brown soft sugar
  • 5 large eggs, preferably organic, separated
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 170g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 slightly heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g shelled walnuts, chopped, plus a handful for serving
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • A pinch of ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 250g Ontario carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 °F.

Line a 22cm-square cake tine with greaseproof paper. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one by one and add the orange zest and juice. Stir in the sifted flour and baking powder, and add the ground almonds, walnuts, spices and grated carrot and mix together well.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs whites with a pinch of sale until stiff, then gently fold them into the cake mix. Scoop the mixture into the prepared cake tin and cook in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes until golden and risen.

For the lime mascarpone icing you’ll need:

  • 100g marcarpone cheese
  • 200g full-fat cream cheese
  • 85g icing sugar, sifted
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes

Mix all the icing ingredients together and spread generously over the top of the cake. Finish off with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts.

Enjoy!

--Amy

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