A wholegrain and delicious carrot bread studded with raisins and cashews and scented with cardamom. It's good enough for dessert, but you should totally eat it for breakfast.
Spring arrived early this year, like an unfashionable guest. The cherry trees in Washington's Tidal Basin-- gorgeous with their full, pink flowers -- have already bloomed, days before they were supposed to. The daffodils have been out for a while, and the tulips are beginning to bud. March is all dressed up in weather that would be best suited to May.
Early this morning I woke up when a thunderclap crashed overhead, a common May phenomenon. Opie scurried upstairs to get into bed with me and Lucy ran into the closet to burrow into a hiding place.
To be honest, I feel a little cheated. The anticipation of spring is almost as delicious as the season itself, but this year we have been robbed of it. Just like we were robbed of the snow and of the comforting chill of an icy winter. Meanwhile, my dad in Goa and my relatives in Chennai have been telling us of an uncharacteristically cold winter in these cities where typically the weather-- in my dad's words--tends to be hot for 10 months and hotter for the remaining two.
Spring may be here, but my refrigerator is still overrun with carrots-- one of my favorite veggies to have on hand year-round, but especially in winter. This past weekend, looking to make a healthy snack for my sweet-toothed Desi, I baked up this luscious Carrot Bread that comes with all the deliciousness of carrot cake and just a fraction of the guilt.
My Carrot Bread is whole-wheat, extremely low-fat, and it contains the wholesome goodness of applesauce and flax. I sweeten it-- as I do all my sweets-- with turbinado sugar, a raw sugar with the flavor of molasses.
I tried to reproduce in my carrot bread the flavor of a vegan carrot halwa, a popular Indian sweet, by adding to it cardamom and cashews. My recipe is an adaptation of my zucchini bread recipe-- a good one to keep in mind for the summer bounty of squash.
My friend Margo's little boy Danny loved this bread, so it's kid-approved as well.
Here's the recipe now. Enjoy, all!
Vegan Carrot Bread
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon ground cardamom (run the whole pods-- about 10-- in a coffee grinder with a tablespoon of the sugar to get a fine grind)
- 1 cup raw cashews (chopped into large pieces)
- 3 tablespoon flaxmeal (whisk with 9 tablespoon water to make two flax eggs. If scaling the recipe up or down be sure to adjust the quantity of water accordingly.)
- 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ¾ cup applesauce
- 2 ¼ cups carrots (grated. Measure after grating)
- ¼ cup golden raisins (optional)
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bown.
- In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry, with a spatula or a whisk, using ⅓rd of the flour at a time. You want a lumpy but well-integrated batter. Do not overmix because you don't want to develop the gluten in the flour.
- Grease and flour two standard-size loaf pans.
- Divide the batter equally between the two and smooth down the top.
- Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack about 15 minutes, then slide a knife around the edges to unmold. Place right-side-up on a rack to cool
Hello, just a heads up: when we scale down the recipe, say, to only make one loaf instead of two, the instructions in parentheses do not change with the quantities of ingredients. For example, the halved recipe still tells me to use 9 tablespoons of water to make 2 flax eggs. This has definitely messed me up on other recipes before! If it's a simple fix I thought you might be interested in attending to it. Take care. 🙂
Yes, that's a good point--I've added a note.
Can I add crushed pineapple for added flavor and or moisture.
Can I bake this in a muffin pan? I don't have a bread loaf pan.
Yes! Cut down baking time to 20-25 minutes-- follow the toothpick test. If you're looking for a carrot muffin recipe, you might want to check this one out:
Can I use brown sugar as I don't have turbinado sugar? The picture looks so nice and inviting that I am looking forward to baking the bread.
Hi Lakshmi, you definitely can. It won't make any difference.
Steph, I don't quite understand your question. If you have an electric stove, your directions are no different-- you just preheat to the required temperature and bake.
What should I do if I have an electric stove with no pilot?
Hi!! I've tried a lot of your recipes and they always turnout great! ! Could you tell me what I can substitute flaxmeal with? Don't get it here.
Finally made it, and it has turned out amazing. Excellent in both texture and taste. One for me, and the other as a 'hostess gift'. Thanks Vaishali, as always, your recipes are amazing.
Spice 'N' Tadka
WOW a great looking bread. A great snack idea and healthy too! I am going to try it soon as I was looking for a bread/cake recipe using flax sead !
I'm always searching for great ideas for healthier snacks to feed my two grandchildren. I made this bread yesterday, the only thing I changed was to skip the nuts and use dried cranberries instead of raisins. It was a HUGE hit. My very picky 6 year old grandson raved over it. Thanks for another great recipe.
mmm. bread looks so tempting. I have lot of carrots in the refrigerator. This recipe is the best way to use them. Thanks Vaishali for such a delicious dish. Yum!!
Btw, is there a difference between whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour?
Hi Uma, yes, they are definitely different. Whole wheat pastry flour is made from a lighter winter wheat and it is a low-gluten flour that works great with pastries and cakes. You can always substitute a recipe that contains whole-wheat pastry flour with half wheat and half all-purpose.
This sounds fantastic! I recipe tested a carrot semolina halva recently and thoroughly enjoyed the cardamon flavour throughout.
Mel, a carrot semolina halwa sounds amazing. I ought to try that.
Hi, there, love your blog and recipes! I had a carrot and cauliflower bread once--it was savory and delicious--but I have no idea how to recreate it. Any thoughts on how to adapt this recipe to be more of a savory bread? I'll definitely try the sweet one in the mean time. Thanks so much!
Resha, You could substitute half the carrot with grated cauliflower, and replace the applesauce and the sugar with a flaxmeal-water mixture that would add moisture without adding sweetness. I would suggest using 3/4 cup of flaxmeal mixed in with 2 cups of water. The flax is full of heart-healthy omega-3s, so you'd have a very nutritious bread as well. Add any spice-- a few red pepper flakes and maybe some ground black pepper would be amazing with the cauliflower-- and salt, of course. I'd add a savory herb like cilantro as well-- about a cup of fresh cilantro, chopped finely.
wow am impressed ...i too like flax meal in cakes ....otherwise i don't prefer it much...very nice...
My first thought - Gajar ka halwa in bread form! Delicious x 10!
Spring came early in dallas too, it's green everywhere, which is glorious, just worried about how darn hot it will be in summer! Ufff!
AMISHI SHAH MERCHANT
It looks delicious, just like your other recipes. Thanks for sharing this recipe. What if I don't have flax meal? If you are a semi-regular baker (who has egg allergies), do you suggest buying it? Or is it possible to skip the flax meal for this recipe? I totally agree on the no-spring part. But then I love the cherry blossoms on the mall, so can't complain 🙂
Amishi, flax is a great ingredient to have on hand because it has tons of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. It also helps add moisture to this low-fat recipe, so I would definitely recommend using it. Skipping it could also result in a too-crumbly bread, because the flax mixed in water helps bind the bread.
I guess you probably won't have it either - but chia seeds behave in basically the same way as flax and with similar health benefits 🙂
Its been crazy here too lately.. last week we were supposed to warm up, but instead got hit by snow, hail, wind storms. i am waiting for some spring to show up.
Love the texture on the bread. I made a similar quick bread a while back, with carrot halwa cooked halfway..which feels like eating a fudgy halwa-y cake:)
I can't wait to try this! Thanks for posting!