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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Guest Post: What To Do With A Bag Of Carrots

I always have extra carrots around. They are cheap and every time that I go to the store I think that we need some. So here is a post by Tight Wad in Utah on what to do with carrots. I really think that the glazed carrots look super good.

What to do with a Bag of Carrots

I used to hesitate before buying a bag of carrots because I knew I would end up throwing some of them out. I suppose if we ate more salads this wouldn't be an issue, but even if we did I usually leave them out anyway because my cutting skills make them sail across the room. So to avoid the hassle, I avoid the carrot. No more, my friends! I have been converted to the carrot, and if you cut them in spears they are less likely to end up under a couch. :)

I found 3 recipes that I LOVE! And they can all be put in the freezer so you can make them in bulk and eat at your leisure. I used 4 pounds of carrots to do all 3 recipes, and that only got me 2 meals worth of glazed carrots. NOT ENOUGH.

- Glazed Carrots
- Carrot Cake Freezer Jam
- Homemade Carrot Baby Food

CHOOSING YOUR CARROTS - Be sure to buy carrots that don't look like they're growing. If they are sprouting from the top, or have a lot of hair, they have probably been sitting around awhile. Also I personally don't buy peeled and cut carrots because I don't think they taste as good.

1. Glazed Carrots

I've loved this recipe for a long time, but just recently realized that they can be frozen. (duh)
Here is the basic recipe, you can double, triple, etc.

3 medium carrots
1.5 T butter
1.5 T brown sugar
salt or garlic salt to taste

Wash carrots and cut into spears. The smaller they are, the faster they'll cook.
Put them in a pot with a small amount of water.

They are done when tender (according to your preference)
Melt butter and sugar in pan --I love this picture, it looks like art....maybe just to me :)

Add carrots
Mix them around until they are well coated
Let them cook on lower heat for about 5 minutes

After they cool, separate them into serving sizes and put in labeled freezer bags
These freeze great! Reheat in microwave or on the stove.

Now you'll have a good side dish at the ready, because let's face it.....after you've made dinner, who has the energy for a side? Well, I never do, which is why we go through a lot of frozen peas. :)

I just happened upon this recipe. They said it was an award winner so I gave it a go. It's AMAZING! This could be Christmas gifts this year!!

1 1/2 c sugar
1 package ball simple creation freezer jam pectin
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves (the only ingredient I didn't already have)
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice
2 c shredded carrots (about 3)
2 c chopped apples (about 1 large, I also peeled mine)

Stir sugar, pectin cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg until well blended and set aside.
Drain pineapple, reserve 1/2 cup pineapple juice, set aside
Combine juice, carrots, and apples in a medium saucepan

Bring to boil, stirring occasionally
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes
Add pineapple
Transfer into blender (half at a time) this is much easier than using a potato masher!!
Let cool 15 minutes

Add pectin mixture to fruit
Stir 3 minutes

Ladle jam into jars to fill line
Let stand until thickened - 30 minutes
Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or freeze for a year!

Makes 40 ounces
This is seriously good! Slap a bow on it and it's an awesome gift!

3. Homemade Baby food (use whatever carrots you have left)

I would suggest using organic carrots for baby food. If you don't, make sure to wash and peel them, and of course wash any equipment you use.

Peel carrots (I even did with organic)
Cut carrots into spears (do this the same time as the glazed carrots)
Steam carrots. I don't have a steam basket so I just put my colander over the pot. Fill the pot with water just under the colander and boil. (Carrots shouldn't be in the water)
---If you are doing the glazed carrots you can also throw those in here as well to get them both done.

Let steam until tender
place in blender (don't fill blender more than half way, unless yours can handle it better than mine:)
add water (NOT the reserved carrot water, use new water!!!)
Place in an ice cube tray(s)

Cover with plastic wrap, freeze
After it freezes solid transfer to freezer bag.
Label it with a 2 month expiration date

Reheat in microwave, put in a plastic bag and submerge in hot water, or let it thaw in the refrigerator
Then enjoy :)

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