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Spring for quick carrot bread

Spring has teased us this year in the Ocean State, with a promised arrival, then a sudden recall of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Spring flowers are peeping through the cold earth, however, and birds are seeking cozy spots to build their nests. There is hope.

And in the kitchen we’re dreaming of enjoying some lovely spring meals, using foods such as asparagus, lemon, strawberries, artichokes, peas, and rhubarb. And while these foods are not necessarily available locally as yet, they will be featured on special at the supermarket, ready to make into some delicious dishes at home.

On the list of spring produce, we have to include carrots too. Remembering to treat the Easter bunny. And what the bunny doesn’t eat, we can then make into a delectable quick bread using colorful carrots, either grated by hand or pulsed in the food processor with the grater attachment. It’s on the healthy side too, made with whole wheat flour, carrots, heart-healthy walnuts, and applesauce instead of butter.

This bread is delightful as is, or topped with confectioners’ sugar or a favorite cream cheese icing that seems to go so well with carrot cakes and breads. It makes a nice offering for brunch or to bring as a hostess gift.

Here’s to a warm and luscious spring season!

Carrot Quick Bread Recipe

1 cup sugar

¼ cup applesauce

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup white flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup shredded raw carrots

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup chopped walnuts

2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a loaf pan with butter or cooking spray, then dust with flour. In bowl, mix sugar and applesauce. Combine dry ingredients; add to applesauce mixture. Add carrots, vanilla, and nuts. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Pour batter into pan; bake for about 50 minutes. Makes 1 loaf.