Cooking for fun

  • 03 min read
  • 12 Feb 2024
Cooking for fun

Cooking for fun!

Ailsa Craddock

Carrots can be Carats

Since last month’s column, we’ve had days and days of rain and then flooding but as I write this we now have brilliant sunshine albeit bitterly cold. Corky, the cat, is sat by the fire, the hens are snug in their coop and The Husband disappeared into his warm office, only to reappear for coffee and sustenance as its obviously too icy even for him to go fishing! So it's back to comfort food - but still want healthy. And what could be better than carrots - the unappreciated gold amongst vegetables? Carrots are one of the most versatile foods that Mother Nature has to offer. From stews to salads, roasts to juices, this bright-hued veggie can be part of nearly any meal. The best part about them, though, is that carrots are high in nutrients that support your health from head to toe — and they can taste great.

Too often presented as a side dish of extraordinary dullness, they can be pepped up with herbs, lemon juice and butter - or made into any of the below recipes.

Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

2 tablespoon butter

2 onion, finely chopped

2 -3 cloves of garlic

1 dessertspoon grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon each chilli flakes,

ground turmeric, ground

coriander, ground cumin

3 - 4 carrots, peeled and


1 tin chopped tomatoes

160g red lentils

1 litre vegetable stock

Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently fry the onion, ginger and spices and cook until soft. Add carrots, lentils and stock and slowly bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes until tender. Serve, with toasted sourdough, in a bowl with a swirl of yogurt and mint for garnish.

Quick Carrot and Walnut Bread

350g plain flour

150g wholemeal flour

1 teasp salt

2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

150g carrots, peeled and grated

walnut or pieces, a handful,


300ml Greek yoghurt

125ml semi-skimmed milk

Heat oven to 230c/fan 210/gas 8. Mix the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda, then stir in the carrot, walnuts and yoghurt, followed by enough of the milk to make a soft, quite sticky dough. Tip onto a floured surface and form a flat ball, put on a baking sheet, slash the top and bake for 30 minutes until risen and cooked. It’ll sound hollow when you tap it.

Carrot Muffins (makes 6)

75g margarine

125g carrots

100g sugar

100g Self raising flour

3/4teasp cinnamon

1 tea sp baking powder

1 large egg

60g sultanas

25g nuts

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6/fan 180C. Melt the

margarine in the microwave. Top and tail, then peel and grate the carrots. Combine the carrots, sugar and margarine in a bowl. Sift in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Beat the egg in a small bowl and then add to the mixture. Also mix in the nuts and

sultanas. Line a muffin tray with 6 muffin cases and divide the mixture equally between them.

Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool - and either enjoy them as they are or mix a little cream cheese and icing sugar together

as a topping.