Did you know there’s a whole day dedicated to our favourite orange vegetable? International Carrot Day is a celebration of the mighty carrot, and is celebrated on April 4th every year since 2003.
Why should we celebrate carrots?
Carrots are some of the most versatile vegetables we have. You can enjoy them in anything from stews to spaghetti, crudites to cake, boiled, steamed, roasted or even mashed if you fancy it. This slightly sweet vegetable is a staple to any kitchen as it’s not only great in most dishes, but is also great for your health!
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin K, potassium and beta carotene. You’ve probably heard that carrots help improve your eyesight. Well, this is true to an extent, but it’s not carrots themselves that you can attribute good eyesight to. As mentioned, carrots contain a nutrient called beta carotene, which is what gives orange carrots their orange colour. When you eat a carrot your body converts the beta carotene into Vitamin A, which is a key nutrient for eye health and visual acuity. So yes, carrots are good for your eyes, but also other aspects of your health.
Did you know that not all carrots are orange? Wild carrots range in colour from purple and red to a yellow, creamy colour. You also get wild orange carrots, and these are the most widely known and eaten variety of carrots today. There are subtle differences in taste between carrots varieties, but only slight. Brighten up your next batch of roast vegetables or a stew by adding some multi-coloured carrots instead of just orange.
How to celebrate International Carrot Day?
When I learned that there was a day to celebrate carrots I knew right away what I would make to celebrate. Carrot cake of course! It is the perfect combination of carroty sweetness, crunchy walnuts and cinnamon, beautifully topped with the creamiest cream cheese icing. While everyone’s been making banana bread and focaccia, I’ve been making carrot cake!
- Carrots (duh)
- Vegetable / olive oil
- Plain flour
- Bicarb of soda
- Ground cinnamon
- Cream cheese
It’s really a very simple recipe. This particular recipe will take a little longer than others, but the results are completely worth it. Plus, most of us have more time on our hands these days. It’s a longer bake, but this leaves you with the most moist and delicately rich cake I’ve ever eaten.
Share your creations and how you’re celebrating International Carrot Day in the comments below.
- Large mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- 26cm / 10in cake tin
- Baking paper
- Measuring cups / jug / scales
For the cake
- 525 g (about 4 large) Carrots
- 400 g Plain flour
- 450 ml Vegetable / Olive oil
- 2 tsp Bicarbonate soda
- 550 g Sugar
- 5 Eggs
- 2.5 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 150 g Walnuts, chopped
For the icing
- 200 g Full fat cream cheese
- 150 g Caster sugar
- 100 g Butter, softened
For the cake
- Preheat your oven to 180C | 160C Fan.
- Grease and line a 26cm | 10in cake tin.
- Mix all the dry ingredients (except carrot and walnuts) in a large bowl until combined.
- Gradually add 450ml oil and 5 eggs until combined.
- Stir in 525g (about 4) carrots and 150g walnuts.
- Pour your mixture into your cake tin and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Check to see if it’s ready by inserting a skewer into the centre – it should come out clean. If there’s still gooey mixture in the middle then bake for a further 15 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove the cake from the tin and cool completely on a cooling rack.
For the icing
- Mix 100g softened butter and 150g caster sugar together until combined in a paste.
- Add 200g full fat cream cheese and mix well.
- Optional step: slice the cake in half horizontally and sandwich icing between the two layers.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, spread over the top of the cake with a palette knife or spoon.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to see how yours turned out – use #holisticharmonie on Instagram or @holistic_harmonie so I can see your creations. Happy cooking!