What I really want, every day of my life for the rest of my life, is chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Or brownies would do. Or even a bar of good dark chocolate. Or hell, even just a handful of semisweet chocolate chips. I pretty much always crave sweets, especially chocolate. And I pretty much eat chocolate, or some other sweet, every day — but only a very little. I eat just enough to satisfy my craving and no more. As much as I would love to overindulge, I value my health too much to allow myself to.
It’s nice, though, when treats are somewhat healthy. By making smart choices about what we use to satisfy our sweet tooth, we can feel like we’re indulging a little but still saving the really decadent stuff for birthdays and holidays (and any other special occasion I can come up with to use as an excuse to make chocolate cake.)
This carrot bread falls into the “healthier stuff” category. I only used ½ cup sugar per loaf, and you could probably cut it even more because much of the sweetness comes from the pineapple. The cranberries give the bread a nice, bright fruitiness, and the walnuts add protein and some crunch. It’s basically a carrot muffin in loaf form. I’ve made it with eggs but have also done a vegan version using egg replacer, and both were great.
It’s no triple-layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, but it’s pretty great in its own right. Toasted with a little butter, it makes a yummy breakfast alongside a strong cup of coffee. After work, a little slice is just the thing; then there’s mid-afternoon when you need a little snack. Oh, and just before bed with a glass of milk — mmmmmmm… . You get the idea. Enjoy!
Cranberry Walnut Carrot Bread
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely shredded carrots
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup walnuts
¾ cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350˚. Lightly grease two 8×4 inch loaf pans and set aside. In a mixing bowl stir together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl beat the eggs. Add the sugar and oil and stir until combined. Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Combine the dry ingredients with the carrot mixture until just mixed. Stir in cranberries and walnuts. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing loaves from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack.