Sunday, September 11, 2011

Zucchini and Carrot Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Like many other households with children, ours is hectic in the morning. I'd like to say my kids get a perfect, well-rounded meal to start their day, but truly, there's a lot of cold cereal going on. I have found, though, if I keep some sort of "healthy" muffin or easy-to-eat item made, it eases the chaos of "What do you want for breakfast?"

I came across an image for Zucchini and Carrot Bars on (where else?) Pinterest, and thought I'd give it a go.... Yes, yes, they're iced, so I lose some points, BUT

...when else am I going to get my girls to include this in their breakfast?

*Of course, I tweaked it a bit, but here goes:

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from here)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts *I used 1 T of flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose *I used whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 (8 oz) pkg reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest *I used orange zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey, and vanilla. Don’t worry about clumps of the brown sugar, those will dissolve as it sits while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Then fold in the carrot, zucchini, and walnuts
  2. In another bowl combine add the flour, baking powder, ginger, and baking soda. Whisk to blend together.
  3. Add to flour mixture to the wet mixture. Stir just until combined. Spread batter into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  4. Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  5. Once the cake is cooled prepare the frosting. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the fosting ingredients with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Spread or pipe the frosting over the cooled bars. Makes 36 bars.
*Note on substitutions:
  • I will generally substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose unless I believe it will affect the integrity of the item. Let's get our fiber, peeps!
  • I didn't have any walnuts on hand, but I still wanted the benefit of a) some texture and b) some Omega-3 fatty acids - Flaxseed provides both.
  • I subbed orange zest for lemon simply because I think orange better compliments carrot - and I can't resist any reference to a creamsicle.
All part of a Balanced Breakfast, right!

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