Dash of Class: Cooking with the letter C — Carrots and crab apples

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By Nora Sweat

C is the letter of the month and I first thought of carrots and crab apples. The foods that came to my mind were carrot cake and crab apple jelly, but there are many more ways to use the ever popular vegetable, carrot, and the not so well known fruit, crab apple. I hope you will experiment with these new recipes that are not only healthy, but can be delicious as well.

Carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A, which helps to prevent night blindness. It is no wonder we think of a bunny eating carrots having excellent eyesight.

Crab apples are a very good source of Vitamin C, which helps prevent bleeding gums and scurvy, which does not happen in such a blessed country as the United States. Crab apples are not so common in fruit markets, but those of you who have crab apple trees might welcome some more recipes to fix those delicious fruits.

Next month, we take on the letter D. What fruit and vegetable will you find in this column?

Nora Sweat is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.

Carrot Zucchini Bread

3 egg whites, whipped
½ cup of applesauce, room temperature.
½ cup of orange juice, room temperature.
1 teaspoon of orange extract
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 cups of zucchini, grated
1 cup of carrot, grated
3 cups of all-purpose flour
½ cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Prepare pans with cooking spray and flour.

In a suitably sized mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, applesauce, orange juice, orange extract, vanilla, grated zucchini and grated carrots. In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour the batter into your pan and bake for 60 minutes.

Glazed Carrots

2 ½ cups of carrots, sliced.
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of orange peel, grated
½ teaspoon of salt

Cook the carrots in hot water until they are tender. Drain. Melt the butter in a suitably sized skillet. Add the cooked carrots, sugar, grated orange peel and salt. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until carrots are glazed. Serve as desired.

Carrot Raisin Salad

5 cups of carrots, shredded
1 ½ cups of celery, chopped
1 ½ cups of mayonnaise
¾ cup of raisins
¾ cup of walnuts, chopped
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of mustard
¼ teaspoon of salt
10 lettuce leaves

In a bowl, combine the carrots, celery, raisins and walnuts. Add the other ingredients except lettuce leaves and mix thoroughly. Serve on lettuce leaves.

Source:  www.carrotrecipes.com

Crab Apple Relish

6 pints crab apples
1 lb. raisins
1 tsp. ground cloves
3 oranges, rind and juice
12 cups sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups vinegar

Remove stems and cores from crab apples. Grind apples, oranges and raisins. Mix with rest of ingredients. Let all set overnight. In the morning, cook mixture until soft. Seal in jars.

Spiced Crab Apples

1 qt. white vinegar
3 c. water
4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. each cinnamon, cloves, mace and allspice; tie loosely in a cheesecloth bag

5 pints crab apples

Heat the above together and let cool. Add crab apples and heat slowly so as not to burst the fruit. Let stand in syrup overnight. Next morning, remove spice bag and pack in sterilized jars. Fill with syrup. Seal and process in water bath 20 minutes.

Source:  www.cooks.com

Mary Wynne’s Crabapple Jelly

8 cups fresh crabapples

Water as needed

3 cups white sugar

Remove stems and blossom ends from crabapples, and cut into quarters. Place them in a large stainless steel or other non-reactive pot or saucepan. Add enough water to be able to see, but not so much that the crabapples are floating. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The apples should soften and change color.

Strain the apples and juice through 2 or 3 layers of cheese cloth. You should have at least 4 cups of juice. Discard pulp, and pour the juice back into the pan. Bring to a simmer, and let cook for 10 minutes. Skim off any foam that comes to the top. Next, stir in the sugar until completely dissolved. Continue cooking at a low boil until the temperature reaches 220 to 222 degrees F (108 to 110 C). Remove from heat.

Pour the jelly into sterile small decorative jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a hot water bath to seal.

Source:  www.allrecipes.com

Crabapple Crisp

4 cups peeled and sliced crab apples

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 1/2 tablespoons butter 

Spread the sliced apples on the bottom of an 8X8 baking dish. Blend sugar and flour, rolled oats, spices and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle this blend over the apple slices. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 min.

Source:  www.downhomelife.com