One of my favorites on the weekend agenda is the Farmers Market!
The history of the Farmers Market and it’s origin in America is a little hard to pinpoint, with Boston, MA, Lancaster, PA and even Georgetown laying claim to the title of first Farmers Market in America.
But in truth, the Farmers Market concept of buying and selling local produce, meat and eggs has roots that date back thousands of years, to Egyptian times even, when setting up a tent on the curb to sell your goods was the modern day equivalent of the grocery store because, simply enough, they didn’t have grocery stores and fancy things like refrigeration. It wasn’t the chic experience it is now, with foodies and chefs forgoing the air-conditioned easiness of a Whole Foods for the rows of vendors with a limited supply of in-season fruits and vegetables to offer up.
Then, in the 1970’s, when concern over farmers rights and land conservation started to become a discussion and the idea of supporting local started to really bloom, the Farmers Market was reborn. Now, Farmers markets are less hard to find and have become a nostalgic place to buy locally grown, seasonal ingredients and support your neighbor at the same time.
And I think they’re great. I don’t go to farmers markets for all of my groceries. But when I have the time on a Saturday, I do like to rotate around to the different markets in my area (and fortunately, that number has grown just in the few years we’ve lived here) to check out the local wares. It makes for a fun morning and I love challenging myself by seeing what looks best on market day and coming up with something delicious to make that I can share with my family. Like my own little version of Chopped.
So now I think it’s time to share a recipe with you that you’re going to LOVE. And with carrots as the star, it’s a locally grown, farm-to-table, eggless dish that would make even the most critical foodie drool.
My fit-for-brunch Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
I had never had carrot cake before. But whether you buy them at the store or market, carrots tend to come in bulk and I was having trouble using them all up. So this recipe is perfect for the leftover carrots you may have and it’s a great way to use them in a sweet, not savory, recipe.
Its also a colorful dish, which makes it more fun to eat for the kiddos and having the shredded carrot inconspicuously mixed in with the ‘cake’ part means you might actually have a shot at getting your kids to eat their vegetables, even if it is for dessert!
I’ve made this as a dessert for a baptism after-party, as breakfast for a girls weekend (with coffee it’s perfection) and as an after-school-snack for my kids. The point is that it’s sweet, healthy-ish and versatile which makes it a staple in my kitchen.
So grab your sunglasses and reusable bags, because we’re going to the Farmers Market. And don’t forget the carrots!
Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
- 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup plain or cinnamon applesauce
- 1 cup plain soy milk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups finely grated carrots (5-6 carrots depending on size)
Directions: Set oven to 350
- In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt);
- In another bowl, combine the applesauce, soy milk, vanilla, sugar and oil;
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients;
- Add the carrots;
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes in a 9×13 (buttered) pan and let cool completely before adding the frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
- 1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Directions: Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until smooth; Can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for one week!
Enjoy! And if you make this recipe please share your pictures with me on Instagram @howtosuburb