My friend Nancy shared this recipe with me and there is something comforting about a spread like this that can be served to just about anyone, knowing that all of the ingredients are great for you. Just look at that beautiful orange color. I have been noticing carrot spreads around the web, most notably Kimberley’s Smokey Carrot Hummus and it is a fun bandwagon to hop on. Join us, will you? The three ingredients for this spread are naturally sweet and I recommend dipping something salty into it for that lovely salty/sweet action. If you are watching your sodium intake, try using celery sticks or radish chunks. I started with hearty wheat crackers, but found salty pretzels to be my favorite dipper. I brought this to work with pretzels and the ladies loved it.
On the Whole Foods website, reviewers dipped salted pecan crackers, ginger snaps and apples into this dip. Some also prepared this raw and loved the results. I think next time I might experiment with smoked paprika. Put on your creativity cloak and add your own flair or enjoy it just the way it is.
On a side note, this past weekend we celebrated Marc’s grandparents’ birthdays. I was asked to bring bread to the gathering and instead of picking some up, I decided to get out my dough bucket and make a few of my favorite French boules from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I just have to take a moment to gush about this bread, again. Seriously, Zoe and Jeff have earned my admiration for life. The flavor and texture of this bread is much better than many loaves you buy at the store. As I mentioned in my first post about the boule, I use a cast iron skillet and parchment paper instead of a pizza stone and pizza peel. I have been using King Arthur Flour almost exclusively these days and even with a more expensive flour, making your own bread is very economical. Everyone enjoyed the bread and we sang happy birthday to the cutest couple. Happy birthday, Papa and Grandma!
Recipe: Carrot Cashew Spread
Recipe from Whole Foods
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1″ chunks
3/4 C. raw cashew pieces plus a few extra for garnish, if desired
15 dried apricots
your favorite crackers, pretzels, veggies or fruit
1. Put carrots into a small pot and cover with 2″ of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, or until tender.
2. Add 3/4 C. cashews and apricots to the pot and continue to simmer until the carrots become very soft, about 5 minutes more.
3. Set a colander in the sink and a 1 cup measuring cup inside. Drain ingredients, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid in the measuring cup before draining completely. Be careful when reserving the hot water, use an oven mitt while you hold the measuring cup.
4. Put drained carrot mixture and 1/2 C. of reserved cooking liquid into a food processor and puree until smooth. Check consistency and add more cooking liquid if you like. Scrape the sides of the food processor bowl to make sure all ingredients are incorporated. Chill for at least one hour and spread onto your favorite crackers, pretzels or veggies. Garnish with extra cashews, if desired.