Are you looking for healthy dessert recipes you can serve your family without guilt? These carrot zucchini bars are a great way to entice your family into eating their veggies. They are packed with nutritional goodness from carrots, zucchini, raisins, walnuts and whole wheat pastry flour, and low in fat - using only 1/4 cup of canola oil - so you can serve them without guilt.
Including some zucchini makes them lighter than using carrots alone, and carrot puree keeps them moist with minimal fat. In addition to being healthy, these carrot-zucchini bars are are quick and easy too. Just stir together the ingredients and spread the batter in a pan. They are my entry in the healthy recipe contest being hosted by Fun & Food.Wish me luck.
Carrot Zucchini Bars Recipe
You can use a food processor to grate the carrots and zucchini for this recipe. But when grating just a few veggies, I prefer to use my box grater. If you have kids who are old enough, enlist their help and let them do the grating for you.
Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan. In a large bowl, stir together:
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour or white whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In another large bowl, stir together until well combined:
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (3 medium)
1 cup shredded zucchini (1 medium)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup pureed carrots (I use a small jar of baby food)
1/4 cup honey, or maple syrup
Stir carrot mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Spread batter evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Sprinkle cooled carrot cake bars with a dusting of powdered sugar or spread with citrus cream cheese frosting. Use light cream cheese to save on fat and calories.
Makes 36 carrot zucchini bars
Citrus Cream Cheese Icing Recipe - A delicious way to top carrot zucchini bars
In a mixing bowl, beat until fluffy:
8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice or orange juice
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon or orange zest (optional)