Carrot cake flavours are the perfect addition to a warming bowl of carrot porridge. The gentle spices take over while the flavour of the grated sweet carrot fades into the background. The maple caramelised nuts and seeds add a flavourful crunch and festive treat.
This article and recipe for spiced carrot porridge first appeared in my monthly ‘Taste Not Waste’ column in Vegetarian Living magazine (December 2015 issue).
In the peak season of over-buying, veggie blogger Kate Hackworthy believes root to leaf cooking is the best way to avoid food waste and discover delicious ways to eat leftovers.
Christmas can be a time of particular excess and waste. Not just the throes of consumerism and joys of giving, but with the tinsel comes an abundance of food as well. Holiday shop closures make us panic and over-buy: we worry about running out of sprouts at the Christmas dinner table and an extra bag is dropped into the trolley; we fret that someone will ask for a second helping of cauliflower cheese but there won’t be enough.
As the checkout tills ring incessantly like merry silver bells, we worry more about running out of fresh food than our fridges being filled with a surfeit. On Boxing Day we suddenly discover we’re faced with a vegetable drawer still packed with carrots and parsnips, nestled amongst multiple bags of clementines, but as we collapse in gluttonous fatigue, turning more towards chocolates than crudités, there are some easy ways to use up the traditional Christmas veggies in a healthy way.
Parsnips, sprouts, cranberries and chestnuts can be roasted in the oven and transformed into a hot Christmas salad. Extra parsnips and potatoes can be grated and fried into rostis for breakfast, or waffled to reduce the need for oil.
Creating Christmas dinner can leave a considerable amount of vegetable waste, but washing the root vegetables, such as carrots or parsnips, before peeling them (organic is best here) and then keeping the peelings in a container in the fridge, means you can quickly make a veg stock or bulk out a stew.
Carrots can be one of the easiest vegetables to use up. They have a good shelf life in the fridge, and even the flaccid older specimens can be whizzed with spare satsumas into a nourishing juice, added to vegetable mash as an alternative to potato, or grated on to the morning’s porridge with cinnamon. To add extra flavour and nutrition to your family breakfast, try my delicious carrot-cake inspired porridge, topped with crunchy caramelised nuts.
- 50g (1/2 cup) porridge oats
- 250ml (1 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or alternative)
- 50g (1/2 cup) raw carrot, grated
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp ground ginger
- pinch of sea salt
- 50g (1/3 cup) mixed nuts
- 2 tbsp mixed seeds
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- Place the oats, milk, carrot, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt into a large pan over a medium heat.
- Stir frequently and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until thick and creamy. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Heat a dry non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until hot.
- Add the nuts, seeds, maple syrup, vanilla and salt and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes until the nuts and seeds are coated and the mixture is thick and reduced.
- Divide the porridge into two bowls and top with the caramelised nuts. Allow the nuts to cool slightly before serving.
SOS – Save Our Scraps
Carrots – Raw carrot is delicious grated into a hummus sandwich for added crunch
Potatoes – If you are left with too many potatoes, then cook, mash and freeze them in individual portions.
Parsnips – Parsnips make a lovely creamy soup; fry onion and garlic, add chopped parsnips and seasoning, then simmer in milk until soft. Blitz and enjoy.