Friday, May 23, 2008

A Residue That's Good for You! - Carrot Pulp Bread (SCD and low fructose diet))



Every now and then I get excited about juicing things with my high speed fruit and vegetable pulveriser and we have some fresh juice. Whilst my humble juicer spends most of its life watching the bustle of daily life, endless journeys to fridge and sink, emptying and filling of bins and trugs, the whirr and clatter of the food processor and click, click click, fwoosh! of the stove flaring into action; there are times when piles of carrots and apples appear and the juicer just knows - it's business time.

Juicing is a bit like a great party, all the prep is fun, choosing veg and fruit and wondering what they will taste like together, then there's all the noise and excitement of the juicing itself followed by blissful drinking, lip smacking and amusing orange froth moustaches. Only when the juice induced euphoria wears off do you realise what a mess you made and your friends have gone home, leaving you to clear up. Plus you have all this pulp to deal with, you can't just throw it away can you? - well can you? I can't, I was raised by hippies to whom throwing vegetables away is as near as the non religious come to sacrilege. If they aren't going to be eaten then one must make stock out of them or something else useful like compost.

So when our morning juice party was over and the orange moustaches wiped away, I dutifully scraped the bright orange pulp left in the machine into a jar and stuck it in the fridge. The juicer shuffled back into its corner again and we both got on with our lives. A day or so mooched by and every time I went to the fridge for something, there was the jar, looking sullenly at me as if to say, 'the apple has fallen far from the tree' in a voice not unlike Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. By the second day I could take it no more. I grabbed the sulky jar of pulp and threw the contents into a bowl, along with some ground almonds, eggs, butter and something to make it rise.

The lack of care and ease of preparation made me suspicious that the end result would be a loaf with the appearance and texture of Eeyore, dense, fibrous and depressing. Never-the-less, I had done my bit of useful baking and we'd just have to get over the results, however uninspiring. When an hour was up and I was sure that the loaf would be truly dead, I removed it from the oven and left it to cool. The top of the bread looked unpromisingly bumpy, but it was a nice golden orange colour and the loaf had at least risen some.

When I finally cut a slice for Fin on his return home from school it was a strange pale orange colour, but with the most amazing bright orange yellow under the crust. The crumb looked moist and firm yet light and it did slice beautifully. 'This is fantastic!' enthused Fin through a shower of half chewed crumbs that had escaped his newly missing tooth and grabbed another slice to take with him into the garden as he inspected the ants. We greeted the next morning with thick slices of orange toast, spread with butter and honey - under the heat of the grill the pale orange turned a bright carrot hue and introduced a desirable crispness to the outside of each slice. It's not a savoury bread as I discovered when I laid a perfect poached egg on top, but would make fantastic french toast with some extra cinnamon and maybe some stewed apples on the side.

I guess what I enjoyed most was the feeling of completeness that using the carrot pulp gave me - here was something that I had previously thought of as a waste product and wished I had a use for. Because nut breads have a tendency to be amazingly rich, using this pulp does lighten them and moisten the crumb - without the extra moisture that plain grated vegetables bring. And all the moisture you extract to get this useful pulp can be sipped even more joyously in the knowledge that a great slice of toast is in the pipeline. Hmmm, wonder what I can juice next?

Carrot Pulp Bread

I make this bread with ground almonds (almond flour), but it could also be made with ground cashews or hazelnuts (filberts) or coconut flour. If you check the comments below, one of my readers Nicole also made the bread with ground sunflower seeds as a nut free alternative!



8oz Carrot Pulp (left over from juicing)
6oz Ground Almonds (or ground cashews, hazels or sunflower seeds or coconut flour)
2oz Melted Butter
2-4tsp Honey (or maple syrup for non SCD and low fructose diets)
4 Large Free Range Eggs
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
Juice of half a lime or a third of a lemon
1 tsp Cinnamon
Half tsp Fresh Grated Nutmeg
3 tsp Cider Vinegar
(Optional) small handful of chopped walnuts, pecans or raisins (leave out raisins for low fructose diets)


Preheat the oven to 160C fan assisted, 175C without, and put a tray of water in the bottom of the oven. Line a 1lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper, letting it hang well over the edges.

In a mixing bowl, stir together carrot pulp, ground almonds, melted butter, spices, bicarb and eggs.

In a small bowl or cup stir together, lime juice, vinegar and honey. Pour over the rest of the ingredients (adding the option extras if wished) and stir till well mixed in. Pile into the tin and smooth the top.

Bake for 50 - 70 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes and then gently loosen with a knife and lift out using the paper strips. Leave paper attached until completely cool and then remove carefully so as not to detach the crust. Slice and toast or keep in an airtight container for up to three days. Otherwise, slice and open freeze, storing in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three weeks.