This past fall I found a recipe for the most delicious Pumpkin muffins I’ve made to date. The best part about this recipe is that the only sweetener is honey! After Christmas my pumpkin food cravings tend to subside but I just loved this recipe so much that I wondered whether I could change out the pumpkin for something else. And I did! Applesauce is a great substitute. And instead of making it into muffins, I doubled the recipe and made it into 2 loaves.
The other neat thing about this recipe is that most of the ingredients were locally sourced. The flour, carrots, honey and applesauce were all grown or made locally (I made the applesauce myself with apples from a friend’s orchard… you can’t get anymore local than that!).
This recipe calls for spelt flour. Here’s some fun facts about spelt; it is an ancient grain. This grain specifically is estimated to be about 8000 years old. Spelt also contains less gluten than regular wheat. Some people with wheat intolerances are able to eat spelt without issue. It does contain some gluten though so it is not suitable for those with Celiac disease.
Spelt flour is becoming more readily available. I’ve seen it in my local health food store and grocery store. I like to get mine from Oak Manor Farms. Almost all of their products are locally sourced and organic. I actually like to get most of my baking goods from there; whole wheat flour, spelt flour, oats, popcorn, beans… If you are local, I would highly recommend them. I like to buy in bulk and it ends up costing the same as the regular flour from the grocery store (minus all the additives and processing depending on what you normally purchase). I keep a few cups of it in my pantry and store the rest in my deep freeze or share with others.
The original recipe calls for all spelt flour. I have done this and it makes a beautiful loaf. I have also used all whole wheat flour when I was out of spelt and that also made a delicious loaf. I’ve also mixed the 2 flours before with great results! So basically, you can use whatever flour you have on hand.
Carrot, Applesauce, Raisin Loaf
- 3 cups spelt flour (or whole wheat)
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup melted butter
- 1 cup honey
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups applesauce
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (approx. 1 large carrot)
- I recommend using raw honey to get the full nutritional benefits.
- Pecan’s or walnuts would also be a great addition to this loaf.
- Feel free to omit the carrots and/or raisins
- This recipe makes 2 loaves but feel free to cut recipe in half to make only one loaf OR save energy by making 2 and putting one in the freezer for later. This loaf freezes very well.
- Preheat oven to 350F (or 325F with a convection oven).
- Mix together the dry ingredients in large bowl.
- Melt the butter. If your honey is more solid than liquid, add it now to the warm butter. Melting it like this will ensure no nutrients are lost. Add the eggs to the honey/butter mixture and whisk until mixed.
- Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients. Add the applesauce. Mix until everything is just moist. Do not overmix.
- Shred carrots and add to mixture along with raisins. Gently mix until everything is incorporated.
- Grease two 9×3 inch loaf pans. Divide mixture between the 2 pans.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool then enjoy a slice of your delicious loaf au natural or with a dollop of butter (I find this loaf to be so moist that it tastes great on its own, although adding butter is a yummy addition 🙂 )