It’s the winter that will never end. This time last year there were plenty of fresh local greens available and peas were already growing strong. Right now, as I write and look out my window upon Rutland, I can’t even see the ground. But it’s somewhere under all the dirty snow. Let’s just hope we see it sometime soon.

In the meantime, were not completely starved of good local food. You can still find root crops for sale that were stored and perhaps overwintered and dug up from last season. Carrots are just one of those crops – yet one that should not be overlooked for creative uses. Carrot cake is one idea. It’s certainly a popular dessert at the upcoming Easter holiday table and it is also widely loved in the UK. During the first and second world wars, due to rationing, carrots were added to cakes as a means of adding moisture. Eventually, the popularity of carrot cake made its way over here.

While carrot cake is great, we can’t forget it’s loaded with sugar and cream cheese frosting. Not something you want everyday. These cookies, from 101 Cookbooks, however, are another story. They’re made without refined white sugar, eggs and butter. Here you can actually taste the carrot, as well as the oats, coconut and walnuts that make up these cookies. Sweetened with maple syrup and containing olive oil, they’re a better alternative for an everyday type of treat. In a few minutes, you can have a comforting plate of cookies to enjoy while you watch the snow melt.

Carrot Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 11 minutes

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies

I changed a few things from the original recipe. I used olive oil in place of the coconut oil and added in shredded coconut in its place. Then I added some cinnamon. I found the cookies needed a couple more minutes than Heidi suggests, and be sure to let them cool on the pan before transferring.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and oats. Add the nuts, carrots and coconut. In a smaller bowl use a whisk to combine the maple syrup, oil and ginger. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  3. Drop onto baking sheets, one tablespoonful at a time, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.
  4. Bake in the top 1/3 of the oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until the cookies are golden. Cookies will be delicate. Let cool for a couple of minutes on the sheet before carefully transferring to a wire rack.