Carrot and Zucchini Bars

Summertime is here and the zucchini plants in our garden are beginning to produce lots of zucchini! I decided to try the Carrot and Zucchini Bars recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 14th edition. This recipe is similar to a carrot cake recipe, except that it has the addition of zucchini and raisins. The bars are frosted with a citrus cream cheese frosting. The lemon zest in the frosting is a perfect compliment to the flavors in the bars. This was my first time making these bars and we loved them! Don’t be afraid to try this recipe if you don’t like zucchini; you can’t even taste it. It’s a wonderful way to gets some more vegetables in your diet. I altered the recipe two ways when I made them. For our bars, I used pecans instead of walnuts because of a food allergy and I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese in the frosting in place of regular cream cheese. Besides that, I made the recipe exactly as it was written. While this recipe is not my own, it was so delicious that I had to share it with you. Enjoy!

Carrot and Zucchini Bars

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. baking soda

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/2 c. shredded carrots, 3-4 medium carrots

1 c. shredded zucchini, 1 medium

3/4 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. raisins

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

1/2 c. cooking oil

1/4 c. honey

1 tsp. vanilla

Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz. package cream cheese

1 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp. lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, ginger, and baking soda. In another bowl stir together eggs, carrot, zucchini, brown sugar, raisins, walnuts, oil, honey and vanilla. Add carrot mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Spread batter into an ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking pan.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Frost and cut into bars.

To make frosting:

In a bowl beat softened cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Stir in lemon finely shredded lemon peel.

Makes 36 bars.

Nutritional information (per the cookbook):

125 Calories

7 g. fat

2 g. saturated fat

19 mg. cholesterol

44 mg. sodium

16 g. carbohydrates

1 g. fiber

2 g. protein

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