did you eat breakfast today? {and black sesame seed carrot loaf from SQIRL}

Usually my breakfast is a water bottle as I am running out the door with a handful of chocolate chips... or my more popular choice, air. 

 I fail. 

To fix this, I'm always on the look out for something somewhat healthy that I can quickly bake up ahead of time and not feel guilty.  

This loaf is for you, breakfast skipper. 

 Not only does it have the perfect blend of spice, (fresh ginger and carrots are made for each other) but it's not overly sweet. It is so moist, it lasts for days. Plus, black sesame seeds have never, ever graced my grocery basket before this and I have to say, yes please. They add a subtle nuttiness and crunch without the presence of a true nut and they're really gorgeous against that orange... yes, I present to you a halloween colored loaf just in time for spring. :D 

While I am sure those baby carrot nubs we're all so accustom to nibbling would work just fine here, I encourage you to buy some carrots in their true form.

Did you know carrots have a season? Me neither. It's one of those veggies that's so accessible, I take it for granted. Making this now and using carrots at the peak of their time will make a good difference and... ultimate nerd moment... it's fun to have a grocery bag with carrot tops peaking out. (If you don't want to be friends anymore after reading that I totally understand.)

I know I am not the best example of a regular morning eater, but this recipe is one step closer to changing that. Plus, you really feel like you're getting a serving of veggies for breakfast here and well, that's good enough for me.

black sesame carrot loaf

adapted (barely) from SQIRL, via bon appetite 

serves 8

It's rare for me to look at recipe and barely change a thing, but this one seemed to be spot on. (I mean, have you had a chance to partake in Sqirl's amazingness yet, LA?)  Side note, can I just say that 8 oz of shredded carrots is SO many carrots? At first I thought there is no way this loaf is going to turn out... but it did, and I am in love with the results. If you're not crazy about ginger, feel free to reduce it to 1 teaspoon instead of 2. It will be just as good, but instead of ginger singing a duet with carrot she'll sing back up. Also, don't get discouraged on the number of ingredients, I'm sure you have almost all of them already in your pantry. 

special equipment: 8 x 4 inch  / 21.6 x 11.43cm loaf pan, food processor to shred carrots (or a cheese grader works as well, but will take a bit more time) 

ingredients

1 ½ cup / 193g all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ cup / 156g granulated sugar
⅓ cup / 60g light brown sugar (packed)
½ cup / 939ml coconut oil (or sunflower oil) 
⅓ cup / 83g unsweetened apple sauce
¼ cup / 43ml unsweetened vanilla or unsweetened regular almond milk
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated and pealed
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ⅓ cup / 225g carrots, coarsley grated
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds or chia seeds or poppy seeds
parchment paper sunflower oil to coat

preparation

preheat oven to 350° F / 180° C.

Line a 8x4 inch / 21.6x11.43cm loaf pan with parchment and lightly coat with sunflower oil.

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and set aside. 

Whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, applesauce, almond milk, ginger and vanilla in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in dry ingredients, then with a spatula, fold in carrots (be really careful not to over mix, fold them gently). Once carrots are incorporated, scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top and sprinkle with sesame seeds or chia seeds. (Keep in mind that chia seeds will add a slightly different flavor and color to the loaf.) 

Bake cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 75-85 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool almost completely in pan before turning out.

Baker's note: This cake can definitely last for days if tightly wrapped. After baking and cooling, I cut up some slices and wrapped each one individually for an easy grab-and-go breakfast in the morning. They even keep longer in the fridge - these slices are fantastic toasted and served warm.