Sugar High at Turtle River Montessori and Blogging for Babies

I have always been a conscious eater, trying to cook almost everything I eat myself, buying local as often as possible, etc. That’s how I was raised. It was always a personal choice for me and never felt the need to have to convince others. Until I became a mother, that is. Having a child changed everything. I have become more socially conscious and I would say that I have become a crusader for better eating.

When I see what children eat in most schools nowadays, I start to really worry and I do not want that for my son. Us, parents, have hectic lives and sometimes food becomes another thing to worry about and we choose to take the “easy route” by buying prepackaged foods. I am not saying I don’t ever buy prepackaged foods, because I do, but I always read labels and try not to take too many shortcuts.

I believe that healthy eating starts at home and children will do as they see and not as they are told. In that sense, I feel relief because I know that my children will learn to appreciate food because our family’s love for it. I think there has to be a collective effort to really educate our children about food, where it comes from and good eating choices. Believe me, I am not talking about eating alfalfa sprouts or cardboard cookies. It’s about the quality of ingredients, no matter whether it is chicken, tofu, ice cream, spinach or chocolate chip cookies.

I made these mini carrot cupcakes thinking about Stella and her classmates at Turtle River Montessori. Stella is my 4-year old, cutie pie neighbor who loves school. Each day of the week, one child is responsible for bringing healthy snacks for the rest of the class. They rotate so this happens about once a month. The school asks that children bring fruits and other healthy foods.

I wanted to make the snacks for Stella’s class for the day she was the “snack girl”. I wanted to show the kids that they can eat sweet treats that are made with wholesome and natural ingredients. So I decided to make mini carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing. I used all organic and natural ingredients of course, even the sprinkles are made with beet juice!

Carrot Cake

Makes 6 dozen mini cupcakes

12 oz organic demerara sugar
9 oz sunflower oil
4 organic eggs
8 oz organic whole wheat flour
0.2 oz baking soda
0.2 oz aluminum free baking powder
0.3 oz organic ground cinnamon
0.2 oz organic vanilla extract
13 oz organic carrots, peeled and shredded

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the sugar with the eggs and the oil for about 5 minutes until the eggs start to turn a little pale. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the shredded carrot. Pour batter into cupcake papers and bake at 350 degrees.

Cream Cheese and Yogurt Icing

1.5 lbs organic cream cheese, room temperature
12 oz organic unsalted butter
8 oz organic raw agave nectar
5 oz organic whole milk yogurt
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
All natural pink sprinkles

In a bowl of an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese, butter and agave nectar until all lumps have disappeared. make sure to scrape the bowl a couple of times. Add the yogurt and the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Ice the cupcakes and add tons of sprinkles!!!

I was only able to photograph Stella eating them because when Stella’s mom took the cupcakes to school, the teacher made the kids wait to eat them until recess. I really wanted some good, messy shots of the kids!

Keeping with the children theme, I wanted to tell you about Blogging for Babies which is a blogging event to support the March of Dimes walk this April. Holly from Phe/Mom/enon contacted me about this, so I would like to submit these mini carrot cupcakes for her event.

Read her inspiring story about baby Cole. Amazing!


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18 Responses to “Sugar High at Turtle River Montessori and Blogging for Babies”

  1. These sound gorgeous, have a carrot cake downstairs and you’ve made me want icing on it now and I was being so virtuos!!!! tee hee a brilliant event aswell hope you win!

    and that little girl is SO cute!

  2. PheMom says:

    Thanks so much for participating. I love these little cupcakes and I loved what you wrote about trying to teach kids good eating habits. I’m like you. Sometimes we have to use prepackaged to get by, but trying to teach a love for good foods. It isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Thanks again!

  3. Anonymous says:

    hey aran,
    as a big fan of your carrot cake, im so happy to now have the recipe!
    love the pics of stella:) as always, i look forward to reading your blog and continue to be amazed by your endless talent.
    love,
    deena

  4. M says:

    You’re right about teaching kids about healthy eating. My parents raised me and my sister to have a balanced and healthy conscious diet, we rarely had junk food (at home and when eating out). Now after we left home (I’m 22yo, my sis is 18.5yo), we still care of out diet, eat healthy and nearly never touch junk food. It all comes from home, and I think it worth it.

    I’m adding those carrot cupcakes to my ‘To Bake’ list. Thank you :)

  5. It’s been an age since I made or ate carrot cake, and that’s a darn shame! These look just lovely, and I can tell from the pictures that they were very much appreciated!

  6. Oh, honey, I hear ya! When my daughter was little, I cringed at what the other mothers fed their kids! Everything they ate came out of a box or a can. Ugh!

    Those little cupcakes are so pretty. I think you’ll have quite a few converts with them.

    Thanks for the info on Blogging for Babies. I’m going to check it out.

  7. Lovely mini cakes, I wish you had gotten pics of the messy faced kids too! So true about children being taught to eat poorly – you should see eating habits here in Peru…makes me sad for them! Beet colored sugar. Wow!

  8. Y says:

    Stella is so gorgeous! And those little carrot cakes sound great, even for grownups! :)

  9. DoughGirl says:

    Aww, what a little cutie pie! And the cupcakes look wonderful as well.

  10. Cakelaw says:

    Aww, these cupcakes are so cute, and Stella looks like a real sweetheart.

  11. Mobula says:

    Los cupcakes tienen una pinta estupenda, me encantan con ese copete que no consigo que me queden igual que a ti. Pero me encantan de zanahoria, los haré seguro (ya tengo la pannacotta anterior en la nevera, lo que no se es si ponerle fresas o otra fruta en compota)

    Besos,

    Ana

  12. mimi says:

    what a cute photo and the cupcakes look great! love the pipe icing look on minis.

    i am a firm believer of not “hiding” the veggies or fruits to “trick” kids into eating healthy. then again, i don’t have any kids :)

  13. B says:

    You’re so right about educating children about food at home. I feel that somehow it is natural that in the past, in the Western world we “were not concious about the dangers of poor eating because we didn’t know the consequences, but nowadays, due to the severe problems associated to food and eating, we must be more concious and this post is your blog is really timely! Always great and well thought desserts for a healthy life-style! Thanks (although I still crave a bit for the industrial “palmeras de chocolate”… Not easy!)

  14. Sha says:

    I definitely love your blog ! Everything is beautiful and delicious I guess!

  15. Latha says:

    I have a question to ask, please! How do you bake 6 dozen cupcakes… i mean in one shot or else if i you have do it batches does the batter need to be refrigerated? i normally use muffin pan for making cup cakes. Is there any other method you follow? Thanks!

  16. Aran says:

    Hi Latha-
    Yes, what I do is I make a large batch of the batter and I bake as much as I can while the rest can stay in the refrigerator. I also bake my cupcakes in muffin pans. These ones in particular were mini so I was able to bake a lot at once.
    Thank you!

  17. Latha says:

    Thanks for the quick feedback. i’m fairly new in baking and being a mother it really helps to have such tips:)

  18. Rachel says:

    Wow! I wish that you would “change” this recipe to be gluten free. I would love a great gluten free carrot cake recipe!!

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