Those look good, donâ€™t they? Or maybe Iâ€™m the only one who thinks prickly little hunks of healthy stuff look appetizing. Humor me.
Grab a carrot, pull that bucket of dates off the top shelf in your pantry (What? You donâ€™t have a huge container of dates in your pantry? Well go get some!) Put those cashews youâ€™ve been munching on for days to good use. I know you have leftover rice or some other grain in your fridge.
This isnâ€™t so much a recipe post as it is a post about creativity. Iâ€™ve been thinking a lot about creativity over the past couple days. Training for my new museum internship started this week and learning through creative design is the institutions main focus.
Creativity…design…those are two crucial aspects of blogging as well as more aspects of our life than we probably realize. They have always been intimidating words for me. Iâ€™ve never considered myself to be an â€œartsyâ€ person and in certain circumstances Iâ€™ve felt uncomfortable pressure to be â€œcreativeâ€. Design? How could I ever design anything?
So far, what Iâ€™ve learned about creativity in my internship is more relevant to this blog than I thought it would be. I have fresh motivation and renewed ambition. I cannot wait to see what I can really do with this blog if I let loose and break free of how I think things should be. Letâ€™s just find out where this goes.
What does this have to do with carrot rice pudding bites? Carrot rice pudding bites are what happens when I let myself get creative with food. I have some kind of craving for a particular taste, flavor, shape, or texture. I have certain ingredients at my disposal. I really, really want to use something because itâ€™s been in the fridge for bordering-on too long. I look at some recipes – thumbing through cookbooks and clicking through bookmarks online. In the end, I get pull out some ingredients, mash them together in a bowl, smoosh them into a mini-muffin tin, and bake them.
How do they taste? Pretty good for being a total experiment in culinary creativity. Did Lee and I eat all of these tasty bites? You betcha – every last sticky-sweet little bite.
Unfortunately, I have not quite mastered the practice of writing down what Iâ€™m doing when Iâ€™m experimenting in the kitchen. Thus, I donâ€™t have a recipe. That said, I think wads/bites/hunks/balls like this are best made as free-form, creative, recipe-free items. Here are the basic components and a method that seemed to work for me at least once.
Naturally Sweetened Carrot Rice Pudding Bites
dates: 10 small pitted
cashews: 1/2 cup, raw
Chop these up in a food processor. Pour this mix into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.
carrot: 1 medium, grated
cooked brown rice: maybe 1 1/2 – 2 cups
spices: allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger…you know, those yummy ones…as much or as little of them as you like
flour, whatever kind you want (I used millet flour): 2 tablespoons
egg, beaten: 1 (or make it vegan with 2 tbsp flaxseed meal + 1/4 cup water)
scoop â€œdoughâ€ into a lightly oiled mini muffin pan or onto a cookie sheet (also lightly oiled or lined with parchment/Silpat)
Bake at 375 F. for 10-12 minutes, or until muffins/balls are firm and starting to brown.
Munch away! These are surprisingly sweet for containing no processed sugar.