Christmas Squares:
Pineapple Carrot Squares


The challenge: find a recipe for Christmas squares that are delicious and attractive, but healthy and not overly sweet. The answer: these Pineapple Carrot Squares!

christmas squares

I love to have a selection of goodies in the house at Christmas time to serve to guests and family.

However, all of the cookies and squares that I used to make are extremely sweet, laden with oodles of sugar and sweetened condensed milk. Now that I am trying to eat healthy foods most of the time, I find that those treats taste just too sweet. (That doesn't stop me from eating them when they are around, though - and that's why I need a selection of alternative healthy recipes!)

These squares are just what I was looking for. They are attractive enough to go on a holiday tray, but they are full of nutritious ingredients. They get gobbled up just as quickly as the other kind did, too!




Check that you have these staples at home

  • in the cupboard

    • honey
    • vegetable oil
    • vanilla
    • whole wheat flour
    • cinnamon
    • baking powder
    • baking soda
    • canned crushed pineapple
    • raisins

  • in the fridge or freezer

    • eggs
    • milk

Buy these fresh ingredients

  • carrots

Get out your equipment

  • Essential

    • a large mixing bowl
    • a medium-sized bowl
    • measuring cups and spoons
    • a mixing spoon
    • a rectangular baking pan

  • Nice to have but not necessary

    • a silicone spatula for scraping the bowl
    • a thin metal spatula for removing the squares from the pan





    The recipe

    1/4 cup/60 mL honey

    1 Tbsp/15 mL oil

    1 tsp/5 mL vanilla

    1 egg

    1 cup/250 mL whole wheat flour

    1 tsp/5 mL cinnamon

    1 tsp/5 mL baking powder

    1 tsp/5 mL baking soda

    1 cup/250 mL finely grated carrot

    2/3 cup/150 mL drained crushed unsweetened pineapple

    1/2 cup/125 mL raisins

    1/4 cup/60 mL milk

    Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

    Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch (32 x 22 cm) baking pan.

    In a large bowl, combine the honey, oil, vanilla and egg. Stir.

    In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.

    Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Stir to mix well.

    Add the carrots, pineapple, raisins and milk. Mix well.

    Pour the batter into the pan. Spread it out evenly.

    Bake until the top is light brown (about 25 minutes).

    Let cool slightly.

    Cut into squares.




    Substitutions

    • Use soymilk or another non-dairy milk.

    • Use maple syrup instead of honey.

    • Use spelt flour or another flour instead of whole wheat.

    Ideas for making this recipe your own

    • Try substituting different dried fruits for the raisins. (If you use larger fruits like dried apricots, use kitchen shears to cut them into smaller pieces.)

    Tips

    • Save the leftover pineapple juice to use in smoothies - or just drink it!





    If you enjoy this recipe for Christmas squares , you may also like these other recipes:

    • Cranberry Chocolate Cookies
    • Oatmeal Shortbread

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