With fall officially underway, you may be noticing the seasonal palate of orange-colored foods on your dinner plate, with dishes that include pumpkin, butternut squash or sweet potato. But did you know that the orange hue is a sign that these foods contain an antioxidant that may help improve your health? The vibrant pigment is from a fat-soluble compound called beta carotene.
More commonly known as vitamin A, studies have linked beta carotene to many promising promising health benefits over the decades. Researchers have found, for example, that beta carotene is an essential nutrient for good vision. It is also possibly effective for reducing the risks of some cancers, reducing sun sensitivity and slowing the progression of osteoarthritis. It can be found in supplement form, but most dietitians recommend getting beta-carotene from food.
In addition to your favorite fall vegetables, Carotino Red Palm & Canola Oil is another great source of vitamin A beta carotene. Red Palm Fruit Oil is the world’s richest natural plant source of carotenes, and contains 15 times more beta carotene than carrots and 30 times more than tomatoes. (Carotino’s name also comes from the carotene connection.)
It’s easy to get part of the USDA recommended amount of 700 to 900 mcg of vitamin A per day by substituting Carotino for butter or oil in any dish. It works well for recipes that involve frying, roasting and even baking. Here’s a Carotino Carrot Cake recipe that will fill your fall dessert cravings while adding more beta carotene to your diet.
- 3/4 cup dark brown soft sugar, sifted
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- ½ cup Carotino oil
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 3 rounded teaspoons allspice
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- ¾ cup carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
- ¾ cup sultanas (A type of seedless white grape. Raisins will also work fine.)
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 3 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1 cup powdered sugar
Begin by whisking the sugar, eggs and oil together in a bowl using an electric hand whisk for 2-3 minutes. Then sift together the flour, baking soda and the allspice into the bowl, tipping in all the bits of bran which are left in the sieve. Stir this together, and then fold in the orange zest, carrots and sultanas. After that, pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes at 356ºF until it is well risen and feels firm and springy to the touch when pressed in the center. Allow the carrot cake to cool before adding frosting
Allow the cheese and butter to stand at room temperature until softened. Place in a bowl with lemon rind and beat until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating well with each addition. Add the frosting to the cooled carrot cake, decorating it with the back of a fork.