With Ali­son Green­halgh of Ground­work South

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GREEN SPACES -

A gar­dener, one of the great joys of au­tumn is, of course, the har­vest.

My col­leagues are of­ten be­mused by my pas­sion for veg­etable grow­ing but they mock some­what less when my groups pro­duce de­li­cious cakes!

While, au­tumn is of­ten re­garded as the time for mak­ing pre­serves and chut­neys, ‘tis also the sea­son for veg­etable cakes. Car­rot cake has been around for a long time but for some rea­son other veg­etable cakes al­ways raise an eye­brow or two. But, it’s a rare per­son who won’t give them a try!

I am a big fan of the River Cot­tage Veg book as it gives me some­thing to do with pretty much ev­ery­thing we grow at Iver but one of the most used recipes in there is the Pump­kin Tea Loaf, mainly be­cause it also adapts to cour­gettes and beet­roots.

And be­fore you shout: ‘But I don’t like beet­root, cour­gettes or pump­kin’, think again. One of the main rea­sons for in­clud­ing vegetables is for tex­ture and mois­ture and there is no overt

Sflavour of the veg­etable in the cake. And, if like me, you have veg­gi­es­cep­tic chil­dren, this is a very tasty (some may say sneaky?) way of get­ting some vegetables into them un­no­ticed.

My trump card is choco­late beet­root cake, a de­li­cious rich, moist fudgy tex­ture which the chil­dren mer­rily munch.

Pic­tured here is the Pump­kin Tea Loaf but made with beet­root and sub­sti­tut­ing raisins for dried cran­ber­ries. The ad­van­tage of this recipe is that un­like beet­root choco­late cake, you don’t need to pre-cook the beet­root as it is grated into the mix­ture.

For any of you out there who like all things pink, then this is the cake for you! It goes into the oven bright pink and ex­its mar­bled with deep pink beet­root strands.

Another great dis­cov­ery last year was parsnip and maple syrup cake (known to my sons sim­ply as maple syrup cake). It has a tex­ture sim­i­lar to car­rot cake and is topped with a to­tally yummy maple syrup frost­ing.

So, take a look at your veg­etable plot with a wider vi­sion. Vegetables are not just for savoury dishes – they make de­li­cious cakes!

Ali­son Green­halgh works for

en­vi­ron­men­tal char­ity Ground­work South as a hor­ti­cul­tural ther­a­pist in Iver. After a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in sales and mar­ket­ing, she re­trained as an or­ganic gar­dener and is also a master com­poster. Her col­umn will

ap­pear monthly

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