NEW YORK — If you want to have something fun and healthy for Valentine’s Day, the New York City vegetable garden planner is here to help.
On Valentine’s Eve, the Garden of Love in Harlem, one of the city’s most beautiful parks, will host a carrot cake and vegetable soup party with cream cheese and butter.
The event is free and open to the public.
In the past, the event has been attended by celebrities like Michael Jordan and Beyoncé.
In 2013, it was also held at the Lincoln Center, but the event was shut down in 2016.
“We thought it was time for us to give something back to the gardeners who have been so great to us,” said Melissa L. Johnson, director of the Garden in Love.
The carrot cake will be served at a separate table with cream-cheese-and-butter soup.
The soup will be baked by an actual kitchen in Harlem.
This year, the organizers are doubling the number of tables to make it a larger event.
For the soup, they added a vegan-friendly vegan-made carrot cake to the main menu.
The cake will come with a lemon-and‑pepper frosting, which will be available for those who choose to serve the soup.
For the carrot cake recipe, you’ll need:1 large carrot, peeled and cut into cubes (about 3 inches long and 1/4 inch wide)3/4 cup of coconut oil3/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon3/16 teaspoon of cayenne pepper1/4 teaspoon of sea salt1 cup of water2 cups of coconut milk1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon2 cups chopped fresh chives or 1 cup chopped fresh mint leavesPreheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Line the bottom of the baking sheet in an even layer, and fill with the carrot cubes.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the carrot is a deep golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and cinnamon.
Add the cayanne pepper and sea salt to the carrot, and mix well.
Add the water and coconut milk, cinnamon, lemon juice and salt to a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half.
Remove from the heat and let cool.
Place the cake in a ziplock bag and chill overnight in the fridge.
The next day, slice the cake into strips, place on the baking sheets and place in a freezer bag.
Bake the cakes for 20 minutes, rotating them halfway through.
Cool the cakes and slice them into 3 to 4 pieces.
Repeat with the remaining carrot cake slices.
Bake the remaining cake pieces for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and crispy on the edges.
Cool and cut the cake.
Serve with homemade whipped cream.
The Garden in Life Garden of Life offers the most diverse and vibrant vegetable garden in the world.
For more than 100 years, the garden has hosted a variety of events, including vegetable gardening demonstrations, organic food drives, a live music festival, the annual Garden of Dreams Festival and many more.
For more information, visit www.thegardenoflife.org.