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Spice Matcha-Carrot Loaf

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

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Hello there! I hope that your holiday season has kicked off to a good start! I am definitely in holiday mode and the Christmas movies have been playing since Thanksgiving. After Diwali, Christmas is my next favorite holiday. I just love all the cheer, love and goodwill in the air at this time. All the merry fireplaces and warm goodies just fill me up with all kinds of jollyness (that's a word right?). We recently threw our first themed holiday party and it was such fun!

Growing up in Fiji, Christmas coincided with the end of the school year and the beginning of our eight-week holidays so we all enthusiastically looked forward to the end of the year. This time of the year is the hot season that also is the hurricane season but we never let that stop us from celebrating. I remember in our annual school functions, we would decorate with flowers and branches from the rain trees (we called them rain trees but later I found out that the specific name for the tree is flame of the forest). The rain trees would be in bloom during this season and all the trees would be ablaze with hundreds of red flowers. So everywhere you looked, you would literally see red and green trees. I loved those trees. We had one in our front yard. After the tree bloomed, all the red petals would fall and form a red blanket on the green grass. It was ridiculously pretty. I would love to see those trees in bloom again.

In Fiji, there are two main populations of people, native Fijians and Indo-Fijians or Indians as we were called in Fiji. How did Indians end up in Fiji? Well, that is another story for another day. So in terms of religion, there are two main religions, Christianity and Hinduism. In Fiji, Christmas, was a big holiday for Christians and in my observations they definitely celebrated the birth of Christ very piously. As we are not Christian, we took that time to visit with family. I remember my Aaji (paternal grandmother) calling this day "baada din" which translates to "big day". I remember lots of Christmases spent at my Aaji's home in the village of Vutuni. Special foods like fruit cakes, imported candies and cookies and meats like goat would be enjoyed. Almost everyone tried to make an effort to go back home during that time and we all were able to spend time with family that we would not see the rest of the year. It was a lovely time. At the time I grew up, Christmas was not about gifts or trees or decorations. Rather it was about Christ, family, love and food. And anyways, growing up on a tropical island, you sort of knew Santa was not real. After all, you don't see him riding his sleigh up to tropical countries. And we do not have fireplaces in Fiji so how would Santa even get in? Hmmmm?

Anyho-ho-ho, this time of the year is all about warm spices with everything! So today's recipe is for a Spice Matcha-Carrot Loaf with walnuts and cranberries which is based on my Chai-spiced carrot muffins recipe. This loaf is so yummy and easy to make. It is full of warming chai spices, healthy matcha, sweet carrots, tart cranberries and crunchy walnuts. Basically a fusion of cultures all in one loaf pan. Phew. That was a lot but all true! I actually baked with matcha for the first time for this recipe because I thought the loaf would come out green. This was not the case and the loaf bakes brown. The color does not matter however because the loaf is moist and subtly sweet due to the brown sugar and will give you all the Indian-Christmas vibes you need in your life! The recipe is very easy and also vegan. Basically, you mix all the ingredients together and bake! The loaf takes longer to bake than my muffins but just as tasty if not more. Check out the full recipe below with all the measurements.

Try this today or bake for your next holiday get-together! Hope you enjoy and Happy Holidays!

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