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Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Are you tired of your arms jiggling when you fist pump? Hate the way your arm waves back at you when you wave at your friends? Well, ladies and gents, I have a workout for you that will tone those arms in no time and have you wanting to wear sleeveless shirts in the winter. I call it, carrot shredding.

This is no joke. Carrot shredding is serious business. At about half a cup, I thought my biceps were going to fall off. And by the time I got to the one and a half cups this recipe called for, I wanted to smash the grater against the wall so hard. But those feelings of frustration soon subsided and I did a little flexing to check out my progress. My little muscle bump was looking super fly.

Unfortunately, an arm workout was all I got from these carrot and zucchini bars. I wouldn't have been so disappointed if they didn't smell so good when they were baking, but they did. And they made me believe that they were going to taste just as good, when in reality, they just taste like carrots...with a hint of ginger.

Even the lemon cream cheese frosting that I thought would make them taste better, didn't. It was like putting perfume on someone who hadn't showered. All the reviews spoke so highly of the frosting and how it was such a great complement to the bars' flavors, but I just found it to be really unnecessary and way too tangy.

If you're a fan of carrots, then you'll probably enjoy these more than I did. I give credit where credit is due, so I'll admit, they were very soft and moist.

But otherwise, ditch the carrot shredding, do this awesome arms workout, and find another way to get some more vegetables in your diet. Because this way really isn't all that.

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

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1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
pinch of vanilla powder
1 and 1/2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup shredded zucchini

For the lemon cream cheese frosting:
1 (8 oz) pkg reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey, and vanilla. Fold in the shredded carrots and zucchini.

Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir just until combined. Spread batter into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Once the cake is cooled, prepare the frosting. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the frosting ingredients with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.

Spread or pipe the frosting over the cooled bars. Makes 36 bars.

Adapted from Real Mom Kitchen

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