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Rainbow carrots and colored popcorn with words: hop into color this Easter

Easter Ideas: Sweet Treats and Rainbow Carrots

by Top of the Hill Staff on March 20, 2024
Easter is a time of renewal and celebration, and what better way to enhance the joy of the season than with a colorful presentation, both as a side dish and in your Easter baskets? We will be talking about two items that hit the mark: rainbow carrots and locally-made treats from Cranberry Sweets & More. Let’s see what’s up with these! 


Rainbow Carrots

Top of the Hill invites you to celebrate Easter with a side dish that not only looks spectacular but also boasts a symphony of flavors and nutritional benefits. Let’s delve into how rainbow carrots can elevate your Easter feast, not only when paired perfectly with a variety of proteins, but also enhance your meal with a spectrum of health benefits. 

Sauteeing or Roasting Rainbow Carrots: Simple Ways to Prepare 
One of the joys of rainbow carrots is their ease of preparation. Damu gives a unique suggestion for sauteeing them in his video:

 



Roasting them is also a simple, fuss-free method that enhances their natural sugars and brings out their best flavors. Here's a quick guide to perfectly roasted rainbow carrots:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Wash and peel the carrots, leaving a bit of the green tops for a rustic presentation.
  3. Toss the carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any additional herbs or spices you prefer.
  4. Spread them out on a baking sheet, ensuring they're not too crowded.
  5. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender and the edges are caramelized.
The result is a side dish that's as easy to make as it is impressive to present. The high heat of the oven intensifies the carrots' sweetness while giving them a satisfying texture, perfect for nibbling alongside your chosen Easter protein.

Perfect Pairings with Proteins
When it comes to pairing with proteins, rainbow carrots are as versatile as they are colorful. Their natural sweetness and earthy undertones make them an excellent side to the succulent flavors of traditional Easter proteins. They pair delightfully with the rich tenderness of roasted lamb, offering a subtly sweet counterpoint to the meat's robust flavor. Nestled next to a glazed ham, the carrots' array of colors accentuate the ham's pink hues and smoky notes. Even alongside a lemony, herbed chicken, rainbow carrots add depth and complement the poultry's lightness, making every bite a harmonious blend of flavors. Just imagine the smell as they roast in the oven, with a hint of olive oil and herbs. They're the perfect way to add a pop of color and a touch of sophistication to your spread.

A Symphony of Nutritious Color on Your Easter Table
Each color of the rainbow carrot bunch brings its own set of nutritional benefits to your plate: 
  • Purple Carrots:  Rich in anthocyanins, the same antioxidants found in blueberries, purple carrots are not only striking in appearance but also may support heart health.Red Carrots:  These contain lycopene, an antioxidant that's also found in tomatoes and watermelon, which is linked to heart health and reduced risk of certain types of cancer.
  • Orange Carrots:  High in beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, they're essential for eye health, immune function, and healthy skin.
  • Yellow Carrots: With lutein, which is linked to eye health, these carrots can contribute to your overall vision and well-being.
  • White Carrots: Though not as richly pigmented, they have a high fiber content which can aid in digestion and help maintain a healthy gut.
With this kaleidoscope of nutritional benefits, rainbow carrots don't just brighten up the table; they also contribute to a healthful diet, ensuring your Easter feast is as nourishing as it is festive. Plus, that will leave some calories for treats, right? 

 

Cranberry Sweets & More

Top of the Hill Quality Produce proudly offers an array of mouthwatering goodies from Cranberry Sweets & More that make great Easter basket stuffers. These artisanal snacks are not just treats; they are a testament to a tradition of quality and a story of a local Oregon treasure.

Located on the southern Oregon coast, Cranberry Sweets & More has been a local source for handmade snacks since 1962. With a passion for cranberries and a commitment to craftsmanship, this local gem has evolved from offering unique ways to savor cranberries to an in-factory bakery and, in 2015, a delightful popcorn factory. Every bite carries the history of a brand dedicated to small-batch production and the finest ingredients.
While we only 2 of their popcorn snacks online due to seasonality, we have 11 varieties of Cranberry Sweets & More's best selections in-store, each nicely packaged and ready to use in your gift-giving baskets. Let's unwrap just a few of these artisanal delights that we currently carry for spring: 

Milk Chocolate Puddles
Inspired by Oregon's famously "moist" winters, Milk Chocolate Puddles are a tribute to the local weather, crafted into a sweet indulgence. These smooth and rich chocolates mimic the puddles that dot the Oregon coast after a rain, offering a moment of warmth and comfort with each piece. They are perfect for those who cherish a classic taste with a twist of local lore.

Pineapple Carrot Cake Popcorn 
Combining the zest of pineapple with the homely feel of carrot cake, this popcorn variety is a festive surprise that packs a flavor punch. The Pineapple Carrot Cake Popcorn is a nod to the innovative spirit of Cranberry Sweets & More, transforming traditional dessert flavors into a snackable form that's hard to put down.

Peas & Carrots Popcorn
For an Easter basket stuffer that's whimsical and tasty, the Peas & Carrots Popcorn is a colorful choice. Don't let the name fool you—this isn't your usual side dish. We're talking about orange-flavored popcorn that bursts with sweetness paired with the tangy zing of green apple-flavored popcorn. It's a playful nod to classic Easter themes with a deliciously unexpected taste.

Marshmallow Pops
The Marshmallow Pops are a celebration of spring itself, dipped in chocolate and adorned with pastel candy sprinkles. These treats are as pretty as they are pleasing to the palate, providing a soft, fluffy marshmallow center with a decadent chocolate coating that melts in your mouth.
Cranberry Sweets & More is more than just a name; it's a place where confectionery dreams come true. With two locations in Oregon—one in Bandon and another in Coos Bay—visitors can experience the magic firsthand. It's no surprise that this charming establishment caught the eye of celebrity chef Rachel Ray, who featured it on her Food Network show "$40 a Day" in 2004. Her visit underscores the widespread appeal and recognition of this local artisanal powerhouse.

So, as Easter approaches, think beyond the ordinary by adding more color to your side dishes with rainbow carrots, and filling your baskets with goodies from Cranberry Sweets & More. Stop by Top of the Hill Quality Produce in Renton, Washington, to prepare for your gatherings this spring. 
 
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