Get creative with your carrots!
Updated: Apr 9
Trees and flowers are blooming, weather is slowly but surely getting warmer, and spring has officially sprung. Even though Montrealers could probably expect one or two more snowstorms, days are getting longer, and the dreaded final exam period awaits. All this translates into the fact that it's time to stock up on vitamins in order to fuel our bodies. Naturally, spring provides us with a higher dose of vitamin D, but what if I told you that a specific vegetable could boost you with vitamin A, B, and K as well as come hand in hand with a bunch of heath benefits? Well you best be believing it, cause here comes a deep dive on that exact vegetable; the precious carrot.
Before telling you about all the delicious ways of preparing carrots, lets dive deeper into the health benefits. The carrot is often referred to as "the perfect health food", and let me explain why.
The vitamins that carrots contain have been proven to;
Help with regulation and improvement of the immune system
Promote bone health
Control blood pressure
Help prevent constipation
Regulates blood sugar levels
*Disclaimer; it is stated that an excessive intake of carrots, due to the betacarotene in them, can cause your skin to change into a yellowy-orange shade. Even though this is almost exclusively a superficial condition, too many carrots can in extreme cases have a counter productive effect, prohibiting the vitamin A from working its magic in our bodies. This being said, as we all hopefully know; too much of anything is good for nothing. Now lets move on to how to prepare your carrots!
First off all, I just want to point out that even though many recipes call for peeled carrots, this is never actually necessary. As usual, most of the good stuff i.e the nutrients sits in the peel of vegetables or fruits. Give them a good rinse, and you're good to go!
Here comes a bunch of different ideas on how to use your carrots, fresh and new or old and tired!
Be kind to your body and soul through treating yourself to a warm bowl of carrot ginger soup. Nutritious, healthy, simple and a great lunch to bring in a thermos or a Tupperware, cold or warm! I will link a recipe that I love, and remember what we've established about recipes; they're made to be altered! Grab what you have at home, it doesn't have to be complicated or fancy, just yummy! (Recipe: https://www.loveandlemons.com/carrot-ginger-soup/)
There's this presumption about the process of pickling being or at least seeming very complicated. Well, it's not. And you need like 4 ingredients. And it's yummy. So do it. This recipe calls for carrots, water, sugar, salt and vinegar. It's a quick process and extends your carrot's life by about 2-3 weeks if stored in the fridge. Play around with it and read more about it by clicking the following link! (Recipe: https://minimalistbaker.com/quick-pickled-carrots/)
Carrot Salad + Carrot Top Pesto
I looked back into our blog archive and found Leah's savoury recipe on cumin carrot top salad, a side dish inspired by North African cuisine. Alongside this, in true zero-waste spirit, she provides a recipe on how to use the carrot top leftovers from the salad in order to make a delicious pesto. Try it out! (Recipe: https://www.embellir.org/post/cumin-carrot-salad-for-2-and-leftover-carrot-top-pesto)
This is something I would make on a weekly basis if I had a juicer. Unfortunately, I don't, but to all of you out there who do, this is a great and delicious way to make sure you're getting all your vitamins. Carrot juice hardly calls for a recipe, but a yummy version would be to include carrots, lime, ginger and fresh mint. Mmmmmm. I'm pretty sure this would effectively cure a hangover too.
Smoky Carrot Dip
Usually, the carrots are what's being dipped into the dip. But what if we incorporated the carrots into the dip? Talk about a carrot inception. To make this delicious dip you roast carrots in the oven to make soft and golden-brown on the surface. They are then mixed (the recipe uses a food processor but yet again, I don't have one, however I would argue that a regular hand mixer works fine too) with canned chickpeas, lemon juice, fresh herbs and spices. Et voila, magic. (Recipe: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/smoky-carrot-dip#intcid=_bert-mab-experiment-test-with-bert_eb2e4e8d-9896-4007-af9d-20f720b4bd5a_cral2-2)
Personally this is probably one of my favourite ways of getting use of carrots. It's delicious, and you can take pride in at least incorporating some dose of nutrition to your sugar rush. Also, carrots used to make carrot cake don't have to look pretty, since they're just being grated and mixed into a batter anyways. Don't forget to double the measurements for the frosting, in this case I take back my previous statement; you can never have too much, and it certainly is good for everything. (Recipe: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/old-fashioned-carrot-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting/)
As always when I'm doing the deep dive into a produce, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to possibilities. Get creative and dare to try new things! Until next time, don't forget to comment with suggestions if there's any particular produce you'd like for us to explore!
In the meantime, stay happy and healthy!