Packed full of antioxidants and vitamins, carrots are unbelievably good for you. It’s also one of the most versatile vegetables when it comes to how they can be eaten. You can make a soup, a smoothie, or a hearty salad. You can also add it to a meatball dish or even sneak them into your desserts. Baked, steamed, roasted — the possibilities are endless. Here are three quick recipes that you can try out to get the most out of your carrots.
1. Carrot-Ginger Soup
The carrot-ginger soup is an easy meal you can throw together with just a few ingredients. This recipe serves six people as a main course.
- 2 sweet yellow onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
- ½ cup half-n-half
- Sour cream, for serving
1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions to the butter and keep stirring for around five minutes until the onions are soft. Add carrots, broth, and ginger. Cover the pot and wait for it to boil. Once boiled, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the carrots are tender.
2. Puree soup in a blender or use an immersion blender until it is smooth. Add the half-n-half to the pot and warm over medium heat until it becomes hot. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Serve the soup with a small spoonful of sour cream on top.
2. Roasted Carrot, Rocket, And Lentil Salad
Roasting carrots brings out the rich sweetness it possesses. This is a great recipe for any event.
- 300g carrots, peeled and sliced lengthways
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ½ tsp wholegrain mustard
- ½ tsp honey
- 50g feta, crumbled
- 250g ready-cooked lentils
- 80g rocket, washed
- ¼ cucumber, chopped
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Thyme to garnish
1. Heat oven to 200 C. Take a bowl and put the sliced carrots in it. Add the cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon oil, and some seasoning to the carrots. Empty the contents of the bowl on a baking tray and spread it out. Roast for 30-35 mins until the carrots are soft and charred around the edges.
2. At the same time, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, the remaining oil, honey, and mustard.
3. Stir the cooked carrots through all the remaining ingredients. To serve, simply toss through the dressing and garnish with thyme.
3. Nutmeg-Banana-Carrot Muffins
This muffin recipe makes a healthy breakfast pastry as it is made completely without refined sugar. Date syrup replaces the sugar, which means you can have a very healthy and tasty start to the day.
Ingredients For Date Syrup
- 8 ounces Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup filtered water
Ingredients For Muffins
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup homemade date syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 banana, mashed
- Oats and berries for topping, optional
1. To make the date syrup, fill a cup with filtered water and soak the dates in it for an hour, or up to 24 hours (if you plan to soak it for over an hour, refrigerate it).
2. Once the dates are softened, use either a food processor or a blender to process the dates (with the water) until it is smooth.
3. To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350° and line a cupcake pan with cupcake tins.
4. Whisk together the salt, flours, baking powder and nutmeg. Set it aside.
5. In another mixing bowl, whisk the vanilla extract, date syrup, and coconut oil until mixed well.
6. Into the second bowl, add the banana and eggs. Whisk this well.
7. To this mixture in the second bowl, fold in the carrots. Then pour half of the flour mixture and whisk until combined.
8. Add the buttermilk and stir.
9. Add the rest of the flour mixture until everything is mixed well to produce a thick batter.
10. Take 12 cupcake tins and evenly distribute the batter between them.
11. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove the muffins and let it cool. Then serve with some oats and berries on top.
Benefits Of Eating Carrots
One vegetable that is popularly known to be great for eye health is carrots since they are packed with vitamin A, the vitamin closely linked with good vision. However, having great eye health is not the only benefit of this orange vegetable.1
- Boost your immunity
- Help your body fight infections
- Increase your metabolism
- Heal certain skin disorders
- Lower cholesterol
- Strengthen brain function
- Help with a healthier pregnancy
A lack of vitamin A in your diet will increase your risk of infections (particularly those that cause measles and diarrhea) and extreme cases could result in cases of dry eye.
The reason that carrots have all these benefits is that other than vitamin A (from beta-carotene), this root-vegetable is also enriched with an array of essential minerals like manganese, vitamin K (phylloquinone), vitamin B6, biotin, and potassium.2 Carrots are also a great source of dietary fiber.
If you are worried that your loved ones are not getting the vitamins they need in their diet, it may be time to get any of these dishes on the menu!
|↑1||Vaishnava, Shipra, and Lora V. Hooper. “Eat your carrots! T cells are RARing to go.” Immunity 34, no. 3 (2011): 290-292.|
|↑2||Alasalvar, Cesarettin, John M. Grigor, Donglin Zhang, Peter C. Quantick, and Fereidoon Shahidi. “Comparison of volatiles, phenolics, sugars, antioxidant vitamins, and sensory quality of different colored carrot varieties.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 49, no. 3 (2001): 1410-1416.|