Carrots, Not Just for the Bunnies!!

— Written By and last updated by

Way before everyone became nutrition conscious, “Eat your carrots,” Mom’s said, turns out Mom was right! If you don’t keep carrots in your fridge all year…then you should. Carrots can be used in a variety of ways to boost your health. Of course they can be eaten anyway from the crunchy raw snack to the gourmet recipe, or just as a healthy addition to a variety of recipes. The benefits are numerous. Fresh carrots can be found this time of year at our local Farmer’s Market, but all year long in your local grocery.

Carrots;

Promote Vision; Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, a purple pigment necessary for night vision.

 

Aid in Cancer Prevention, studies have shown that the antioxidant beta-carotene is thought to protect cell membranes from stress and inhibit the growth of cancer cells,

Lower the risk of Type-2 diabetes, research shows that people with a predisposition to type-2 diabetes may be able to reduce their risk of developing the condition by consuming beta-carotene,

Have an Anti-Aging Power, the high level of beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. It help slows down the aging of cells.

 

Promotes Glowing Skin, Vitamin A and antioxidants protect the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair, and nails. Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin tone.

 

May Prevent Infection, Carrots are known by herbalists to prevent infection. They can be used on cuts – shredded raw or boiled and mashed.

Prevent Heart Disease, studies show that diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Carrots have not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein. The regular consumption of carrots also reduces cholesterol levels.

Honey Roasted Carrots (Paleo)

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. of carrots, peeled, halved, and halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey
  • Salt & pepper to taste {about ½ teaspoon of each}
  • Optional: flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. Peel carrots. Cut off stems, cut the carrot in half creating a wide and narrow half. Then cut each half in half lengthwise.
  3. Put all the cut carrots into a bowl and add olive oil, raw honey, salt and pepper to taste. {About ½ teaspoon of each}. Toss to coat all the carrots.
  4. Spread carrots out on a baking sheet, making sure they are in a single layer and not stacked on each other.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool. {Optional: garnish with freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley}

Carrot Noodles with Peanut Sauce

(Get out your spiralizer, it’s certainly not just for zucchini)

Ingredients

  • 10-11 large organic carrots, washed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 3-4 cloves organic garlic, pressed
  • 6 green onions, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
  • Optional: chopped peanuts, bean sprouts, kale, cooked shrimp or crab…you can toss in just about anything, and it’s a great way to use leftovers!

Directions

  1. Cut the carrots into “noodles” using a vegetable spiralizer, mandolin, or another kitchen tool.
  2. Mix together the peanut butter, one tablespoon of the sesame oil, the vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, ginger and pepper flakes (if you’re using them). If the sauce looks too thick, add a few tablespoons of water and mix well.
  3. In a skillet or wok, heat the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil, the garlic, green onions, the chicken and any other ingredients you want to add. Add the noodles and cook until crisp-tender.
  4. Pour the peanut sauce over the noodles and stir until combined. Remove from heat and serve.

 

Parmesan Carrot Fries

Ingredients

  • 3 large carrots, peeled, quartered, and cut into equally sized quarter-inch thick strips
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Arrange the carrot strips on a parchment-lined baking sheet so that no two are overlapping. Using a basting brush, coat the tops of each strip with the olive oil. Sprinkle the thyme and garlic over the fries. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the fries about 10-12 minutes, or until the fries are easily pierced with a fork. Immediately after removing from the oven, sprinkle the fries with Parmesan. Serve.

Serves 2, each contains; Calories 163, Fat 12 g, Protein 4 g, Carbohydrates 12g, Sugar 5 g, Fiber 3 g, Sodium 122 mg.

Moroccan Hot Carrots 

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/3-inch slices (about 6 cups)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dry harissa see ingredient note
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup chopped curly parsley

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots and salt, and cook stirring occasionally until the carrots are crisp-tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Push carrots to one side of the skillet, leaving an open area of the skillet. Tilt skillet until oil pools in open area of the skillet. Add garlic to the oil and allow garlic to sizzle in the oil until fragrant and starting to brown in spots, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir into the carrots.
  3. Sprinkle cumin, coriander, harissa or cayenne and turmeric over the carrots, and stir to combine. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice and cook, stirring constantly until the lemon is mostly evaporated. Remove from the heat and stir in parsley. Serve hot or warm.

 Serves 8, servings, each contains; Calories 83, Fat 6 g, Protein 1g, Carbohydrates 8g, Sugar 3 g, Fiber 2g, Sodium 407 mg.

 

Glazed Carrots

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add salt and then carrots and cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the carrots and add back to pan with butter, honey and lemon juice.
  2. Cook until a glaze coats the carrots, 5 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

Serves 4, each contains; Calories 139, Fat 6 g, Protein 2 g, Carbohydrates 21g, Sugar 15 g, Fiber 3 g, Cholesterol 15 mg, Sodium 63 mg.

Carrot Cake Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2¼ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup + 2 Tablespoons raw brown sugar (turbinado sugar), divided
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 1⅓ cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups peeled and grated carrots (grated on small holes of box grater)
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ⅔ cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F with the oven rack in the middle position. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, add the eggs, ⅓ cup of the sugar, canola oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk until combined, but don’t over beat (that will make the muffins tough!). Fold in the carrots, raisins, and pecans.
  4. Distribute the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling them about ⅘ of the way full. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining raw brown sugar. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted comes out with just a couple moist crumbs.