Did you know that carrots are not just orange? That’s right. This Afganistani native root crop comes in a variety of colors, including yellow, purple, white and dark red. Whatever color you choose, carrots are an extremely versatile crop, exuding their sweetness in salads, smoothies, soups, stir-frys or roasted with other root vegetables. Carrots are a rich source of Vitamin A, carotenoids and sugar. But don’t get scared by their sugar content. Their high-sugar will actually help curb your cravings for processed sugar by adding natural sweetness to your day.
Carrots actually help lower blood sugar and support the spleen-pancreas and liver and tonify the kidneys. They purify the blood and help prevent constipation. But you want to make sure you get all their nutrients, so keep the peel on – since the nutrients are concentrated so closely to the skin. Wash your carrots well and take a bite!
And don’t forget those carrot greens. Dried or fresh, these greens can be used like a strong-flavored parsley to add a little spunk to your meal.
Here is one of my favorite carrot recipes:
Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 lb bag (16 oz.) organic carrots
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon umeboshi plum vinegar (or lemon juice + a pinch sea salt)
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
juice of a handful of freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup dried currants (optional)
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (optional)
Shred/grate carrots by hand with a food grater (watch those fingers!) or in a food processor
In a large bowl, combine apple cider vinegar, umeboshi plum vinegar (or lemon juice and pinch salt) and extra virgin olive oil, along with the juice of a handful of freshly grated ginger.
Combine briskly with a whisk or fork
Add currants, raw pumpkin seeds and parsley.
Add carrots and toss all ingredients with your beautiful hands.
Note: The dressing should be more sour/bitter than one would normally add to a lettuce salad, as the intense sweetness of organic carrots tends to balance it out nicely. If however, you find it too sour, add a little more olive oil.
This carrot salad is not only refreshing and portable (great for picnics or to bring to work), it also has a wonderful play between sweet and sour and has a colorful appeal.