Carrots: Health Benefits and Recipes

by Gentle World

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Carrots are more than a tasty addition to almost any dish. They are also good for your body’s overall health, especially that of the skin, eyes, digestive system and teeth!

So if the sweet flavor isn’t enough, enjoy these ten reasons to eat more carrots and the six easy ways to do so that follow:

1. Beta carotene: Carrots are a rich source of this powerful antioxidant, which, among other vital uses, can be converted into vitamin A in the body to help maintain healthy skin.

2. Digestion: Carrots increase saliva and supply essential minerals, vitamins and enzymes that aid in digestion. Eating carrots regularly may help prevent gastric ulcers and other digestive disorders.

3. Alkaline elements: Carrots are rich in alkaline elements, which purify and revitalize the blood while balancing the acid/alkaline ratio of the body.

4. Potassium: Carrots are a good source of potassium, which can help maintain healthy sodium levels in the body, thereby helping to reduce elevated blood pressure levels.

5. Dental Health: Carrots kill harmful germs in the mouth and help prevent tooth decay.

6. Wounds: Raw or grated carrots can be used to help heal wounds, cuts and inflammation.

7. Phytonutrients: Among the many beneficial phytochemicals that carrots contain is a phytonutrient called falcarinol, which may reduce the risk of colon cancer and help promote overall colon health.

8. Carotenoids: Carrots are rich in carotenoids, which our bodies can use to help regulate blood sugar.

9.  Fiber: Carrots are high in soluble fiber, which may reduce cholesterol by binding the LDL form (the kind we don’t want) and increasing the HDL form (the kind our body needs) to help reduce blood clots and prevent heart disease.

10. Eyes, hair, nails and more! The nutrients in carrots can improve the health of your eyes, skin, hair, nails and more through helping to detoxify your system and build new cells!

There are plenty more reasons to enjoy these crunchy, sweet root vegetables, so reserve a spot in your garden plot for planting some, or pop down to the local market to pick up a bunch.

After you’ve stocked up on carrots try these six delicious carrot recipes!

Creamy Carrot Cashew Paté
Creamy Carrot Coconut Soup
Quick & Easy Carrot Salad
Carrot Muffins (party–sized recipe)
Rich Carrot Coconut Sauce
Easy Carrot Grain Loaf

This first spread is a group favorite, which we serve at all our educational events. It’s perfect to top off your salad or make a hearty wrap.

Creamy Carrot Cashew Paté
serves 5–6

  • 2 1/2–3 cups cashew pieces (raw)
  • 4 small carrots, peeled, sliced
  • 1/2 small sweet onion (optional)
  • 1–2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1/4 cup oil (optional, but creates creaminess)
  • 1-2  tbsp. tamari (to taste)
  • 1/3–1/2 cup water
  • sea salt, to taste

1. Soak cashew pieces in water for 15–20 minutes, until soft, then drain excess water.
2. In a food processor, using the “S” shaped blade, blend the sliced carrots as finely as possible. Add onion and/or garlic and blend again. Add oil and cashews a little at a time and blend until smooth. Add water and tamari. Stop the machine intermittently and scrape the sides with a rubber spatula; blend again until smooth.
3. Creaminess is essential in a paté. Chill and serve.

 

Coconut and carrot together? This soup proves that they’re the perfect blend!

Creamy Carrot Coconut Soup
serves 6

  • 1 tbsp. oil (optional)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 8 cups carrots, sliced
  • 2 tsp. tamari or substitute
  • 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1–2 tsp. sea salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 cups water

1. In a soup pot, sauté onion in oil or in two to three tablespoons of water. After two minutes, add garlic and stir.
2. When the onions are getting soft, add carrots and stir in tamari. Simmer on low for three minutes, stirring often.
3. Add remaining seasonings and four cups of water. Bring to a near boil, cover and simmer on low until carrots are soft. Add coconut milk and stir.
4. Let cool, then remove and blend half of the carrots and broth in a blender, using additional water if desired. Use caution when blending anything hot; it expands in the blender and can push the top off. (Use less water for a thicker, creamier soup.)

 

The perfect picnic dish or side, this carrot salad is easy to make and full of flavor.

Quick & Easy Carrot Salad
serves 3–4

  • 2 cups carrots, grated finely (through a Champion Juicer or food processor*)
  • 4 tbsp. vegan ‘mayonnaise’  (Such as Veganaise, or recipe below)
  • a dash of sea salt
  • 1–2 onion slices, diced
  • 1 tsp. tahini (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard (optional)

Mix all ingredients together. Chill and serve.

* If you do not have a Champion Juicer, you will need a food processor to make this recipe properly. Begin by grating the carrots using the grater attachment, if you have one, then remove them from the machine and put on the S-shaped blade. After the S-shaped blade is secure put the carrots back in the food processor and blend until they are a spreadable consistency (mushy and juicy). Then mix the remaining ingredients into the carrots and serve as usual.

Tofu Mayonnaise
yields 2 cups

  • 1/3–1/2 cup safflower oil
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 lb. (1 cup) organic tofu, rinsed & drained
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 1/2–2 tbsp. fructose (or light-colored dry sweetener)
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients. The mixture might be thick, so add ingredients slowly, turning blender on and off. Chill. Keeps well in the refrigerator.

 

This carrot muffin recipe is formulated to please the masses at any event or potluck. So don’t be shocked when you see the quantity of sweetener or flour, as this recipe is designed to make 4 dozen delicious muffins!

Carrot Muffins (party–sized recipe)
yields approx. 4 dozen

Wet

  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 4 1/3 cups dry sweetener  (Such as Rapadura)
  • 2 cups organic tofu milk (see recipe below)
  • 5 cups carrots, grated

Dry

  • 8 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • 4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1/3 tsp. sea salt

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (optional)

1. Mix wet ingredients in a very large bowl.
2. Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl and stir. Mix the dry into the wet.
3. Add raisins, nuts and shredded coconut. Mix well.
4. Pour batter into an oiled and floured muffin tin, or into baking paper cups, filling each cup 3/4 full.
5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden-brown and a toothpick comes out dry.

Tofu Milk
Tofu milk is a homemade alternative to soy milk or other non-dairy milk. It is used for baking only, as it contains no sweetener or flavoring! It is easily made by blending tofu with water.

To prepare 2 1/2 – 3 cups:

  • Rinse and drain 8 oz. (one cup) of organic medium-firm tofu.
  • In a blender, blend tofu with one cup water. Purée until smooth.
  • Add one more cup of water and blend.

 

Make any lightly steamed or stir-fried veggie dish complete with this decadent sauce.

Rich Carrot Coconut Sauce
yields 2–3 cups

  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups pure coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. tamari or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4–5 tbsp. scallions, diced

1. Place the sliced carrots and water in a small gravy pot, cover, and steam until soft.
2. Place steamed carrots in a blender with steam water and remaining ingredients, except the scallions. Blend to a creamy consistency and pour into the pot. Simmer. Add the scallions while simmering. Stir continuously until gravy thickens. Remove from flame. Do not boil.

 

Our Easy Carrot Grain Loaf is a hearty, scrumptious and versatile dish. You can even use leftover grain from the night before to make it or add your own variation of tasty veggies!

Easy Carrot Grain Loaf
yields 1 loaf

  • 2 cups brown rice (uncooked)
  • 1 cup grain of choice (uncooked)
  • 2 cups carrots, grated
  • 1/2 lb. (1 cup) organic tofu, rinsed & drained
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1–2 tsp. each:  garlic & onion powder
  • 1 large onion, diced, sautéed
  • 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup tamari or substitute
  • 1/2 cup tahini dressing*
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2–3 tbsp. mustard (optional)

1. Cook grains and set aside to cool (you can make the grain, let it cool and refrigerate it overnight as well.)
2. In a food processor, using the “S” shaped blade, blend all ingredients except grains, carrots and onions until smooth. In a large bowl, mix this into the grains and carrots.
3. Place into an oiled casserole and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden-brown.

Variation: Instead of putting this dish into an oiled casserole dish, form the mixture into small patties and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, making your own veggie/grain burgers.

*Tahini Dressing
yields 1 1/2 cups

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 3 tsp. tamari or substitute
  • spices or herbs of choice (optional)

In a blender, blend all ingredients. (Use 1/4 cup more water for a thinner dressing to pour on salad.) Keeps for up to two days in the refrigerator.

Variation ~ 1 tsp. curry powder may be added for a delicious curry-tahini dressing.

 

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5 Delicious Raw Pie Recipes
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