Monday, August 30, 2010

For the Love of Carrots

I've always been a carrot lover.  When I was little, I chose carrots over ice cream. My parents would go into Baskin and Robbins and people would give them dirty looks, because they had their ice cream and I had my carrots.  Relatives often teased I would "turn orange" but I didn't care, carrots are delicious. 

Now that I'm older, I also know that carrots are a wonderfully healing vegetable.  Carrot Juice is a powerful tool for healing many diseases, including cancer.  Check out this great blog, Chris Beat Cancer for great nutritional tips on how he healed his Stage III Colon Cancer.  P.S. He drank carrot juice daily, enough to turn him orange!!! Check out this picture!

So what's so great about carrots? Well, first, they are an excellent source of pro-vitamin A, vitamins C, D, E, K, B1 and B6.  Carrots are rich in biotin, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, organic sodium and some trace minerals.  They are a powerful anti-oxidant, blood sugar balancer, a blood builder, cleans your arteries, protects from free radicals, dispels mucus, lowers cholesterol, improves eyesight, can increase fertility, builds white blood cells, are an anti-inflammatory, heal skin issues, and ulcers.  Great stuff!!


Carrot Juice is one of the healthiest way to get your carrot intake.  Check out this great article on Carrot Juice for some recipe ideas and fun facts!

Check out these other tasty carrot recipes!

Sunburst Carrot Salad Recipe

Generally speaking, I don't buy the huge woody-textured carrots you find in many produce departments. I seek out bunches of seasonal carrots this time of year from various farmers, farmers markets, etc.

2 bunches carrots, preferably spring carrots
extra virgin olive oil
fine grain sea salt
1 green chile (serrano), deveined and minced
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup green pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted

Start by washing the carrots. Use a vegetable peeler to shave each carrot into wide ribbons. If your carrots have beat up, dirty skins, peel them first before making ribbons.

Heat a big splash of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the carrot ribbons. Saute for just 20 seconds or so - barely long enough to take the raw edge and a bit of crunch off the carrots. Quickly stir in the chiles and lemon zest. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro, about one tablespoon of lemon juice, and then most of the pepitas. Taste. Add more salt and/or lemon juice if needed. Garnish with remaining pepitas.

Serves 4 to 6.

Carrot Soup Recipe
I typically seek out "early" carrots with the bushy green tops still on. The leaves should be fresh and not wilted, and the carrots should have vibrant color. If they feel rubbery, pass on them. I pass on bagged carrots or the big, woody ones - the early carrots often have a much sweeter flavor.

1 1/4 pounds carrots
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or clarified butter)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cups+ vegetable stock or water
juice of 1/2 a lemon
fine grain sea salt (as much as you need)

- olive oil, toasted sesame oil, or red chile oil for a finishing drizzle - if you use toasted sesame oil (sometimes labeled pure sesame oil) it is very strong. I typically dilute it with olive oil. I use one part sesame oil to four parts olive oil.

Take the tops off the carrots (if they have tops) and give them a good scrub. Cut them into 1-inch segments and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute for a few minutes or until the onions start to get translucent. Add the stock and carrots and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender - longer if your carrot pieces ended up larger. But try not to overcook. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.

Puree with a hand blender (sometimes I leave the soup a bit chunky, other times I go completely smooth) - then stir in the lemon juice. Now salt to taste. If you used a salty veggie stock, you might just need a little salt. If you used water, you'll need quite a bit more. Keep adding a few pinches at a time until the carrot flavor really pops. If it tastes flat or dull, keep adding.

Finish with a drizzle of great extra-virgin olive oil, one of the other drizzles I mention up above, or whatever twist you come up with.

Serves about 4.

Ok folks, go out and down some carrots!!


  1. Carrots...they do a body good. :)

  2. I wish I had the time and energy to really plan out and do a lot of these great recipes. What I really need is a personal chef...

  3. I just got a bunch of carrots from my coop. I'm all over that soup!


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