Cool ways with Carrots

Carrots are up there with one of my favourite vegetables as they are sweet, crunchy, versatile and cheap as chips (generally). I got sucked into 3 bags for $5 at Pak’ n Save last week so I have been adding them to all sorts of crazy things to use them up. The traditional orange coloured carrots get their bright colour from beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A in the body. Carrots are also great sources of fibre, vitamin K and potassium.

Here are some different ways to get more of these little beauties into your diet:

  • Finely grate some carrot into your oats in the morning before cooking (see my recipe for Carrot Cake Oats below)
  • Or try a carrot cake smoothie (see recipe below)
  • Grate carrots into your mince dishes to bulk them up and add more fibre and nutrients
  • Cut a carrot in half and spread with 1 tsp of peanut butter and enjoy as a snack
  • Add loads of them to soups, stews and curries
  • Spiralise or peel strips lengthways using a potato peeler and use instead of spaghetti
  • Roast them with olive oil, a bit of honey/maple syrup and sesame seeds and enjoy as a snack
  • Add carrots to your potato or kumara mash to reduce carbohydrate
  • Make your own carrot hummus (see recipe below)

 

Carrot Cake Oats

1 small carrot, finely grated
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp chia seeds
1 cup milk
Dash of vanilla bean paste or similar
1 small ripe banana
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Shredded coconut or some chopped nuts to top

Mix all of the ingredients (except coconut/nuts) together in a glass bowl and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring once. Top with coconut and/or nuts. It will thicken more as it cools.

 

 

Carrot Cake Smoothie

1 small carrot, roughly chopped
1 small ripe banana, ideally frozen (or can add ice)
1 cup milk
1 tsp chia seeds
1/4 cup oats
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional) – I use Whey House or Pure
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger (optional)

Place the ingredients in a Nutribullet (or powerful blender) and blend until smooth. Great with some shredded coconut on top.

 

 

Roasted Carrot Hummus

I always roast extra carrots when doing this to have as a snack or add to my lunch.
2 carrots, cut into thick sticks
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp olive oil
1 tin chickpeas, drained
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp tahini

 

Pre-heat oven (fan bake, 180 degrees) and place carrots, seeds, paprika, chilli, salt and pepper in a baking dish. Toss well.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until carrots are golden, turning once or twice. Place the roast carrots and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth using a spatula to scrape the sides.

Add 1-2 tbsp of water until you get the consistency you like. It is a great high protein addition to any meal or snack.

 

Here is lunch using the leftover roast carrots, some cooked quinoa, baby spinach, avocado, hummus and some salmon (chicken or tuna would also be great or just add more hummus and leave out the meat for a vegetarian option).

Happy carrot eating 🙂

 

 

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