Wondering how to include more carrots in your diet? Read our tips and recipes, to get the most of the winter crop
It’s carrot season, again. Though we’ve been eating the English carrot throughout the year, winter brings a new, fresh crop of red carrots to the table. Aside from the delightful, fresh flavour it adds to any dish, this vegetable is lush with nutrition.
Importantly, carrots are rich in fibre, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidants, and low in calories and fats. In addition, they improve the vision, skin health, and digestion, and are also said to maintain the body’s acid-alkaline balance.
Although best eaten raw, you can also incorporate this power vegetable into your daily diet in an innovative manner.
#1 Make some soup
The earthy taste of carrots, and colour of this vegetables is perhaps best highlighted in a soup. It is perfect as a simple dinner starter or even as a full meal, when added to a soup such as Minestrone.
Carrot soup with ginger
½ tbsp olive oil
½ cup spring onions chopped
1 tsp ginger ground
2-3 medium carrots, diced
2 cups vegetable stock or chicken broth
1 tsp black pepper powder
coriander to garnish
- Heat the oil in a saucepan, and add the spring onions and ginger paste. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Now add the diced carrots and the vegetable stock, and cook over medium heat till the carrots are tender.
- Cool and blend into puree.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, and a dash of fresh cream if you like. Garnish with finely chopped coriander and serve.
#2 Add to juice
Start your day on an energetic note with this colorful and nutritious drink, that has some tangy orange juice to balance the sweetness. You can also add some beetroot juice, to enhance vitamin punch. And guess what? A glass has barely 60-80 calories, depending on the mix.
Carrot and orange juice
Blend the following ingredients:
1 cup carrot juice
1 cup orange juice
½ cup beet juice
Pinch of salt
#3 Use in salads
Raw, fresh carrot add a crunchy sweetness, and can be combined with many other ingredients to make nutritious salads. Here’s a healthy sprout based salad, that serves as a great post-workout snack.
Carrot and sprouts salad
2 medium carrots, grated or julienned
1 cucumber, diced
1 cup fresh sprouted beans or green gram
1 /4 cup minced coriander or basil
For the dressing
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper powder
Combine the carrots, cucumber, and sprouts. Whisk the dressing and add to the vegetables. Toss until the dressing is evenly mixed, and serve.
#4 Pickle in jar
Pickles are a popular treat for most Indians, especially during winter. These vary from one region to another, from Andhra’s spicy avakkai-styled variety to the North Indian mixed vegetable achaar.
Spicy carrot pickle
½ cup carrots, julienned
2-3 tbsp oil, mustard or sesame
1 tbsp ginger finely grated
Pinch of turmeric
¼ tbsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp red chili powder
¾ tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Jaggery or Gur
Salt as needed
- Dry roast fenugreek seeds in a frying pan, powder in a blender, and keep aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil and roast the mustard seeds till they splutter.
- Add the ginger and carrots and toss slightly. Turn off the flame.
- Add salt, turmeric, chili powder, jaggery, powdered fenugreek, and the remaining oil. Toss till the coating is evenly spread.
- Allow the mixture to cool, then add lemon juice. Store in an airtight jar and refrigerate.
#5 Use as garnish
Sliced, grated, julienned, or cut into different shapes, carrots add color and taste to a variety of foods. You can use these to garnish dishes with. The best part is that these shapely carrots can entice fussy children to eat more vegetables too!