Why Eat Carrots
I know they get a bad rap sometimes for being “high in sugar’, but in reality, while they are primarily carbs, they have a low glycemic load because of the fiber content. The soluble fiber in carrots, like pectin, feeds the good bacteria in the gut, stabilize blood sugars, and decrease cholesterol. The insoluble fibers in carrots to keep us regular and decrease our risk of GI diseases like colon cancer.
Rich in Antioxidants
They are also nutrient dense, meaning they have few calories with lots of vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients. One that many people focus on is the Vitamin A and lutein which is why they have the reputation of being good for your eyes. But they also have other antioxidants. Which other antioxidants depends on the color. For example, purple carrots have a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin, while orange and yellow carrots have beta carotene.
Let’s talk about beta carotene. Beta carotene is an antioxidant and phytonutrient which our bodies can convert to Vitamin A which is important in immunity. Beta carotene, may also help with improved brain health, skin health, lung health, eye health, and potentially decrease our risk on certain cancers. Lots of reasons to enjoy carrots!
Fun fact: beta carotene is increased when the carrots are cooked. So enjoy them raw sometimes and cooked other times.
Help Your Kids Eat More
Don’t Love Carrots? Many times people talk about having a hard time enjoying veggies, or getting their kids to enjoy vegetables. Dips are a great way to make eating veggies much more enjoyable, and before you think your are “undoing” anything, know that dips can be an additional source of nutrition. Often they are fat sources and the fat can actually help you absorb the fat soluble vitamins in carrots like vitamin A and K.
Another helpful trick is to cut them into thin strips. They are easier to grab, bite, and dip. So cut them up, making them pretty and add a dip. You are going to be shocked how much more you enjoy them. I have had friends who are shocked when their kids eagerly eat veggies at my house, but instead of baby carrots, I get the full carrots, slice them thin, and arrange them with a dip.
Remember eating should be enjoyable! What’s your favorite way to enjoy carrots? I share a few of mine below.
Butterscotch Carrot Cookies
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 Tablespoons butter softened
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 egg
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup flax meal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Beat the sugar and butter. Add the egg and continue beating.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix until dough forms.
- Scoop out dough and flatten the cookies slightly with a fork before cooking since these don't spread much.
- Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!
Simple Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- 2 cups celery, chopped
- 2 cups carrots, chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups chicken broth more if you like a less chunky soup
- 2 cups peas I use frozen at the end to cool the soup down for my girls.
- 16 ounce egg noodles I use grandma
- salt and pepper to taste
- Options seasonings: thyme, tarragon, basil, and garlic
- Add the chicken, celery, carrots, onion powder, bay leaf, and broth to crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add other seasonings of choice, depending on your family preference.
- During the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove the chicken and shred.
- Cook the noodles separately according to package directions and add them to the soup once cooked.
- Finish off with peas, and if you think it needs it, salt and pepper.
- 3 cups carrots, peeled and chopped 1 inch thick
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 sprinkle salt
- Toss the chopped carrots with olive oil and salt.
- Roast at 400 for about 30 minutes.
Roasted Carrot Soup
- 3 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 white onion, minced
- 1 can coconut milk 13.5 oz
- 1/2 cup broth (vegetable or chicken) more or less to taste
- additional salt and pepper to taste
- Toss the chopped carrots with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Roast at 400 for about 30 minutes until tender and browning
- While the carrots are roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pot. Add onion and saute until tender.
- Add carrots, onion, and coconut milk into a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the medium pot. Add broth to desired consistency, taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
Carrot and Butterscotch Oatmeal
- 1/3 cup oats
- 2/3 cup milk or milk substitute
- 1 teaspoon flax meal
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon butterscotch chips
- Mix the oats, milk, flax, and carrots together.
- Microwave for 1:30 minutes then add chips and cinnamon and stir until chips are melted. Sprinkle with a little salt if desired.
Easy Weeknight Chicken Stir-fry
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cups chopped veggies of choice
- 2 cups riced cauliflower
- 2-3 cups cooked rice I like to cook mine in 1/2 water and 1/2 broth
- In a crockpot place chicken, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, onion and honey.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Once the chicken is cooked, shred.
- Heat olive oil, in a large skillet, add veggies and saute until tender.
- Add the chicken and sauce from the crockpot as well as well as the rice. Mix until evenly dispersed and serve warm.