Carrots are usually recognized for their rich supply of beta-carotene, an antioxidant nutrient that was actually named for them.
However, these colorful root vegetables supply us with a wide variety of antioxidants and other nutrients that support our health besides beta-carotene.
Carrots belong to the Umbelliferae family. They are related to parsnips, fennel, anise, caraway, parsley, cumin and dill. They range in size from two inches to three feet long with diameters from ½ of an inch to larger than two inches. The root has a sweet mild aromatic taste with a crunchy texture while the greens taste fresh and a bit bitter.
Although most of us think of carrots as being orange in color, they are actually found in a host of other colors that include white, yellow, purple and red each sporting different amounts of antioxidant phytonutrients.
Not surprisingly, orange carrots are particularly known for their beta-carotene content which is 65% of their total carotenoid content while yellow carrots produce 50% of their carotenoids from lutein and red and purple carrots provide us with rich anthocyanin content.
Because carrots can be eaten raw or cooked, they are perfect for anyone reaching for a healthy crunchy snack or colorful addition to their salad. Carrots remain one of the most popular root veggies enjoyed worldwide.
Here’s a popular delicious way to enjoy carrots that is perfect to serve as dessert or a great healthy snack that everyone loves. This recipe goes the extra mile in retaining nutrients because there is no baking or cooking involved and neither is there any gluten, sugar or white flour. It doesn’t get any better than this!
- 3 cups grated carrots (6-8 carrots depending on size)
- 1½ cup dates (soaked 30 minutes and drained)
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup cashews
- ¼ cup honey
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Grate the carrots either by hand, on a grater or using a food processor fitted with a grater blade attachment and place in a bowl.
- Place walnuts in food processor and blend until crumbly.
- Add grated carrots, dates, ginger and spices; blend until well combined into a dough like mix.
- Set aside and make Cashew Frosting
- Blend all ingredients until smooth and whipped adding a little water if needed to allow blending.
- In the bottom of a cake pan with a removable base place one half of the cake mixture.
- Then place a layer of the frosting and then another layer of the cake mixture.
- Finish with the rest of the frosting on top of cake.
- Place cake in fridge for a few hours till set.