carrots

You may think carrots are among the list of  boring vegetables (if one exists!), but their color, texture and taste make them incredibly versatile in the kitchen and beneficial to your health. The following seven unusual uses for carrots go beyond carrot cake and gives you reason to munch more often on this delicious root vegetable.

Carrots are colorful root vegetables that can be traced back some 5,000 years. Today, they are used liberally in both sweet and savory dishes. They are a low-calorie, highly-nutritious vegetable that most often wind up in the background of recipes, rather than taking center plate.

One medium-sized carrot contains 25 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrate and 2 grams of fiber. It is particularly known for its vitamin A, providing 200% of the RDA in just one serving. It is also packed with the disease-fighting pigment beta-carotene.

Here are seven ways to use carrots for both your health and your appetite!

1. Marmalade

Assemble 6-8 carrots (medium), 2 lemons, 2 oranges, 11 cups of water and 8 cups of sugar. Cut the lemons and oranges into quarters, removing any seeds. Pour the water in a large bowl and add the lemon and orange wedges. Let them sit for one day in the water. After 24 hours, remove the lemons and oranges and cut them as finely as possible. Meanwhile, peel and grate the carrots. Add the lemons, oranges and carrots to a large pot. Add the water the lemons and oranges soaked in and bring the mixture to a boil. After one hour, add the sugar and continue to boil until the mixture becomes more jelly-like. Pour into sterile glass jars almost to the brim and follow canning procedures to avoid contamination.

2. Cell Rejuvenation

The beta-carotene in carrots is a potent antioxidant that protects against free radicals. Eating foods rich in beta-carotene, like carrots, may help to prevent chronic diseases and slow the aging process.

3. Compost

Use leftover carrot pulp to add to compost. It adds nutrients and moisture!
 

4. Cancer Prevention

The beta-carotene found in carrots can help prevent cancer. Beta-carotene supplementation has not shown to prevent cancer incidence or cancer mortality. However, whole-food sources of beta-carotene act in a different manner. Eating four or more daily servings of fruits and veggies rich in beta-carotene can decrease the risk of developing cancer.

5. Vegan Cheese

Take about 6-8 carrots, place them in a pot of boiling water and cook until they are tender all the way through. Chop the carrots and place them in a food processor with 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Blend until creamy. Use the mixture as a vegan replacement for creamy cheese. You can mix this cheese into pasta, dollop onto sandwiches, fold into salads or eat by the spoonful as a snack!

6. Vision

Maybe carrots can’t go as far as to completely restore vision, but their vitamin A promotes the proper functioning of the retina and other parts of the eye.

7. In a Pickle

Bored of munching on plain carrots? Pickle them to add more zest and satisfaction to the low-calorie snack. It’s an easy process that gives you more than just the satisfaction of taste but also of increased nutrition. Fermenting vegetables introduces healthy probiotics to the mix, which benefit digestion.

Photo Credit: thegardensmallholder

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