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Kripalu Recipes: Carrots

Most of us have heard that eating carrots will improve your night vision … so what’s the real story on carrots? Besides their sweet taste, carrots contain large amounts of beta-carotene, which provides the distinctive orange color and helps the body create vitamin A. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy vision, especially night vision, and boosts the immune system. Because of work done by the Agricultural Research Service, most of today’s carrots contain up to 75 percent more beta-carotene than those available 25 years ago. Carrots contain certain other carotenoids and phytonutrients that may help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

Also a source of disease-fighting flavonoids and a type of fiber that may help lower cholesterol, carrots once grew naturally in a range of colors (red, yellow, and purple); nowadays, they are bred that way for visual appeal and for the health benefits afforded by assorted pigmentation.

Thankfully, carrots are easy to incorporate into your daily diet. Raw carrots make a great snack to crunch on, or try the great Kripalu carrot recipes below.

Find out more about carrots and their health benefits.

Carrot-Cashew Spread

Preparation and cooking time 35 minutes.
Cooling time variable.
Makes about 2 cups.

4 cups chopped carrots (approximately 7 medium carrots)
5 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup unsalted cashews

In a large saucepan, combine the carrots and water and bring to a boil. Add the salt. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until very soft. Drain and reserve the cooking water. Let the carrots cool.

In a blender or food processor, blend together the cooled carrots and cashews. (Check the consistency and add up to a ½ cup of the cooking water, if a lighter consistency is desired.) Serve with crackers, pita bread, or crudités.

Carrot, Celery, and Apple Juice

Preparation time 5–10 minutes.
Makes 2 cups juice.

5 medium carrots
3 stalks celery
3 small apples, cored

Wash all vegetables and fruits well. (Do not need to peel organic carrots.) Chop and blend all ingredients.

Tips for Juice Making

  • Use fresh, organically grown produce to maximize nutrients and minimize pesticides.
  • Use a high-quality vegetable and fruit juicer.
  • You can increase recipe to any desired amount.

Source: The Kripalu Cookbook: Gourmet Vegetarian Recipes, by Atma Jo Ann Levitt (Berkshire House Publishers). Available through the Kripalu Shop.

Find out more about carrots and their health benefits:

Find more delicious and nutritious recipes in Kripalu Recipes.