Kripalu Recipe: Vegan Carrot-Cashew Spread

Most of us have heard that eating carrots will improve our night vision, but 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. 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 grow naturally in a range of colors (red, yellow, and purple) and they are revered for the health benefits afforded by assorted pigmentation.

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.