Raw carrots: just how good are they for you?
Today's post is on a very versatile root vegetable. Carrots. Everyone knows what they are, but do you eat enough of them? We like to go for variety and exotic new taste but sometimes forget to eat locally. Up here in the North, carrots are readily available all winter long. So let's take advantage of this.
Raw carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. Studies have shown that high doses of beta-carotene contribute to lowering cardiovascular disease risks by up to 45%. And carrots are one of the best sources of beta-carotene! The same study states that supplements [of beta-carotene] are of no use.
Carrots also contain fiber and potassium (among other things). They help prevent night blindness. And, carrots will help lower cholesterol in the blood and help prevent cancer.
So, to benefit from these nutritious roots, have your raw carrots as veggie sticks, juiced, grated, puréed, mixed in smoothies, made into raw crackers, raw cakes or blended into lovely raw soups!
Szechuan Carrot Soup
(recipe inspired by: Carmella) Serves 4
- 1 1/2 cup coconut milk*
- 1/4 cup cashews, soaked
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/4 cup young coconut meat
- 1/4 cup carrot pulp
- 2 small garlic cloves
- fresh ginger root, grated to taste
- 2 tablespoon raw almond butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Nama Shoyu
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons nut oil (or olive, or sesame oil for authenticity)
- 2 teaspoons raw honey
- hot red pepper flakes
- pinch sea salt
- pinch pepper
- pinch lemon rind --
- 4 cups carrots juice
* To make coconut milk, blend 1 part dried coconut with 3 parts water in high speed blender.
Blend all ingredients except carrot juice in a blender and process until smooth (I just throw the carrot whole in there!). Add juice by hand. Serve as is or slightly warmed on stove (or in the dehydrator for an hour). Garnish with a julienne of carrots as well as some black and tan sesame seeds.
For this picture, I reserved some of the carrots for the garnish. The carrots I used to garnish the soup were a special kind of carrots. They are almost beet-like in color on the exterior and orange on the inside. Nice color contrast!!!