Two Ways to Enjoy the Healing Qualities of Carrots
I once knew a set of twin brothers that turned orange after eating a primarily carrot based diet. Not bright pumpkin-colored orange, but the skin on their faces had an orange tint that was evident to the passer-by. At the time, I was only 8 years old, and the event made me believe all the other old-wives-tales mothers told their kids; if too many carrots turn your skin orange, too many funny faces must also get stuck if held too long.
Every time I buy a bunch of carrots or pull them from my garden, I think of the twins, revolting from their mother’s cooking by eating only carrots at every meal: they must have been the healthiest kids I knew.
Carrots do have the ability to tint your skin when eaten in excessive quantities, but the nutrients responsible for this are also responsible for some major health benefits. The adorably crunchy, naturally sweet and nutrient packed carrot contributes to digestive health, liver function, decreased inflammation, healthy skin, and is a powerful antioxidant that protects against cancer. Read more on the benefits of carrots in Monday’s article.
This is a perfect time of year to put the health benefits of carrots to work. As our bodies slow down to the pace of winter, spend more time indoors, and tend towards stagnancy, carrots help keep everything healthy and in motion. The best part is, they are a great food to enjoy any time of day: for breakfast in a re-vitalizing juice, or for dinner in a warming soup.
- 8 large carrots, diced
- 1 small sugar pie pumpkin
- 2 ripe pears, peeled and cored
- 1 large leek, diced
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 cups vegetable broth.
- 1 can coconut milk
- Salt to taste
- Slice the stem and butt end of the pumpkin off. Slice the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds (save aside for roasting). Cut the pumpkin into quarters. In a large pot, with one inch of water in the bottom, steam the pumpkin until just softened. Remove from heat and let cool until you can handle the pumpkin. Meanwhile, sauté the leeks in 2tbsp butter over medium heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add carrots and sauté for 5 more minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes or until the carrots are fully softened. Working in batches, scoop the pumpkin out of its skin and put in a Cuisinart or blender with the pears, ginger and part of the carrots and broth mixture. Puree until smooth. Process the rest of your pumpkin with the broth mixture in this manner. Put all the puree back in a saucepan on low heat and add cinnamon and coconut milk. Season to taste with salt and bring to a low simmer until ready to serve!
- 2 large carrots, plus about an inch of their tops
- 1 apple
- 1 small piece of fresh ginger (depending on how gingery you like things)
- 1 lemon
- Juice the carrots, apple and ginger. Add the juice from the lemon and stir to incorporate. Enjoy!
- *If you don’t have a juicer, slice the carrots, apples and ginger into pieces and put in a blender on high with a few tablespoons of water until smooth. Strain out the remaining solids if desired.