International Carrot Day recipes: Sugar-free carrot cake to flavourful salad - Hindustan Times
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International Carrot Day recipes: Sugar-free carrot cake to flavourful salad

By, New Delhi
Apr 02, 2024 08:21 PM IST

Carrots can be turned into excellent snacks for heart health as they are full of heart-healthy antioxidants like carotenoids and anthocyanins.

Fresh and juicy carrots are not just ideal for rustling up sweet and savoury delicacies but are also full of antioxidants, fibre and vitamins. When it comes to heart health, sugar-laden and high-fat snacks must be avoided as too much of it can lead to cardiovascular issues, especially in those with pre-existing conditions. Carrots can be turned into excellent snacks for heart health as they are full of heart-healthy antioxidants like carotenoids and anthocyanins. (Also read | International Carrot Day 2024: Date, history, significance and all that you need to know)

A low-calorie veggie full of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients, carrots support immunity, heart health, kidney, liver health, and can be an excellent addition to your diet(Freepik)
A low-calorie veggie full of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients, carrots support immunity, heart health, kidney, liver health, and can be an excellent addition to your diet(Freepik)

A low-calorie veggie full of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients, carrots support immunity, heart health, kidney, liver health, and can be an excellent addition to your diet. Besides, the high amount of fibre can help lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood pressure, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. The potassium content in carrots plays a key role in regulating blood pressure and supporting heart health.

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On International Carrot Day, here are heart-friendly carrot recipes suggested by Manpreet Kaur Paul, Executive Nutritionist Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Faridabad, that you must try.

1. Carrot Ginger Soup

Ingredients

1 lb (about 450g) carrots, peeled and chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

4 cups (946ml) vegetable broth

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional toppings: fresh herbs (such as parsley or cilantro), Greek yogurt, toasted pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add minced garlic and grated ginger to the pot, and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add chopped carrots to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour vegetable broth into the pot, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until carrots are tender.
  • Remove the pot from heat and let the soup cool slightly. Then, using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the soup until smooth.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If the soup is too thick, you can add more vegetable broth or water to reach your desired consistency.
  • Serve the carrot ginger soup hot, garnished with your choice of toppings such as fresh herbs, a dollop of Greek yogurt, or toasted pumpkin seeds.

Making time: Approximately 40 minutes Serves: 4

2. Roasted Carrot Salad with Honey-Lemon Dressing

Ingredients

1 lb (about 450g) carrots, peeled and sliced into thin strips

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups (about 120g) mixed salad greens

¼ cup (about 30g) chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese (optional)

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Place the sliced carrots on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
  • Roast the carrots in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender and slightly caramelized, stirring halfway through cooking.
  • While the carrots are roasting, prepare the dressing by whisking together olive oil, honey, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Once the carrots are done roasting, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, combine the roasted carrots, mixed salad greens, chopped walnuts, and crumbled feta cheese (if using).
  • Drizzle the honey-lemon dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat everything evenly.
  • Serve the roasted carrot salad immediately as a side dish or light main course.

Making time: Approximately 30 minutes Serves: 4

3. Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (180g) whole wheat flour

1 cup (90g) rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup (120ml) unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup (60ml) melted coconut oil or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup (about 150g) grated carrots

1/2 cup (60g) raisins or chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  • In another bowl, beat the eggs, then add the applesauce, maple syrup or honey, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the grated carrots and raisins or nuts, if using.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Making time: Approximately 30 minutes Yields: 12 muffins

4. Carrot and Chickpea Salad

Ingredients

2 cups (about 250g) grated carrots

1 can (15 oz or 425g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup (60ml) chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the grated carrots, chickpeas, and chopped parsley.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, ground cumin, salt, and pepper to make the dressing.
  • Pour the dressing over the carrot and chickpea mixture and toss gently to coat everything evenly.
  • Serve the carrot and chickpea salad chilled or at room temperature as a side dish or light lunch.

Making time: Approximately 15 minutes Serves: 4

5. Carrot Chickpea Buddha Bowl

Ingredients

2 cups cooked Quinoa

1 cup cooked chickpea

2 cups shredded carrots

1 avocado, sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)

1 garlic clove, minced

2 cups baby spinach

¼ cup sliced almonds and walnuts

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Combine together the cooked quinoa, shredded carrots, avocado slices, cherry tomatoes and baby spinach in a big bowl
  • In a small bowl, mix lemon juice, maple syrup, minced garlic, salt and pepper to make the dressing.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the Buddha bowl
  • Sprinkle sliced almonds and walnuts on the top
  • Serve immediately and enjoy this heart-healthy meal

Making time: Approximately 20 minutes Serves: 2

6. Carrot and Lentil Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb (about 450g) carrots, peeled and chopped

1 cup (about 200g) dried red lentils, rinsed

6 cups (1.4 litres) vegetable broth

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add minced garlic to the pot and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add chopped carrots, red lentils, vegetable broth, ground cumin, and ground turmeric to the pot. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until carrots and lentils are tender.
  • Remove the pot from heat and let the soup cool slightly. Then, using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the soup until smooth.
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve the carrot and lentil soup hot, garnished with fresh chopped cilantro if desired.

Making time: Approximately 40 minutes Serves: 4-6

7. Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

Ingredients

1 cup (90g) rolled oats

1 cup (240ml) unsweetened almond milk (or any milk of your choice)

1/4 cup (60g) Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (about 75g) grated carrots

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons raisins (optional)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • In a jar or container, combine rolled oats, almond milk, Greek yogurt, maple syrup or honey, ground cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
  • Stir in grated carrots, chopped walnuts, and raisins (if using).
  • Cover the jar or container with a lid and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours, to allow the oats to soften and flavours to meld.
  • Before serving, give the carrot cake overnight oats a good stir. If desired, you can add additional toppings such as more chopped walnuts, a drizzle of honey, or a dollop of Greek yogurt.
  • Enjoy the carrot cake overnight oats cold straight from the fridge, or warm them up in the microwave for a cozy breakfast treat.

Making time: Approximately 10 minutes (plus chilling time) Serves: 2

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