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5 Carrots Recipes for Your Sweet & Savory Cravings

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5 Carrots Recipes for Your Sweet & Savory Cravings

If we can say one thing about carrots is that they're versatile. The root can follow many cooking paths, from being pureed and cooked into a soup to getting shredded and folded into a cake batter. Occasionally, it's caramelized and mixed into a salad bowl with other roots or herbs for a refreshing salad meal. No matter the form they take, carrots are prized for their unique flavor that stands out in both sweet and savory dishes. So, to highlight this unique quality of the root vegetable just in time for International Carrot Day(1) (April 4th), we share five carrots recipes that will make you think beyond the cake (although we included a recipe for carrot cake because it's that iconic).

 1. Carrot Salad with Dates & Herbs

Salads are usually served as a side dish. But this zesty recipe steps into "main dish" territory by combining carrots with herbs, cheese, and dates for a filling midday meal. Drizzle with any olive oil based dressing of your liking for a flavor kick.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups dried carrots
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander
  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup goat's cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Instructions:

  1. Add the carrots and 3 cups of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, squeeze away excess liquid and transfer the carrots to a salad bowl.
  2. (Optional vinaigrette) In a separate small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and cumin. Set aside.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle with the suggested vinaigrette or one of your choices. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes and serve.

 2. Creamy Carrot Soup

Another meal that's often reserved for the entree menu, soup has a reputation for not being filling enough as a stand-alone dish. However, this carrot recipe tampers with this status quo by using the root vegetable and various spices to make the dish hearty enough to satisfy both your hunger and soul.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Add the carrots and 5 cups of warm water to a bowl. Soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, squeeze away excess liquid and set aside.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a pot and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sautée for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the carrots and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, bring it to a boil, and cook for 15 minutes until the carrots are fork-tender.
  4. Transfer the soup to a food processor, blitz until smooth, and pour it back into the pot.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the heavy cream, and season with salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, and lemon juice. Serve immediately, preferably with a slice of toasted bread on the side.

 3. Carrot Halloumi Balls Wrap

Inspired by falafel, this carrot recipe follows the same cooking technique - but instead of chickpeas and herbs, it calls for carrots and halloumi cheese. To round out this meal, wrap the balls in a tortilla or pita and top them with your favorite dip (hummus, ranch dressing, or even tzatziki).

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup dried carrots
  • 1 cup halloumi cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt, to taste
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions:

  1. Add the carrots and 2 cups of warm water to a bowl. Soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, squeeze away excess liquid and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the oil) and stir to combine.
  3. Fill a pot 1/3 of the way with the vegetables and heat over medium-high heat.
  4. Meanwhile, form balls of the carrot batter (about 1 tablespoon each).
  5. Once the oil is hot, fry the balls in batches, cooking them for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  6. Transfer to a paper towel-lined bowl to drain excess oil. Wrap in a tortilla or pita, slather your favorite dip on the top, wrap, and enjoy.

 4. Carrot Cake

Although cliché, carrot cake is an easy (and sweet) way to squeeze some of that orange root into your meals. To make things even sweeter, the following recipe tops the dessert with a layer of cream cheese frosting that you can make in no time. Of course, it's optional, but much appreciated.

Ingredients:

For the carrot cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 fruit puree of your liking (banana, apples, pumpkin, etc.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups dried carrots
For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Add the carrots and 4 cups of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, squeeze away excess liquid and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Whisk in the eggs, butter, sugar, fruit puree, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Set aside.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt to a separate bowl and mix until combined.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350oF and spray two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
  5. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently with a spatula. Make sure not to overmix the batter.
  6. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 35 minutes. Check if it’s done by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cakes. If it comes out clean, the cakes are ready. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Add the cream cheese to a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the butter and for another minute until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat a little more until your frosting is silky smooth.
  8. To assemble the cake, level the tops of each cake and top the first one with 1/2 cup of frosting. Place the second cake on top and frost the sides with a spatula.

 5. Carrot Pie

A distant cousin of pecan pie, this carrot recipe is perfect for the cooler months when you're craving something wholesome yet indulgent. Thanks to its vibrant colors, the dish looks so festive that you can readily serve it as a dessert on Thanksgiving.

Ingredients:

  • 1 9-inch pie crust (store-bought)
  • 3 cups dried carrots
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Add the carrots to a small pot and fill it with warm water until they're covered. Soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, drain the water and squeeze gently to remove excess water.
  2. Transfer the carrots back to the pot and, this time, cover them with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
  3. Transfer to a food processor and add all the remaining ingredients (except for the pie crust). Blend until smooth.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375oF and place the pie crust into a baking pan. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven, let cool, slice into pieces, and serve. Top each slice with a whipping cream dollop for extra indulgence.

Do you have any sweet or savory carrots recipes your family can't get enough of? Please share them in the comment section down below!

References:

  1. https://www.carrotday.com/carrotday.htm
  2. https://natalieparamore.com/shredded-carrot-salad-with-dates-and-pistachios/
  3. https://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/carrot-and-coriander-soup/
  4. https://www.yummytemple.com/vegetarian-halloumi-cheese-balls-with-carrots/
  5. https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/the-best-carrot-cake-recipe/#recipe
  6. https://itsavegworldafterall.com/carrot-pie/#recipe

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  • Branden Evans
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