Food Series: Root Veg – Carrots

To start off our seasonal food series, we’ve decided on a classic and very common food group – Root Vegetables

These include beetroot, carrots, turnips, parsnips and potatoes as well as other high in nutrient veg, they’re great during the autumn and winter months because they’re filling, easy to prepare and they’re in season.

This week, we’re focusing on carrots – they’re high in vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre and they’re in season from July to March. Better still, they can be prepared myriad ways, check out some of our favourite recipes below.

Garlic and Parmesan Roasted Carrots

Ingredients: 1 kg carrots, washed and halved
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 large cloves of garlic, minced (1 tablespoon minced garlic)
25 grams of grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of Panko bread crumbs (or normal breadcrumbs)
Salt and pepper, to season
Fresh chopped parsley, optional

Directions: Preheat oven to 200°C. Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil spray.
Spread carrots out on the sheet. Pour over the olive oil, the garlic, Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients together making sure to completely coat all the carrots. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes (until tender). Make sure to mix them around half way through baking. Remove from oven and serve immediately. To finish, top with fresh parsley.

Moroccan Spiced Carrot Dip

Ingredients: 400 g carrots, peeled & thickly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil, & extra for drizzling
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
2-3 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp clear honey
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry pan until golden (optional)
Salt & pepper

Directions: Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Toss the carrots with the olive oil in a baking dish. Roast for 30-40 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and crush with a fork or blend in a food processor for a finer texture. Stir in the spices, lemon juice honey and garlic, then season to taste. Finally sprinkle over the pine nuts and drizzle with olive oil and serve with hot pitta bread, crackers or even bread sticks.

Classic Carrot Cake

Ingredients for the cake: 450 ml vegetable oil
400 g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
550 g sugar
5 free-range eggs
½ tsp salt
2½ tsp ground cinnamon
525 g carrots, grated
150 g shelled walnuts, chopped

Ingredients for the icing: 200 g cream cheese
150 g caster sugar
100 g butter, softened

Directions: For the carrot cake, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a 26 cm spring form cake tin. Mix together all the ingredients for the cake, except the walnuts and carrots, in a bowl until they’re combined well, then stir in the walnuts and carrots. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes (until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean). Take the cake out of the oven and allow to cool (approx. 15 minutes), then remove the cake from the tin and set aside on a cooling rack to cool further. Finally, for the icing, beat together the butter, cream cheese and caster sugar until fluffy then spread over the top of the cake with a knife.

But if that’s a little too sweet for you, try this:

Healthy Carrot Cake

Ingredients for  the cake: 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup coconut oil melted
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
2 cups carrots about 3 medium, grated
1/2 cup raisins

Ingredients for the frosting: 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions: Preheat an oven to 180°C/Gas 4 and line a 33 x 23 cake tin with coconut oil.
In a bowl, combine together the dry ingredients (baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves and flour), and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs with the coconut oil, pure maple syrup, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and almond milk. Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just mixed, and fold in the raisins and carrots. Bake for 20-25 minutes (until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean). Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting. For the icing, mix together the Greek yogurt, pure maple syrup, and vanilla extract and spread on top of the cooled cake using a knife. Let the icing set (approx. 1 hour) before serving.

We hope you liked this weeks food diary and enjoy cooking with carrots! Hopefully you have found some new recipes to add to your repertoire! Check out our website next week for more new recipes ideas.

The My Fertility Check Team

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