Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Wonderful, Edible Carrot

Since giving up animal products, vegetables have become the center of my meals, not just something to put on the side. So the way that I taste them  has changed as well. Now I taste them for how they truly taste...and I realize what I have been missing.

If you were to have asked me years ago about my favorite foods, I would  have probably mentioned something like potatoes, pasta, fried rice and of course chocolate. Carrots would have never been something that would have come to mind.  Even though I have always liked carrots, they were never something to be listed in a favorite category—only a vegetable that I liked eating from time to time. But over the last few years, my taste buds have definitely evolved and they are happy to taste the carrot! 

Before, the only way I would eat carrots is if they had been boiled or out of the can with lots of butter and salt—not anymore! Now I enjoy them steamed, sauteed, roasted and countless other ways.  But most surprising of all, I now love to eat them raw, especially little baby carrots. They make a great snack and go wonderfully with a sandwich (much better for you than chips or fries).  I recently started to carry a sandwich bag of baby carrots in my purse, just in case I needed a snack while out on the go.

My favorite way to start each day is with a glass of fresh juiced carrot and apple juice. It gives me just the kick I need to start my day.  Not only is it good for you, it tastes great and gives me such energy.  I am also experimenting with other new ways to incorporate them in my meals.  The other day I attempted to make a roasted carrot and yellow squash soup.  It wasn't bad for my first try. 

     Morning Breakfast with Fresh                                       Roasted Carrot & Yellow
         Carrot & Apple Juice                                                            Squash Soup

Now I'm not a doctor, but I truly believe that my increase in carrots has improved my vision.  I had always heard that carrots were good for your eyes; so I wondered what happened to me then...I ate carrots.  I suppose I just was not eating enough, or the right way.  For years, my vision has gotten worse with each exam; but this year my exam actually showed improvement! I have had poor vision most of my life—bound to a life of glasses and contacts.  But recently, I can feel the improvement.  I spend more time now without wearing either, and without walking into walls!

As my new way of eating evolves, so does my appreciation and taste for foods.  It's like eating foods again for the first time, like a baby with a clean palate, tasting foods the way they were meant to taste.  If only everyone could see how wonderful carrots and other vegetable acctudally taste when you take away all of the foods that get in the way.  They would definitley eat more and be more healthy.

Now if I could only get my children to find the same joy.   They still continue to pick them out of their meals.  Maybe it's the color...sometimes I feel that children only want to eat things that are lacking of any color (as if it is a sign of some kind of poison).   Although my teenage daughter does like the carrot and apple juice. I guess it's a start and I will just keep on serving them.

 A few of my favorite ways to enjoy the carrot:    
  • oven roasted
  • in vegetable pasta marinara
  • grated on a salad (instead of cheese)
  • as a snack with hummus
  • sliced and baked as carrot fries
  • diced in lentils
  • in veggie soup
  • tofu stir fry
    Homemade Vegetable Soup
Brown Rice with Lentils and Carrots
The next thing I would love to learn how to make is Carrot Cake...so if anyone knows any good vegan Carrot Cake recipes, please send them my way! :)

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