Carrots: Carrot, Apple, & Ginger Juice; Carrot Almond Salad; and Pickled Carrots & Radishes

The carrot: full of vitamins, delightfully crunchy and, when picked at its best, oh so sweet. It can also be incredibly boring. Those pre-peeled and perfectly shaped “baby” carrots we find in the grocery store, for example, make for a miserable snack. Volumes could be written about this ubiquitous veggie, but we’ll cut to the chase here with our take on a root that seems to have limitless culinary applications.

Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A, and several other vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber. However, our bodies have a tough time getting at those vitamins when we eat a raw carrot in its unprocessed form. The vitamins and minerals are locked up in tough, fibrous mass. We can get at more of those vitamins by breaking the carrots down through shredding, grinding or juicing. And cooking carrot makes the beta-carotene more readily available to our bodies.

We now find carrots of many colors on the stands of our local farmers markets – orange, red, white and purple. While generally a cool weather veggie, their year-round availability makes it easy to cook them at peak freshness throughout the year. And the greens? They’re edible! Sure, they’re a little bitter, but they offer a nice foil to the root’s sweetness when added to a dish or salad in small amounts. The greens make a great substitute for parsley in a pinch.

An essential member of the mirepoix trinity (with onion and celery), carrot is used as a sweet/savory flavoring agent in countless recipes for soups, sauces, stocks, sweets, pastries, and more. They’re delicious on their own, glazed in stock, butter and sugar. As a substitute for mashed potatoes, they can’t be beat. They make a comforting blended soup when accented with curry spices. And what self-respecting pot roast would be caught without an accompanying roasted carrot smothered in all those pan juices? And when the meal is complete, there’s always carrot cake for dessert.

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Carrot, Apple, and Ginger Juice

Makes 2-3 servings

2-3 medium to large organic carrots, scrubbed well and tops removed
2-4 medium to large organic apples
1/2  – 1 inch fresh ginger peeled (Hawaiian ginger, preferably)

To clean the carrots and apples: In a large bowl filled with fresh cool water add the carrots and apples with a couple tablespoons of white distilled vinegar. Allow to sit for a few minutes and then scrub the carrots and apples.

Cut the apples and carrots to fit the feed shoot of your high powered juicer. Juice all of the carrots first and set the carrot pulp aside. Add the ginger, and then add the apples. Drink Immediately.

Carrot Almond Salad

2-3 medium to large organic carrots, scrubbed well and tops removed
Alternately, use the carrot pulp from the carrot, apple and ginger juice from the recipe above
2-4 tablespoons rice vinegar
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons almond oil
1/4  cup raw almonds, chopped
salt and pepper

Grate the carrots using a food processor or a box grater, or use the carrot pulp from the juice recipe. Add the carrots to a large mixing bowl. If using the grated carrots, add 2 tablespoons of the rice vinegar, olive and almond oils to the carrots (use 4 tablespoons of the rice vinegar and olive oil if using the carrot pulp). Add the chopped raw almonds, and salt and pepper to taste. Add more rice vinegar and olive oil if needed.

Pickled Carrots and Radishes

Adapted from Kelly Geary’s Tart and Sweet

Original recipe can be found at Whole Living

1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/4 teaspoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
3 cloves garlic
1 hot pepper, such as habanero
1 small cinnamon stick
1 fresh bay leaf
1 tablespoon fenugreek seed
1 tablespoon brown mustard seed
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon caraway seed
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound thin organic carrots, tops removed and scrubbed well
1/2 pound whole radishes, scrubbed well


Bring the vinegar, 3/4 cup water, salt, and coconut sugar or brown sugar to a boil in a medium stainless steel saucepan. Stir, dissolving the salt and sugar.

Heat a 1-quart jar: Fill it with hot water and let it sit a couple minutes before pouring out. (The heat will prevent shattering when you pour in the boiling brine.) Add garlic, hot pepper, and spices.

Pack the jars tightly with carrots and radishes. Pour in hot brine. Cover and let cool overnight before eating. Store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

A Bagel And A Salad Walk Into A Bar …

Our Cup Runneth Over!

Fresh from the Sunday Farmer's Market!

It all started about sixteen years ago when we were living in SLC over the first summer of our relationship. We were having breakfast at our favorite bagel joint, Brachman Bagels, which had the best bagels you’ve ever tasted this side of the Mississippi. (Unfortunately, their competitors bought them out and the company is no longer in business.) It was the summer J started eating peanut butter again, and loving it. His favorite bagel was a sunflower seed bagel with peanut butter and honey. He could eat three in a sitting if he wanted to, they tasted that good. S was a bit more adventurous in his choices, and the one choice that remained the butt of all jokes for many years to come was so strange and unusual that even the guy behind the counter was perplexed by the concoction. S’s choice was a blueberry bagel with carrot hummus. The sight of the two items together – purple hued bagel and earthy golden hummus with bright orange flecks – reminded J of the day-glow shirts from the 1980’s when Wham! was the biggest thing in pop music. S thought the flavor combinations were perfect, but for J all he could do was chuckle and let S have his bagel, his way.

Fast forward to last Tuesday when J was perusing the New York Times website in search of the food section. The most popular article of the day, and rightly so, is Mark Bittman’s article on 101 salads. It’s the perfect article for summer. For many of us, salad is lettuce, maybe cucumbers and tomatoes with a favorite bottled dressing. Bittman goes beyond the standard, way beyond the ranch dressing and iceberg lettuce. His salads are wonderful and use many common and, some might think exotic, food items found in many crispers and pantries. So it was J’s surprise to see a picture of shredded carrots, tossed with sunflower seeds and a light vinaigrette, dotted with bright blueberries. If Bittman’s salad was the judge of our bagel debate, J now found himself on the losing side and S was the winner. Oh, sweet victory!

Most people wouldn’t have said a word to the other party in this sort of years-long debate. They would have played dumb and hoped that the other person would never come across the article, and most likely S would never have seen the article and J really didn’t need to show it to him. However, being of good Mormon stock, we both feel obligated to confess our sins to one another and to tell the truth even when unsolicited. So when S came home that afternoon one of the first things that J did was apologize and accept the fact that maybe he had gone too fair in his teasing of S for his unusual taste in food combos after all these years.

So this Sunday our plan is to go to the farmers’ market and pick up some carrots and blueberries and to try out this simple salad. The flavor combination that S has been craving all these years, yet has never tried again for fear of being ridiculed, will get a fresh interpretation. We ask all you out there who read our blog to try the recipe and let us know what you think. Are S and Bittman correct in their flavor combinations or is J the one who has the better sense when it comes to blending the sweet and savory?