Spiralized carrots with lemon & ginger dressing
I was so inspired last weekend at the food market to buy so many incredible winter vegetables that are coming into season now but my favourite to play with has been the organic rainbow carrots; they have brightened up my lunchbox everyday this week. I experimented with lots of different combinations including a curried roasted carrot number with chickpeas which was delicious, but the below recipe was by far the most simple to make and it tastes delicious. I’ll share the recipe for curried carrots with chickpeas soon as it’ll be a regular for me over the crispy months ahead.
Put carrots on the column labelled ‘things mother was right about after all’, as carrots really are tremendously good for you. They are packed full of carotenoids which are antioxidant compounds found in plants that have been associated with a wide range of benefits, so much so that they are used in anti-cancer therapies today. You’ve probably heard good things about beta-carotene, but that’s only one of about 500 members of the carotenoid family. Carrots are also high in alpha-carotene, another carotenoid that appears to have health benefits of its own, including inhibiting processes that may lead to tumor growths.
Cooking carrots slightly changes the nutritonal content and makes some of the nutrients more bioavailable but both raw and cooked carrots are healthy. To get the most out of the carotenoids found in carrots, it’s best to pair them up with some fat which you’ll find in the olive oil in this recipe as the carotenoids and vitamin A are fat solube nutrients so are better absorbed with a little fat. Below is a photo of the purple carrots spirazlied. They have a gorgeous natural two-tone colour scheme with a deep purple and vibrant orange which makes the dish look effortlessly inviting.
Carrots got a bad and totally undeserved rap by the low carb folks because of their high glycemic index but actually, the glycemic index isn’t very important and I’ll explain why. Glycemic index tests are done on a 50g portion of carbohydrate, whereas the load tests are done on real life portions which reflect what you would typically consume. For this reason, the glycemic load is a much better indicator of how your blood sugar levels will respond after eating that food. A carrot has only about 4g of carbohydrate, so it’s glycemic load (the only number that really matters) is ridiculously low, about 3 on a scale of 0-40+, so you’d have to eat a LOT of carrots to get a significant spike in your blood sugar levels.
Here is a spiralized yellow carrot. The black onion seeds really contrast nicely against the yellow, you could even put some chopped up parsley in there too for some more colour.
All the healthy best,
- 2 large carrots, spiralized (orange, purple or yellow carrots)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ teaspoon tamari or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon raw honey
- ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (or ½ teaspoon ground ginger)
- 1 teaspoon sweet white miso paste (optional)
- 2 tablespoons black onion seeds
- dash of salt and pepper
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, tamari, raw honey, apple cider vinegar, grated ginger, miso, black onion seeds, salt and pepper) and set to one side.
- Spiralize the carrots using a spiralizer or a julienne peeler and keep in a large bowl. You could even use the shredder blade of your food processor if you don't have a spiralizer or julienne peeler.
- Toss the spiralized carrots with the dressing and serve up immediately or store in the fridge for mid-week lunchbox supplies!