Our favorite rascally rabbit was right to munch on his favorite snack: Carrots are packed with healthy nutrients that are important for eye health. They're rich in vitamin A, which the retina needs to function. They also contain vitamin C — which is associated with a lower risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration — and lutein, a carotenoid that may help protect the retina and lens from sunlight, smoke and air pollution. If you're ready to go beyond baby carrots as a snack, here are some delicious ways to use them in recipes.
Use a vegetable peeler to create long, thin slices. Mix soy sauce, garlic powder, smoked paprika, olive oil and a little maple syrup; brush on. Air fry at 350ºF for 10 minutes.
Roast chopped carrots with cumin, then blend in a food processor with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.
Spiralize carrots. Boil briefly or sauté until tender, then toss with butter, Parmesan, lemon zest and pepper.
4. Energy bites
In a food processor, combine dates, carrots, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and a pinch of salt until well blended. Roll into balls; no cooking needed.
Add ½ to 1 cup shredded carrots to your favorite waffle recipe (or mix).
6. Salad dressing
Blend carrots with ginger, rice vinegar, olive oil, garlic and toasted sesame oil for a zesty salad topper.
7. Mashed Potatoes
Replace some of the spuds in your favorite mashed potato recipe with carrots for sweetness and a vitamin boost.
Toss chopped carrots with oil and chile powder; roast until caramelized. Pile into tacos with avocado, radishes, cilantro and sour cream.
Beth Lipton is a contributing writer who covers food, recipes and nutrition for AARP. She is the former food director at Healthmagazine, and her recipes and writing have appeared on FoodNetwork.com and in Clean Eating; Well+Good; Eat This, Not That!; Epicurious and other publications. She's the author of three cookbooks.