Carrot Cranberry Salad

Carrot Cranberry Salad

 

Carrots originated in Afghanistan with an array of colors, from reds, purples, red and even black. Orange is not an original color. It is said that the Dutch cross-bred the yellow and red carrot to produce a variety that was the emblematic color of the House of Orange. This carrot quickly became popular and was further developed to become the sweet, succulent orange carrot which is the most recognized color of carrot used throughout the world today (World Carrot Museum).

Most carrot cultivars are about 88% water, 7% sugar, 1% protein, 1% fiber, 1% ash, and 0.2% fat. Most of the nutrition in carrots are in the peel and about the first 1/4 to 1/2-inch upper part of the carrot.

The so called bagged “Baby Carrots” sold in the market have no nutritional value. The carrots are wedeled down to get the shape and uniformity that they have. Basically the baby carrots are the center part of the original product, were no nutrition is found.

 

5 Good Reasons to Eat Carrots

1. Vision: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in your liver to keep your eyes healthy.

2. Cancer: Carrots have phytonutrients in them and this helps to reduce the risk of lung, breast and colon cancers.

3. Heart: Carrots are full of potassium and soluble fiber, which means the vegetable is good for blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.

4. Aging: Carrots have beta-carotene that helps to prevent and repair cell damage, slowing the aging of cells.

5. Skin: Vitamin A and antioxidants found in carrots, protect the skin from sun damage and prevent premature wrinkling, acne and dry skin.

 

The featured recipe: Carrot Cranberry Salad and here is what you will need:

ingredients for Carrot Cranberry Salad

1/4 cup pecan, pieces

3 cups carrots, grayed

1/2 cup cranberries, dried

4 cups boiling water

Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

juice of 2 oranges

Zest of 1 orange

1 tsp. grated ginger, fresh

 

 

grated carrots

 

First take the carrots from the cutting board and grate them till you have 3 cups.

 

placing grated carrot and dried cranberries ini hot water

 

In a lager quart pot, boil 4 cups of water. Once the water is boiling turn it off and remove from burner. Now place the 3 cups of carrots and the 1/2 cup of dried cranberries into hot water for 30 seconds then drain off water.

Rinse with cold water and allow water to drain completely. The purpose of the boiling water is just to soften a bit the carrots and hydrate the cranberries so the juices and the flavor of the zests and ginger will enter the shredded carrot with more ease.

Place the carrot and cranberries into a large bowl. Now mix in the rest of the ingredients from the cutting board less the pecans.

 

mixing all ingredients together for Carrot Cranberry Salad

 

Mix all of the ingredients until well incorporated. Place some plastic wrap or aluminum foil over the bowl and put into the refrigerator and allow to chill, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove from the refrigerator and mix in the pecans. Mixing in the pecans last prevents them from getting soggy while the salad  is chilling.

-Carrot Cranberry Salad-

 

Plate and enjoy!!

 

What Others are Saying About Carrots and Salad:

 

 

 

 

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Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Mixed Greens and Shrimp Salad

Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Mixed Greens and Shrimp Salad

Beets are full of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, folate, vitamins A, B and C.

Beets are also a purifier for the body helping the liver expel toxins. The root vegetable contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression.

It also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being, similar to chocolate. The vegetable can also lower blood pressure.

The salad also has spinach and it has 40% of your daily need of magnesium and an excellent source of more than 20 different measurable nutrients, including dietary fiber, calcium and protein.

It helps fight ovarian and prostate cancers. It is good for brain function as well.

The other leafy green is arugula which provides some essential minerals like 32 mg of calcium — needed for strong bones — and 74 mg of potassium, necessary for maintaining stable blood pressure.

One cup of arugula also provides trace minerals, with .29 mg of iron — vital in making red blood cells — and .09 mg of zinc, essential for wound healing.

Other trace minerals present in arugula include copper, manganese and selenium.

Here is what you will need for Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Mixed Greens and Shrimp Salad

Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Mixed Greens and Shrimp Salad

3 beets, peeled, diced and roasted

1 to 2 sweet potatoes, peeled, diced, roasted

3/4 cup pecan pieces, pan roasted

1 lb. shrimp, cooked

6 oz. goat cheese

4 cups baby Spinach

2 to 3 cups Arugula

1/2 cup Mango-Chipotle Dressing

You can either buy a bottle of Kraft Mango-Chipotle Dressing or make your own. Here is a recipe of ours you can try.

Mango Chipotle Dressing

2 Mangoes, peeled, pitted (about 1 ½ to 2 cups)

4 garlic cloves, peeled

2 Chipotle Chili Peppers in adobo, wash peppers and de-seed *

½ cup Olive Oil

¼ cup Vinegar

3 – 4 tbsp. Lemon Juice

2 tbsp. Sugar

¼ tsp. Salt

Place mango flesh, garlic gloves and peppers into a food processor and puree. Next add oil, vinegar, lemon juice and process until well incorporated, about 1 minute. Add sugar and salt; process a few seconds.

Makes about 2 ½ cups

*if too spicy, use only 1 pepper

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Now for the salad. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

preparing to mix root vegetables to roast

Wash, peel and dice the 3 beets and 1 to 2 sweet potatoes. If the potatoes are small use two. If the potato is medium to large than one is sufficient. Place the diced root vegetables into a large mixing bowl and add 1/4 cup of extract virgin olive oil.

mixing in salt and pepper, spreading on to a parchment paper prepared baking pan

Next sprinkle with salt and pepper. About 1/8 teaspoon each and mix until the vegetables are well coated with the oil, salt and pepper. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and even spread the vegetables over the prepared jelly roll pan.

using spatula to get all the oil

Using a spatula to get all the oil as well. Once you have the coated vegetables spread out place into heated oven and roast for 20 to 25 minutes.

pan roasting pecans

While the vegetables are roasting, heat a large pan over medium heat.  Add the pecans and roast them until they smell fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes. Move them to a plate and set aside.

melting butter with ground black pepper to cook shrimp

Now heat a large pan over medium high heat and melt two tablespoons of butter. Once melted sprinkle generously some ground black pepper.

Add the shrimp and cook one on side about two minutes and turn and sprinkle with a little pepper. Cook 3 to 5 minutes. Remove shrimp to a plate and set aside.

Mixings for the Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Mixed Greens and Shrimp Salad

By this time the vegetables should be done roasting. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a large plate to cool.

Now that you have have your shrimp, pan roasted pecans and oven roasted vegetables to one side and cooling.

Prepare to plate the mixed leafy greens to four plates.

plating leafy greens with other ingredients to make Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Mixed Greens and Shrimp Salad

Once you have platted the leafy greens spoon on to each plate some roasted vegetables, shrimp, pecans, goat cheese and mango dressing. All in that order and serve.

 Resources:

Full Circle “6 Health Benefits of Eating Beets”

Livestrong “What are the Health Benefits of Spinach”

Livestrong “What are the Benefits of Arugula?