Carrots may not be the first thing that spring to mind when you toy with the idea of making a smoothie, but a carrot smoothie is something you should definitely try. Carrots have a mildly sweet flavour that goes well with other smoothie favorites such as coconut and banana and surprisingly well with berries. If you want a sweet tasting smoothie without all the fruit, then these are for you.
Buying and Storing
Carrots can be sold with or without their green tops, loose or in bags. When sold in bunches with their green tops still intact, they are usually more expensive and if left on display for too long will lose their sweetness and crispness. Whereas carrots that have been refrigerated and stored in moisture-retaining packaging remain fresher for longer. When buying look for carrots that are well-shaped with a smooth skin and avoid anything that is cracked, shrivelled, soft or wilted. The color should be a healthy reddish-orange. Remember, the darker the color the more beta carotene. The top of the carrot can have a slight tinge of green, but not too much. You may think that young carrots are the sweetest, but actually it’s the mature varieties that are often the sweetest. The best indicator of sweetness is the size of the core, that’s the fibrous bit that runs the length of the vegetable. The natural sugars are located in the outer layers, so you want ones with a nice pencil thin core.After you’ve bought your carrots, twist or cut off the green stalks to about an inch above the root stem. The green feathery tops will wilt and decay if left on and they also draw moisture from the roots, resulting in a limp vegetable. Carrots should be stored in a cool, dry place or in the salad compartment of the fridge.
How to Use in Smoothies
It is not necessary to cook the carrots first. I much prefer to use them raw, not only because you lose nutrients through cooking, but also because I think they are sweeter raw. If you have a powerful blender chop them into small dice then let the blender do the rest. Otherwise just grate the carrots.
Carrots are extremely nutritious containing large amounts of carotene and vitamin A, as well as vitamins B, C and E, iron, calcium, potassium and zinc. Their antioxidant properties come from carotenoids (including beta-carotene), which have been shown to cut cancer risk, protect against arterial and cardiac disease and lower blood cholesterol.
Carrot Cake Smoothie
Ingredients1 frozen banana, sliced1 cup diced carrots1 tablespoon shredded coconut1 tablespoon cashew butter½ cup vanilla yogurt1 cup almond milk¼ teaspoon ground cinnamonPinch ground gingerPinch ground nutmeg2 pitted Medjool datesHow to MakePeel and chop your carrots into small dice. Add to your blender along with the frozen banana, shredded coconut, cashew butter, vanilla yogurt, almond milk, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg and chopped Medjool dates. Blitz on high until everything is pureed and your smoothie is thick and velvety.Pour into two glasses and top either with chopped nuts or toasted coconut.
Coconut Carrot Smoothie
1 cup vanilla almond milk1 large frozen orange, peeled and sliced½ frozen banana½ cup carrots, chopped1 teaspoon coconut oil1 tablespoon chia seeds1 teaspoon turmeric powderPinch ground cinnamonPinch cayenne½ teaspoon maple syrup
Carrot Apple Cinnamon Smoothie
2 medium carrots, sliced1 apple, sliced½ cup yogurt1 teaspoon of cinnamon1 cup almond milkAlmond slivers, for topping
Fruity Carrot Smoothie
½ cup baby carrots½ cup frozen blackberries½ cup frozen raspberries1 cup pomegranate juiceAlmond milk
Orange Carrot Smoothie
1 cup orange juice1 cup sliced carrots1 frozen banana, chopped½ cup frozen mango