3 quick-simple-crunchy carrot appetizer Ideas to indulge
Today I was inspired to share a quick blog about a segment I did on Sacramento’s Fox 40 Morning News (VIDEO) this morning in which I shared some recipes for the #CrunchOut campaign. It went super fast and not even half the material I was prepared to share went on air; hey it’s better to be over-prepared than not right?
So I thought, geez this is good stuff! More people need to know about this, so here I am.
We are only three days before Super Bowl Sunday – GO NINERS!! The big game doesn’t have to take you off the wagon from the healthy goals you set out to achieve in early January. Guess what? You can enjoy the game, have fun without feeling like crap for indulging in nachos, wings, Doritos, you know, the common “snacks” during football games!
I want to bring light and awareness back to a simple, convenient, versatile and often overlooked vegetable that lives in the bottom of our refrigerator drawers:
At the same time, I want to remind you all that Healthy Snacking doesn’t have to be boring, tasteless and complicated or only include foods like Kale (although Kale can be yummy 😊). Let’s turn it back to the common vegetables that we all know. I loved the question from the Fox40 Morning News host Pedro Rivera: “what do you tell your clients to stay away from?” My answer was, I’m not the “food police” instead, I encourage my clients to focus on what they can have or mix with their not so healthy options, rather than judge food. You can enjoy a bite of something and move on.
For instance, if you know everyone is gonna have things like wings, pizza, pretzels, nachos, Doritos, Cheetos, if you are lucky, maybe a veggie tray. But, why not integrate a healthy alternative?
That way, when you are feeling stressed with the game, and overwhelmed, instead of reaching for a handful of chips you can grab some CARROT chips, or fresh carrots and guacamole, baby carrots and hummus. I find that the crunch is calming and takes you away from the chaos.
Despite carrots been demonized as “unhealthy” or having “too much” sugar by someone a long time ago and they are definitely a better option than Doritos, potato chips and corn chips. To enlighten you let me share just a few benefits and nutrition facts.
5 Benefits of the Crunchy Root Vegetable
You probably identify carrots with eye health but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
- Help Prevent Cancer– carrots contain numerous phytochemicals including beta carotene and alpha-carotene which are important for immune function, they maintain healthy cells and aid activating proteins that inhibit cancer cells.
- Strengthen your bones – they are packed with Vitamin A which influences bone metabolism.
- Promote Skin Health – thanks to the carotenoids: alpha and beta carotene which gives this vegetable its color. Those two aid our complexion and give us a healthy glow.
- Heart Health 💕 – the amazing properties of carrots play a big part in regulating blood pressure as well as lowering cholesterol which are critical for a healthy heart and overall cardiovascular system. Some research shows that they can help PREVENT strokes. Chew on that for a minute!
- Help treat PCOS – this is a must vegetable I recommend to my PCOS patients, because it’s filling, helps with glucose metabolism and helps to decrease inflammation.
Check out all the wonderful nutrition facts HERE
My 2 Favorite Recipes
Prosciutto & carrot bundles
2 carrots, shredded, about 1/2 cup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
4 slices prosciutto
4 whole fresh basil leaves
- In a medium bowl, toss together the carrots, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Layout the 4 slices of prosciutto. Top each with 1/4 of the carrot mixture. Place a basil leaf on top of each and roll the prosciutto up and around the basil and carrots. Secure the bundles with toothpicks and serve.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Moroccan carrot dip over cucumber slices
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
Salt & Pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground ginger
⅓ cup water
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
sliced English cucumber
Directions: black sesame seeds for decoration (optional)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet. Add the carrots and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until they begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the carrots are fully tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add the cooked carrots to a food processor and process until smooth. Stir the remaining tablespoon of oil and vinegar. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until the dip is chilled, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
- Pipe mounds of the dip over cucumber slices, arrange on a serving platter, sprinkle black sesame seeds on top.
Chewing a carrot is good for your eyes and music to your ears, #crunchout
🥕🥕 What’s your favorite carrot recipe? Snap a picture and TAG me @DietitianSandy on your favorite social media channel and hashtag #Crunchout. And, yeah don’t keep the goodness to yourself, share this with your friends and family so they can #CrunchOut too!