Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Leader Enterprise - April 22, 2015 - Carrots






I know we all are so thankful spring is on its way and we can enjoy lovely days of sunshine and warmer temps. Seeing that new life spring forth is encouraging for all of us. We were blessed to get to spend February and March in Florida. Bravo to those of you who stayed behind and braved the wicked weather in this area. It's behind us now!

I'm here to share some good information about why eating carrots is good for you. A source of vitamin A and known to benefit skin regeneration, cancer prevention and even have anti-aging properties; here are five reasons why you should eat more of this crunchy orange powerfood:
IMPROVED VISION
Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and senile cataracts. A study found that people who eat the most beta-carotene had 40 percent lower risk of macular degeneration than those who consumed little.
CANCER PREVENTION
Studies have shown carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer,breast cancer and colon cancer. 
ANTI-AGING
The high level of beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism.  It help slows down the aging of cells.
BODY CLEANSE
Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It reduces the bile and fat in the liver. The fibers present in carrots help clean out the colon and hasten waste movement.
HEALTHY TEETH AND GUMS
Carrots clean your teeth and mouth.They scrape off plaque and food particles just like toothbrushes or toothpaste.  Carrots stimulate gums and trigger a lot of saliva, which being alkaline,balances out the acid-forming,cavity-forming bacteria. The minerals in carrots prevent tooth damage.

Just be careful to not eat so many carrots you turn orange!

CARROT RAISIN SALAD 
4 c. shredded carrots (about 4 or 5 lg.)
1 c. raisins (or craisins), plumped
(cover with boiling water and let stand a few minutes, then drain)
1/4 c. crushed, drained pineapple, optional
1/4 c. mayonnaise
2 Tb. sugar
2-3 Tb. milk
Place carrots, raisins and pineapple in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar and enough milk to achieve the consistency of a creamy salad dressing. Pour over carrot mixture and toss to coat. Yield: 8 servings


HEALTHY CARROT BANANA MUFFINS

1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 c. sugar
(I used 1/2 c. sugar, and 1/2 c. xylitol)
1/2 c. egg substitute
(Or 2 large egg whites plus 1 Tb. flaxseed meal mixed with 3 Tb. water)
2 c. white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 lg. ripe bananas, mashed
1 c. grated carrots
Preheat oven to 350. Spray 12-cup muffin pan with non stick  cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, combine applesauce and sugar; add egg whites and flax seed meal mixture and mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with bananas. Stir in carrots. Put mixture into muffin pan.Bake for about 22 minutes. Yield: 12 muffins

ROASTED MAPLE DIJON CARROTS 

8 or 9 medium carrots, peeled and chunked
(I like to 'whittle' mine)
(Or you may use a lb. of baby carrots) 
1-2 Tb. olive oil 
3 Tb. pure maple syrup (or sugar free if desired)
1-1/2 tsp. dijon mustard 

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine prepared carrots with olive oil. Stir well to coat evenly. Place in 8" X 8" baking dish.(I like lining it with nonstick foil for an easier cleanup). Bake, uncovered for about 45 minutes, stirring about every 15 minutes, until crisp tender. In small bowl, combine maple syrup and mustard and mix until well blended. Pour over carrots and stir until evenly coated. Roast another 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until they reach the desired tenderness. Yield: 4 servings

HEALTHY TROPICAL FRUIT SMOOTHIES 

1 c. pineapple, chunked (crushed would work too) 
1 sm. orange, peeled into sections
2 frozen sliced bananas
1 c. orange juice
1 (8 oz) pineapple (or tropical) Greek yogurt 
1 Tb. coconut oil
2 tsp. flax seed meal, optional
(It helps you stay full longer)
1 medium carrot, grated

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth, about a minute. If you want a thinner consistency, add more orange juice, milk or water. Pour into 2 glasses; serve immediately. Yield: 2 servings

"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~ Abraham Lincoln