While carrots can be grown all year round, they reach their peak harvest during the fall, which means that if you buy carrots from your local farmers market this autumn, you’ll be enjoying the best flavor that this humble root veggie has to offer. We all know that raw carrots make a great snack (especially when paired with creamy hummus), but they can also be roasted, braised, steamed, or baked into sweets like muffins, carrot cakes, and more. If you haven’t tried carrot hot dogs yet, for example, you’ll be amazed by how carrots can mimic the flavor and texture of a traditional hot dog.
If you have the opportunity to pick up local carrots, make sure to choose plump, firm vegetables without soft spots (you should not be able to bend good carrots). If your carrots still have their greens attached, check that they are bright, green, and fresh-looking. Those greens can be frozen to make broth from vegetable scraps or used in a pesto. Just be sure to cut the greens off your carrots as soon as you get home, in order to keep your carrots as moisturized as possible. Carrots should be stored in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator, preferably in a container, where they will keep for several weeks.
Now that you know a little bit about how to pick the best carrots, we wanted to share some of the most innovative ways to use them. So, we searched through the Food Monster App and came back with these five amazing recipes:
Stretchy, gooey, dairy-free cheese … made with potatoes and carrots? While most melty, stretchy vegan cheese is made from cashews, this brilliant Stretchy “Cheese” makes the magic happen with just veggies — and it’s so easy to make! Simply steam the carrots and potatoes, then blend them together with nutritional yeast, spices, and oil. This simple cheese that goes great on sandwiches and pizza or that can be used as a dip!
Are you ready for Carrot Bacon?! This recipe is deliciously smoky and so easy to make. Thinly sliced carrot strips are marinated in a blend of oil, garlic powder, and smoked paprika, then baked until wavy and slightly crisp. Eat this as a snack, add it to a plant-based BLT sandwich, or serve it with your favorite tofu scramble.
Jackfruit isn’t the only plant-based way to mimic pulled pork — carrots can get the job done, too! Making these BBQ Pulled Carrot Rolls is super-easy and super hands-off, like these pulled carrot rolls. Shredded carrots are the perfect replacement for meat. Drenched in a tangy, sticky barbecue sauce, these pulled carrot rolls are a guaranteed hit.
Who knew that you could use carrots to mimic the texture of paté? This Carrot Cashew Paté is simple, healthy, and bursting with flavor — plus, it’s oil-free! Simply blend raw carrots into fine pieces, then combine with raw cashews, tahini, fresh ginger, lemon juice, and cilantro. Yum!
Enjoy lox in a whole new way with this Carrot Lox. With a little bit of salt, vegetable broth, and liquid smoke, carrots are transformed into a flavorful, smoky filet. So slather a bagel up with some vegan cream cheese and top it with this vibrant lox, capers, and red onion for an awesome breakfast!
These Spiced Carrot Fries are a great, healthy option if you’re craving some fries but don’t want all the oil involved in deep-frying. The carrots are sliced up, lightly tossed in olive oil and a bold blend of garlic, cumin, paprika, and cayenne, and popped in the oven until they’re crispy.These are a great appetizer to serve at a party or you can put them out along side the meal of your choosing.
In India, fritters and chai is a common evening snack during the rainy season. The aroma of chai and hot fritters out of the wok is mind blowing. These Skinny Carrot Fritters can satisfy your cravings while being healthy at the same time.
Sweetly-glazed carrots and a heaping dollop of lentils sit atop a wilted bed of bok choy in this recipe for Maple-Orange Carrots. While the flavors of this dish are drastically different, they all meld together perfectly with the help of the rich sunchoke cream. This dish is a foodie’s dream.
As soon as you dipped your first pita chip into this unique Roasted Balsamic Carrot Hummus, you’ll be in love. It’s the perfect balance of those savory, rustic hummus flavors mixed with the slightly sweet, caramelized balsamic carrots. Serve with homemade pita chips, tortilla chips, or fresh vegetables.
In this Carrot Pesto Pasta recipe, spiralized carrot noodles are topped with Mediterranean veggies, and then tossed in an herby pesto made of basil, mint, and spinach. With lots of cooling flavors, no cooking or baking required, and tons of color, this light dish packs a summery punch. You’re just 15 minutes away from a delicious dish!
This rich and creamy Fennel Carrot Purée is the perfect side for fall! Chopped carrots and fennel are blended together, along with creamy coconut milk, olive oil, and a bit of lemon.
These Curry Spiced Carrots are seasoned with a dry rub of paprika, cinnamon, curry powder, garlic, and dry parsley just before they go into the oven and then roasted until they begin to caramelize. They’re slightly crisp and sweet on the outside and tender with just the right amount of bite on the inside. These can be served as part of a larger platter of roasted vegetables and grains for a simple meal that’s flavorful and filling.
These Lentil Carrot Meatballs are an energizing and nourishing addition to any meal. Made with savory brown lentils, tender carrots, sweet potatoes, juicy cherry tomatoes, and walnuts, these meatballs are supremely satisfying. Serve them with a generous pour of tomato sauce and some pine nuts and parsley for garnish.
For even more plant-based recipes and cooking how-to’s, we highly recommend checking out Food Monster app, a food app available for both Android and iPhone. The app has over 8,000+ vegan recipes with 10+ recipes added daily Give it a try — and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram (and share your photos using #FoodMonsterApp if you make any of the recipes)!
Lead image source: Carrot Bacon