Good morning! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I just had to share this picture, which our friend sent to us Easter Morning…
These carrots caught in an embrace were growing in Jen’s garden in San Francisco. I taped this photo to my refrigerator as a friendly reminder to love (and EAT) fruits and vegetables! The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that we fill half our plate with fruits and vegetables every day.
Carrots, a favorite of “celebrities” like Bugs Bunny and Peter Rabbit are known to be good for overall health. They are especially famous for containing beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that improves the appearance and function of skin, eyes, digestive system and teeth.
Some health benefits you may not be aware of are:
Carrots contain Potassium, which is a mineral that helps our body balance sodium levels in our body. As you have probably heard, most people (especially Americans and Chileans) consume entirely too much salt, which is associated with hypertension and high blood pressure. The Potassium in carrots can help keep blood pressure at a healthy level.
Carrots are high in soluble fiber. Research has shown consuming foods rich in soluble fiber can reduce cholesterol. The fiber binds LDL, the bad cholesterol, and increases HDL, the good cholesterol. This reduces the risk of blood clots, which can lead to stroke, and heart diseases.
Carrots are rich in Carotenoids, phytochemicals that are beneficial to blood sugar regulation. They also contain a phytonutrient called falcarinol, which recent research has found helps promote colon health and reduces the risk of cancers.
Enjoy snacking on crunchy raw carrots with hummus instead of salty, oily chips. It’s easy to add carrots to salads, soups, and pasta sauces. Or serve this side dish. It’s a delicious alternative to traditional French fries and is a great source of antioxidants, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It makes it easy to follow the “half plate” guideline:
Baked Carrot and Sweet Potato Fries Recipe:
1 sweet potato, washed and cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
6-8 carrots, washed and cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dried herbs (try super spices rosemary and thyme or parsley)
1 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven at 400°F. Cut sweet potato and carrots into strips. In a large baking sheet, toss carrots and sweet potatoes with olive oil, dried herbs, salt & pepper.
Arrange in a single layer and make sure to flip the fries over 2 or 3 times to brown evenly. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 40 mins.
Total Time: 40 minutes. Makes 4 servings.