I love cooking with—and eating!—lots of fresh produce, so winter is kind of a bummer for me. I try to buy local and right now, local means lots of root vegetables, tubers, and winter squash. These are all fantastic vegetables, but one can only eat so many carrots before getting a little burned out on them. Solution? Switch things up by turning your carrots into a nutrient-packed smoothie or juice.
One medium carrot provides 210% of your daily serving of vitamin A thanks to its rich supply of beta carotene. Vitamin A is an antioxidant with a whole host of health benefits—you probably remember your mom telling you carrots are good for your eyesight, but their vitamin A is also good for your skin and for reducing inflammation. And during cold season, you’ll be glad to know vitamin A gives your immune system a boost too.
Carrot & Kale Delight Smoothie
If, like me, you try to eat with the seasons, you’ll appreciate this Carrot & Kale Delight smoothie. It’s full of winter produce, with a heaping teaspoon of ground ginger to add some warmth. Natural detoxifier kale imparts a fresh green flavor (although if you prefer your smoothie milder, you can use baby spinach instead), along with lots of vitamins K and C, while an apple sweetens the smoothie and flaxseed provides healthy fats to keep your skin and hair looking beautiful.
- 1½ cups non-dairy milk or water
- 3 kale leaves
- 1 carrot, peeled
- 1 apple, cored
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or ½-inch chunk of fresh ginger)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
Carrot Blessings Juice
Are you more of a juice person? We’ve got you covered. Put that juicer to use with our Carrot Blessings juice. Parsley is an often-overlooked superfood that aids in detoxing the body and reducing bloating, so this drink is perfect for post-holiday recovery. Like carrots, parsley is packed with antioxidants, which makes it an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. Lemon juice also has detoxification benefits, and all that vitamin C will have your immune system humming (bonus: vitamin C also helps your body produce collagen, keeping your skin wrinkle-free). This juice is the ultimate immune-boosting, body detoxing, free radical fighting elixir.
- 5 carrots
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 lemons, peeled
- Add the ingredients to a juicer. If desired, sweeten with a touch of organic raw honey.
Photos by Ana Stanciu