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Posts Tagged ‘Carrots’

As an icon, they are orange. But, in reality,  carrots actually come in lots of colors. And sometimes they grow around each like intertwined limbs.  When this happens,  the kids call them kissing carrots. They think every wedding couple should be presented with a pair. I love that. And although the carrot roots are not my favorite, it turns out the green spray I used to toss in the trash, are filled with flavor.

Random fact: When I was a kid, my hair was bright red. I was a carrot top. This, as my kids like to point out is ridiculous. Carrot tops are green, and as I recently found out, super nutritious and versatile. I can’t believe that for years, I threw them out.

What can we eat? What is garbage? Carrots are one place where my two obsessions seem to have dovetailed. For some reason, I had begun to belive that carrot tops were poisonous. Don’t ask why where I got that info. Only know it was WRONG. Here’s a few quick tidbits that are true about those feathery, green greens .(All courtesy of carrotmuseum.com)

Carrot tops are:

1) They’re packed with potassium.  This, apparently, can make them bitter. So far, I have not had that problem.

2) They have antiseptic qualities. They’ve been used throughout the ages as a key ingredient in poultices. Plus chewing carrot leaves can heal injuries in the mouth, bad breath, gum bleeding and mouth ulcers. (This might be a good way to get rid of those plastic bottles of mouthwash in our house.)

3) They carrot leaf tea is a diuretic. It’s apparently great for detoxifying and strengthening the kidneys and relieving urinary complaints. (Sounds a lot cheaper than cranberry juice — I can’t wait to try.)

4) They are versatile. You can use their leaves anyplace you might use parsley. But the carrot top has a much earthier taste. More like a mushroom than a green herb. They make a great addition to a salad.

5) Are great in soup stock.

Carrots  stay fresher without their tops. What I’ve been doing is snapping off the greens and storing them in a cup of water – the way you might with any other herb. Everyone loved  when I used my kissing carrots and their tops to make this Whole Carrot Salad. Ok, everyone but the kids. But that’s for another post . . . .

Whole Carrot Salad – Tabouleh Style

A delicious way to use the leaves of carrots – serves 2-4, depending on the size of carrots
Ingredients:

3 carrots with their leaves
4 fresh mint leaves (can be replaced with another herb, to taste)
1 handful of raisins
1 dash olive oil
1 dash lemon juice 1 pinch salt

Chop the carrot roots (with their peel on if they are organic) in the food processor (pulse) until they have a couscous texture. Put aside in a bowl. Chop finely the carrot leaves with a knife, like you would do with parsley. Remove the hard stems if there are any. Add to bowl with the carrot “couscous”, raisins and chopped mint leaves. Season to taste with lemon juice, olive oil and salt.

Carrot Top Tea

Take a handful of carrot leaves, tear them up and put them in a tea-pot. Pour over boiling water and leave to steep until the tea is cold. Strain to remove the leaves. Place the tea in the fridge to chill. It will last well for about 3 days.

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