On Monday 4 April, we celebrated World Carrot Day.
This bright veg can be sliced, diced or chopped and added to any dish, soup or salad.
Carrots contain the richest source of beta-carotene, which contributes to its deep orange and yellow colour.
Beta-carotene also aids with vitamin production, boosting your eyesight and helps in lowering cholesterol.
I love how when using carrots nothing goes to waste. Did you know you can regrow carrots from the scraps?
If you ever considered starting a veggie garden, carrots are one of the easiest veg to grow.
Chop 3cm below the top part of the carrot where the leaves grow and just pop it into soil.
Water it daily and soon you’ll see green leaves popping up while the carrot (root) regrows, ready to pick for when you need it.
The green leaves or fronds are just as beneficial. The fronds are loaded with antioxidants and can boost our immune systems.
In ancient times the leaves were initially grown for medicinal purposes but today we use them in soups, pestos and sauces.
Carrots also refrigerate and freeze well.
If you are looking for something heartier, a good old carrot and peas stew or a side of glazed carrots or a refreshing pineapple and carrot salad makes your Sunday roast super lekker!
You can also try your hand at making a batch of spicy masala Carrot Pickle or atchar, it would go perfectly with any curry.
For more recipes or baking and cooking inspiration, visit my website www.sprinklesandspice.co.za or visit my social media platforms @sprinklesandspicect or Sprinkles and Spice by Farzana Kumandan.
Happy cooking and baking.
Love, Your Cooksister
Charmaine's Chilli Carrot Soup
Recipe Credit by Charmaine Lehabe Capsicum Culinary Studio
1 tbs butter
1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme or parsley
5 cups chopped carrots
2 cups water
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup cream
½ teaspoon salt
2 green chilis
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat butter and oil in a pan over medium heat until the butter melts.
Add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes.
Add garlic and thyme (or parsley) and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Stir in carrots.
Add water and broth and bring to a lively simmer over high heat.
Reduce heat and simmer gently until very tender, about 25 minutes.
Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
Stir in the cream (if using) and salt and pepper.
Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread.
Franco's Glazed Carrots
Recipe Credit by Franco Buys Capsicum Culinary Studio
1kg rainbow carrots
2 tbs vegetable oil
4 tbs butter
2 whole garlic cloves
2 tbs of honey
5g fresh thyme
5g fresh sage
Rinse the carrots under cold water to remove any soil.
Place the unpeeled carrots into a pot of boiling salted water and blanch for 2 minutes.
Remove from water and onto a separate dish and season with salt and pepper.
Heat up a pan to high and first add the oil, then the butter, garlic, sage and thyme.
Add your carrots and toss in pan until they start to colour slightly. Lower the heat to medium, add the honey and let the carrots glaze and bubble for about a minute or two.
Check for seasoning.
Hendrik's Carrot Muffins
Recipe Credit by Hendrik Pretorius Capsicum Culinary Studio
5ml bicarbonate of soda
20ml baking powder
2 large egg
100g carrots, finely grated
4 tsp cinnamon powder
4 tsp vanilla essence
5ml ginger powder
Preheat oven to 180ºC and place a rack in the centre of the oven.
Grease a 12-cup muffin tray with butter or baking spray.
In a medium bowl whisk together the oil, yoghurt, milk, eggs and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, bicarb, baking powder and ginger powder.
Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the wet mixture into the centre and fold together until the ingredients are well combined.
Add the grated carrots and mix thoroughly.
Using a spoon, scoop the mixture into the muffin cups until each cup is about ¾ full.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the muffin tray halfway through the baking time until the muffins are golden brown. (Insert a skewer and if it comes out clean the muffins are done.)
Remove the muffin pan from the oven and let the muffins cool in the pan before serving.
Classic Carrot Cake
Recipe Credit by Farzana Kumandan @sprinklesandspicect
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups oil
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon bicarb
1 level teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 large finely grated carrots
½ cup chopped pecan nuts
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.
Add in the flour, baking powder, bicarb, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix until smooth and lump free.
Lastly fold in the grated carrots and chopped nuts.
Transfer into a large black oven tray, lined with baking paper.
Bake in a preheated oven on 170 degrees for 45 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Icing
½ tub cream cheese (room temperature)
50g soft butter
1 ½ cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla essence until smooth.
Add in the icing sugar and mix until smooth.
Once your cake has cooled, spread on a thick layer of cream cheese icing and sprinkle on some roughly chopped pecan nuts.
Carrot Pickle / Achaar
Recipe By Farzana Kumandan @sprinklesandspicect
**For the pickle
2 kg carrots
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp crushed chillies
1 tsp koljana (coriander)
¼ tsp jeera (cumin)
½ tsp turmeric
7 tbsp pickle spice (red methi masala)
**For the Sauce
4 cups vinegar + ½ cup extra
2 cups sugar
6 heaped tbsp cornflour
**For the tempering
¼ cup oil
3 red dried chillies roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
11 curry leaves
¼ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
**For the Pickle
Peel, chop and rinse the carrots
Transfer to a dry strainer and allow to drain for a half hour.
Transfer to a deep bowl, add in the salt and spices, mix well and cover with clingwrap or foil. Allow to pickle for an hour.
**For the Sauce
On a stove top in a heavy based large pot, bring 4 cups vinegar and sugar to a slow boil, stirring continuously.
Once it begins to boil, mix the cornflour and ½ cup vinegar to make a smooth, thin paste.
Add the paste to the vinegar and stir until smooth and thick and remove from the heat.
**To bring it together
Add the pickled carrots to the pot and mix well.
In a separate smaller pot, add all the tempering ingredients together until its warm.
Once the flavours release and the whole spices begin to sizzle and pop, remove from the heat and add to the pickled carrots pot.
Stir well and lightly cover. Allow to cool completely, before decanting to containers or glass jars and refrigerate.
Allow to pickle for at least 1-2 days to maximize flavour.
Carrot Savoury Rice
Recipe Credit by Salwaa Smith – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights
2 cups rice
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 large stick cinnamon
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
1 - 2 green chillies, chopped
5 curry leaves
2 bay leaves
1 cup grated carrots
Cook the rice as you normally would for plain rice. Keep the rice warm.
Heat a large saucepan over high heat.
Add the butter and wait until its melted.
Add the mustard seeds, cardamoms, stick cinnamon and cloves.
Stir fry for 30 seconds.
Turn the heat to medium, add the onions and sauté until light golden in colour.
Stir in the grated garlic. Then add the chopped chillies, curry, bay leaves as well as the carrots.
Pour in a ¼ cup of water and cook for 5 minutes over low to medium heat.
Add the warm spices to the cooked rice, stir thoroughly using a large fork. Make sure the rice and the spices are completely mixed before serving.
And there you have your delicious savoury carrot rice.
Carrots and Peas Stew
Recipe Credit by Salwaa Smith - Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights
2 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
500g mutton or lamb pieces
800g carrots cut into julienne strips
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1½ cups frozen peas
1-2 green chillies
2 tsps salt or to taste
Hot water as needed
Chopped parsley for garnishing
Heat oil in a large saucepan / pot and braise the onions until golden brown for 5-10 minutes.
Add washed and drained meat and braise until dark brown, for 10-15 minutes. The meat should be as brown as you can get it.
This adds to the flavour of the food.
Add salt, chillies, allspice and enough water; simmer until meat is nearly tender, 15-20 minutes or longer if using mutton.
Add carrots and potatoes, cook until potatoes are nearly soft adding hot water if necessary.
Add frozen peas and cook a further 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Garnish with chopped parsley.