The bottom line is on veggies is VARIETY; variety is the best way to make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive. Too much of anything might be a bad thing, even kale or blueberries. So why not try different cooking methods to increase the variety of vegetables in your diet? If there’s a vegetable you don’t like then try roasting it with a bit of oil, salt, and spices. You can roast broccoli, zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, onions, garlic, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, eggplant, and so many other kinds of vegetables. You can even try making your own French fries or kale chips!
If you don’t like cooked carrots then maybe it’s because you’ve only had them boiled, mushy, and waterlogged…you ought to try them roasted! Roasting vegetables is one of the most delicious ways to get in more nutrients and fiber. Almost any vegetable you roast will caramelize into a soft and flavorful side dish that can be a beautiful and tasty part of a balanced and healthy life. So get out the grill this summer and roast a few vegetables and plant-based burgers for a change of pace. You can do it!
The Beauty of Carrots
Carrots are not only DELICIOUS but also powerhouses of nutrition and longevity. Carrots are known for their bright orange color, due to the antioxidant in carrots called beta-carotene. Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A in the body and vitamin A is important for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction. Carrots also have fiber and other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B8, vitamin B5, folate, potassium, biotin, iron, copper, and manganese.
Studies show that eating carrots can lower cholesterol, cut the risk of heart attacks, lower blood pressure, aid digestion, boost the immune system, prevent certain cancers, lower the risk of macular degeneration, improve eyesight, cut the risk of strokes, lower the risk of diabetes, and many other things.
Most people imagine the color orange when they think about carrots, but carrots come in many different colors. You may see orange, purple, yellow, white, red, and even black carrots (which are actually a very dark purple).
Preventing Cancer Through Carrots
Eating 1 carrot everyday could cut your risk of lung cancer by 40 percent. Studies show that increasing beta-carotene intake from 1.7 to 2.7 milligrams per day could cut lung cancer risk by more than 40 percent. Since the average carrot has 3 milligrams of beta-carotene it is safe to assume that consuming carrots will only improve your health.
Due to the fiber content, eating carrots may also cut your risk of colon cancer by as much as 24 percent. Lastly, raw carrots have shown in studies to cut breast cancer risk in women. What are you waiting for? Head to your local grocer or farm stand and pick up a bag of organic carrots today.
Simply Roasted Carrots (serves 4)
6-8 large carrots
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Peel and slice carrots into carrot sticks (about ½” x ½” x 3”).
- In a large bowl combine olive oil and carrot sticks. Stir together until all of the pieces are adequately coated.
- Spread the carrot sticks in a single layer on a baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd.
- Sprinkle salt over the tops of the carrot sticks.
- Bake for 12 minutes and then flip each carrot stick over. Bake an additional 10-20 minutes or until the carrot sticks are tender and golden brown (or to desired crispness).
- Serve hot with your favorite sauce.
- Try dipping carrots in tartar sauce, salsa, ketchup, hummus, or any other sauce you enjoy.
- This recipe could easily be adapted for zucchini sticks, sweet potato fries, french fries, or any other vegetables of choice.
- You can change the flavor by adding garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, or curry powder in addition to the salt.
- These could be easily made salt free if sodium is an issue.
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