Oven-roasted carrots are easily one of my favorite afternoon snacks. When in season, the farmstand carrots I get turn out light and fluffy inside. They are ever so satisfying.
Lately I’ve been experimenting to perfect a roasted carrot puree. I envision it being a Thanksgiving weekend side dish and it easily becoming a fall staple in our kitchen. Noticing and appreciating the texture and creaminess of it takes me back to the mindfulness-based stress reduction course I took a few years back.
Sure, most associate carrots with the veggie dip tray at a party or a snack to put in children’s lunches. But there is way more than meets the eye with this root vegetable and a plethora of ways to cook, steam, and bake them that will have you craving carrots!
My love for carrots would probably raise an eyebrow or two. Let’s start with how jam-packed they are of Vitamins – A, K, C, and B. Vitamin C – aids our immune system and serves an integral part in the production of tissues that make up our gums, teeth, bones, and skin – just to name a few.
Carrots are luteolin rich. “Luteolin suppresses inflammation in brain tissues and regulates different cell signaling pathways in neurodegenerative diseases….” Luteolin (a flavonoid biophenal) is found in carrots, olive oil, thyme, rosemary, and oregano and possesses a variety of pharmacological activities.” Source: Bioactive food as dietary interventions for arthritis and related inflammatory diseases, Second edition, 2019.
The natural compounds in carrots have been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory – to support brain health! The B Vitamins in them help with energy production (i.e. converting carbs, fat and protein into energy). “As with any organ, the brain requires nutrients to build and maintain its structure, both to function in a harmonious manner and to be protected from diseases and premature aging.” “B Vitamins play a critical role in brain function: low intake and levels of B vitamins have been associated with memory and learning dysfunction.” Source for both quotes: Your Brain on Food: A Nutrient-Rich Diet Can protect Cognitive Health, Journal of the American Society on Aging, Julie Turner. Vitamin K in carrots help maintain and build healthy bones.
“Diet, exercise and other aspects of our daily interaction with the environment have the potential to alter our brain health and mental function.” Source: Brain foods, the effects of nutrients on brain function; NIH Public Access, Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008 July, Fernando Gomez-Pinilla.
1-1/2 cups cooked carrot
1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cooked until golden brown on stovetop
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons milk
A sprinkle of salt
Peel, trim ends, slice and boil fresh carrots until soft.
Place butter in saucepan and stir/cook until golden brown.
Add carrot, butter, cinnamon, milk and salt to blender or food processor. Using puree setting, blend until creamy.
Serve immediately alongside a nice roasted chicken breast or slices of freshly roasted turkey. Recipe provides for 2 moderate servings.