Fresh, just plucked from the garden carrots – what could be healthier than that? Sweet little bites of currents in a light, fresh cinnamon infused dressing make this carrot salad heavenly- another a little jewel from Bijouxs, loved by little ones and grown ups alike.
When my son was born I went the route of making my own baby foods from scratch (actually much easier that it sounds) and from there I continued to explore fresh and whole foods in the kitchen, eventually garnering quite a collection of favorite vegan/vegetarian recipes. I even did a stint of about 4 years as a semi-vegetarian, in all honesty, I never felt better. I still pepper my weekly menu with some of my favorite vegetarian favorites – the ones I love, and this carrot salad is a little jewel.
Sitting down and munching on raw carrots is fine, for me that got old fast; but crisp, freshly grated carrots tossed in a lightly sweet cinnamon dressing with bites of sweet currents and a dusting of shredded coconut does the trick – I will eat my carrots.
Now, I am not talking about the old heavy mayonnaise glazed version of carrot salad most of us know, this one is originally from The American Vegetarian Cookbook by Marilyn Diamond, a book that has yielded some favorites I have adapted over the years.
My approach to vegetarian cooking in the Bijouxs kitchen is not an “and/or” but more of an “and with” philosophy, that being it’s not necessary to start on a crash course to vegetarian cooking, but rather try perfecting a dish or two and just add them in to your menus and soon you may find yourself with a collection of your own favorite healthy vegetarian dishes.
The freshness and the vitality of the ingredients are key in this carrot salad. Choose brightly colored, medium sized bunch carrots with the tops on, from the farmer’s markets or a market that sells organic produce – avoid those large, dry, often cracked, loose carrots some stores sell, those are better reserved for soups and such. Grate the carrots yourself, the pre-shredded packages, as attractive as they may be, are thicker and dry, they just don’t absorb the dressing or have the vitality as freshly grated carrots. Zante currants create the small, delicate sweet bites in the salad and can usually be found in the bulk sections (just buy what you need) of markets such as Whole Foods. Sesame tahini paste (think of it as sesame seed butter) and Blue Agave sweetener are in most of the larger supermakets.
Creation of this healthy carrot salad is simple. After grating the carrots, either via a box grater or food processor fitted with the shredding attachment, a light dressing, made up of tahini paste, lemon juice, agave syrup, cinammon, and hot water, is whirled in the blender then tossed with the carrots and currants. Of course, adjust the dressing’s sweet/tart balance to suit your own taste.
Healthy & Heavenly Carrot Salad may be served topped with grated coconut. I like to serve it as a side salad, usually gobbled up by little ones and grown ups at casual Sunday suppers, but I also like to whip up a batch to keep in the refrigerator to quell those mid-afternoon slumps – a bowl of crunchy sweet goodness to get me back on track. Dress it up and serve in sweet little bowls, as pictured here, and make it a sweet treat event.
A carrot salad that is healthy, tastes heavenly and is easy, another little Bijouxs to enjoy.
As always, enjoy. B