croppedcarrots

Have you ever given much thought to the way your food feels…?

Ayurveda says that everything in our world has an energy that either supports or sabotages our own.

We’ve all had this experience with food…

Eating something that made you feel not so terrific in your body or your mind even,  or perhaps something that made you feel happy, strong, relaxed, satisfied.

This is the power of Food as medicine and it goes much deeper than you may have imagined…

So what do you know about… Carrots?

Carrots are sweet and astringent in taste, and heating in nature. They’re great for reducing vata and kapha and have a neutral effect on pitta (although in excess they can actually aggravate pitta).

Owing to their heating nature carrots are stimulating to the body (blood, kidneys, bladder).  They’re good for cleansing the body and purifying the blood and also have mild antiseptic qualities.  Carrots are a wonderful healing food.

They are one of my favorite root veggies and as such are great for feeling both grounded (when eaten cooked) and light (when eaten raw)!  There’s something about the sweetness of a fresh carrot that brings you back to yourself and has an unbeaten cleanness (that’s their astringent quality showing through).  Maybe that’s why so many fresh juices have carrot as their base.

Carrots are a veggie that I would recommend eating throughout the year.  You want to stay mindful of HOW you eat them though in order to get the most value out of their qualities for creating balance.  Here’s what I mean by that…

During the autumn and early winter, when balancing vata, cooked and spiced carrots are the best choice. In late winter and spring when kapha balancing is the focus, they’re great either raw or cooked, especially with a bit of spice or chilli. My personal preference is to eat them raw in spring and summer!

Here’s more information about the lovely Carrot from the pages of Martha Stewart.com along with some terrific recipes for enjoying them this spring and fall!

 


Carrot Basics

There’s a whole spectrum of carrots, including red, yellow, and purple varieties, each with its own visual and nutritional appeal. You may be surprised at the varieties you can find: Plump little ‘Thumbelina’ carrots that are perfect for cooking whole; ‘Sugarsnax’ carrots that are extra-sweet; ‘Adelaide Baby’ carrots that are tender and delicate; and many more.

In Season:

Carrots are available year-round, but are at their peak from March through October.

What to Look For:

Look for smooth, firm roots and bright, fresh-looking tops. The tops themselves can be tasty and pretty; if you’re preparing carrots simply (steaming them, for example, or serving them as crudites), you might leave tops intact. Remove them for storage, however, as they can affect the root’s moisture and flavor.

How to Store:

Carrots generally taste best when recently harvested. Cut off the tops, and keep the carrots in the crisper for up to two weeks.

 


Here are a few of my favorite carrot recipes! (click on the image to get to the recipe)!

Glazed Carrots with Ginger

Carrot and Ginger Soup

gingercarrots carrotandsdpinachsoup
This recipe pairs carrots with some lovely warming spices for a perfect grounding and satisfying dish. Clean, simple, luscious flavors. This light and flavorful soup is great when you need or want a light meal that truly nourishes. Ridiculously easy to make and packed full of goodness… including a bit of turmeric!

Carrot Ribbons with Peas

Warm Lentil and Carrot Salad

carrotsandpeas carrotandlentils
This simple dish has spring written all over it. As easy a recipe as you could imagine with a load of freshness and more flavor than you might expect! Looking for a simple spring “salad” or side dish (or even light dinner)? Check this one out! This one feels more like a delicious vegetarian stew. Perfect for spring with it’s combination of warm and astringent qualities (they balance out the cold and dampness of kapha). Another light dinner option for spring!

If you’re interested in more seasonal recipes for balancing the doshas check out my Pinterest boards for each of the doshas!

cover image courtesy of: Ed Yourdon

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