I challenge you to find a better vegetable than carrot.

I have three kids who all seem to come from different planets when it comes to their taste preferences but the one thing they all love and agree on is the sweet, humble carrot. And really, what’s not to love? My 7 yr old says she loves carrots because “they taste good. And they’re crunchy.”

Yep.

My 3 yr old loves carrot because they’re “orange. And sweet.”

Yep.

My infant doesn’t talk yet. But she gobbles them up just the same.

We get delicious organic carrots all year round, making them super for all seasons. Besides the fact that they are an excellent source of vitamin A (from beta carotene), according to WebMD, they were first grown as a medicine, not a food. I love the carrot’s versatility: they’re good with every meal, they can acclimate to a sweet or savory dish, they can be eaten raw or cooked and their crunch is deeply satisfying. Carrots are a fantastic lunchbox choice.

Here are 7 of our current favorite recipes for an entire day of carrot deliciousness:

Carrots for Breakfast:

1) Carrot Dill Frittata

2) Carrot and Plum Salad with Dates

Carrots for Lunch:

3) Carrot Salad with Dried Cherries

4) Carrot Ribbons with Raisins and Roasted Chick Peas

Carrot Ribbons

Ingredients:

8 carrots

½ cup raisins

1 can of chick peas

3 tablespoons olive oil

juice of half of one lemon

salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 375. Spread the chick peas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven until the chick peas are browned and crispy, approximately 35-40 minutes.

Using a peeler, peel the carrots into noodle-looking ribbons. Place the ribbons into a pan with about 2-3 inches of water and steam for approximately 6-8 minutes. The ribbons should be just slightly al dente.

Once cooled, drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and add raisins. When chick peas have cooled, add to carrot ribbons and salt to taste.

Carrots as a Snack:

5) Crudite with Carrot and White Bean Dip

Carrot White Bean Dip

3 carrots, finely shredded

2 teaspoons tahini

1 cup white beans

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

½ teaspoon salt

juice of ½ lemon

Using a stick blender, combine all ingredients and mix well. Dip should have the consistency of hummus. Serve with crudite (great for lunchboxes) or use in place of a condiment on a sandwich.

Carrots for Dinner:

6) Whole Wheat Pasta with Roasted Carrots and Tuscan Kale

Whole Wheat Pasta with Roasted Carrots and Tuscan Kale

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil

5 carrots

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

½ teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon chili flakes

zest of 1 lemon

2 cups of dry whole wheat pasta

2 cups of roughly chopped Tuscan kale

12 oz shitake mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, chopped

pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400. Peel and cut carrots into 2-3 inch long sticks. Spread over parchment paper and drizzle with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast in the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the shallot and bell peppers in 1 tablespoon olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add thyme, salt, chili flakes and zest from ½ of the lemon.

In a pot, bring water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook as directed and set aside.

Take shallot/pepper mixture out of the pan and set aside in a bowl. Add remaining olive oil to the pan and saute kale with garlic and mushrooms for approximately 5-6 minutes. Add the remaining lemon zest and gently toss the ingredients.

Combine the pepper mixture, half of the roasted carrots and the kale/mushroom mixture and add to pasta. Set aside for about 10 minutes to let all of the flavors melt together. Add half of the roasted carrots on top and serve immediately.

Carrots for Dessert:

7) Carrot Oat Drop Cookies (no nuts)

Carrot Oat Drop Cookies

I can’t eat carrot cake because it’s usually made with walnuts. And besides, I’m a cookie gal much more so than a cake gal. So this one is for the cookie-loving, nut-allergic folks out there like me!

Ingredients:

1 cup shredded carrot

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup flour

1 large egg

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ cup coconut oil

¼ cup canola oil

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 375.

Combine shredded carrot, oats and flour in a mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, coconut oil and canola oil.

Add egg mixture to carrot mixture and incorporate well, making sure to get all of the dry ingredients on the bottom of the bowl well blended.

Add baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt and let the batter sit for about 20 minutes so that the spice flavors play together nicely. Finally, add the dried cranberries and stir to evenly distribute.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon the dough onto the baking sheet and place each cookie dough mound about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Makes approximately 24 cookies.

Enjoy!

Image Source: All Images Are Author’s Own

Gillian Fein

Kidville Member

Gillian Fein

Website

Founder of LaLa Lunchbox, a fun, easy-to-use iOS app that takes the stress out of lunch planning and helps families save money and time. Hailed by The New York Times, Parenting, Swiss-Miss and more, the app empowers kids to have a say in their meals, and makes a game out of what was once a frustrating chore. Gillian worked in the public health sector for nearly a decade after receiving her MBA from Columbia University and lives in New York City with her husband and three kids.