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Healthy Living Recipes

Most of us have heard that eating carrots will improve our night vision—turns out it’s true. Besides their sweet taste, carrots contain large amounts of beta-carotene, which gives them their distinctive orange color and helps the body create vitamin A. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy vision, especially night vision, and boosts the immune system. Thankfully, carrots are easy to incorporate into your daily diet—when you’re not crunching on them raw, enjoy them in this versatile spread.

Carrot-Cashew Spread

Makes about 2 cups.

4 cups chopped carrots (approximately 7 medium-sized carrots)
5 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup unsalted cashews

In a large saucepan, combine the carrots and water and bring to a boil. Add the salt. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until very soft. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Let the carrots cool. In a blender or food processor, blend together the cooled carrots and cashews. Check the consistency and add up to ½ cup of the cooking water, if you prefer a lighter consistency. Serve with crackers, pita bread, or crudités.

Read Annie Kay’s Nutritional Commentary: More Reasons Why Bunnies Are So Healthy.

Carrots contain carotenoids and phytonutrients that help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, according to multiple studies. And they’re a source of disease-fighting flavonoids and a type of fiber that may help lower cholesterol. Carrots got a bad rap with the advent of the glycemic index (GI), because people mistakenly believed that its slightly high GI number meant that it acted like refined sugar in the body. But GI numbers don’t take into account the difference in volume: Four cups of carrots contain 50 grams of carbohydrates (made up of both sugar and starches), the same number as four tablespoons of refined sugar. Eat carrots in the context of a whole-foods diet (no more than four cups at a sitting) and honor them for their sweetness and affordable nourishment!