Carrot Cake Smoothie

carrot flowersBotanically, carrots belong to the Umbelliferae family, which also includes fennel/anise, celery, parsnips, dill, cilantro/cumin, parsley, caraway, Queen Anne’s Lace and the poisonous hemlock. Many of the popular plants in this family works well in the garden as a companion plant. Largely because the tiny flowers forming the umbels, for which the group is named, are perfectly suited for parasitic wasps, ladybugs and predatory flies which drink their nectar. These beneficial insects will then dine upon insect pests on nearby plants. Some of the more fragrant herbs in this family possibly dilute the odors of nearby plants, or the pheromones emitted by pest insects to signal to other pests.

Raw carrots contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamine, folic acid, potassium and magnesium. Carrots are one of the best sources of carotene which is a strong antioxidant and is converted by the body into Vitamin A. Also most of the goodness is actually in, or just below the skin. Many people do not realize that numerous antioxidant compounds are located in the skin of fruit and vegetables, so buy organic where you can for fruits and veggies that have edible peels and don’t peel them before using!  You can get some vitamin K by using the greens on top of the carrot — the carrots themselves don’t have much of this important vitamin, so save those greens for your next green smoothie! Carrots are also known for their sweetening, antianemic, healing, diuretic, remineralizing and sedative properties.

This smoothie isn’t as simple as my usual morning fare, so I only tend to make it once or twice a year as a treat. It’s also incredibly sweet, so seldom is probably better than frequently anyway. But I’ve been thinking about it for a few weeks now, and bought an extra bag of carrots to satisfy my craving.

We are lucky to have gotten a juicer from Luke’s parents when our old one broke, but if I didn’t have this I would probably just make a pulpier version in the Vita-Mix. Since I do, I juice the carrots ahead of time. I was making enough for myself and the kids, and while a better juicer might yield more juice with less carrots, I nearly used the entire 5lb bag!

I poured all the carrot juice into the blender and set the pulp aside for a later use (I’ll post that later this week — Luke ate all that I made so I am dehydrating the second batch for pictures).  The kids were playing Harry Potter and had a hard time settling to smoothie, so I’m here to confess that I didn’t push this sweet treat too hard and found an alternative use for the extra smoothie.

Carrot Cake Smoothie

  • 3.5lbs carrots, juiced
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 bananas
  • 2-3 dates
  • cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, etc  to taste
  1. I juiced all the carrots, poured this into the blender.
  2. I roughly chopped 2 carrots, added to the blender, along with the bananas, walnuts and spice. I opted for only cinnamon this time to keep it simple.
  3. Blend til smooth. My old Oster blender never managed to get all the little walnut bits, so I had to chew that smoothie more, but this one was pure smooth goodness.

If our ice cream maker hadn’t started leaking freezy fluid, I would pour this in for a  delicious and different raw ice cream. It’s incredibly rich. If making this as a smoothie, I would probably leave out the dates and perhaps one of the bananas. Did I mention that I found this to be incredibly sweet? I don’t remember thinking that at all in the summer when I made this last, so either my carrots were much sweeter or my palate and sensitivity to sweetness has changed. At any rate, it was a lovely, rich treat on a cold winter day.

YUM!

Comments

  1. says

    I am going to try this. We recently joined costco and they sell 10lbs carrot bags really cheap. I dug out my old juicer and have been loving carrot juice again. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  2. Maria says

    How strong (flavor wise) are Carrot greens in a normal smoothie? I have tons of them on top of carrots in my farm box, and always feel so guilty throwing them out…

  3. Sioux says

    You can use the carrot greens almost as you would parsley, dill, cilantro or any other herbs in this family — I wouldn’t use an entire bunch in a smoothie or any one dish for that matter, but more 2 or 3 stalks as you would any of the other herbs in this family. You can also add them to things like quinoa, rice or millet dishes, as well as tabouli and other salads, pesto (with walnuts) or soup (they have also traditionally been used to make stock). I’ve seen a recipe for a Tuscan rice soup with carrot greens that sounded delicious.

    It does have a somewhat strong flavor, and some people can be allergic to carrot greens and break out in a rash if they brush against them.

    Because of the slightly bitter flavor, controversy exists about possible toxicity in the way that rhubarb stalks and spinach leaves are. But there are loads of people who seem to use the regularly in recipes with no ill effects and I’m one of them. Several years ago we belonged to the CSA at Old Maid’s Farm in Glastonbury and they had the tops still attached to the carrots. I think they add a fresh, bright flavor to things, though I do treat them more as an herb than as a leafy green.

    Do remove them from the carrots before storing them in the fridge, as they will have a negative effect on the flavor of your carrots. They will continue to grow at the expense of the attached root. Also, beet greens are lovely to use in recipes (swiss chard are beets that have been cultivated for their leaves instead of a big starchy root), as are the slightly more bitter turnip greens.

    An interesting aside: parsnip tops are toxic in an odd way; they contain a light activated compound that blisters skin. So be sure to stay clear of parsnip greens juice on a sunny day!

  4. Maria says

    yeah…not using carrot greens again. I used one stalk and i’ve had a weird numbish feeling in my mouth all morning.I’m going down on the poisonous side of the debate

  5. crunchybits says

    I did mention about some people having a sensitivity to them, right?

  6. Sabrina says

    I would talk to a naturopath regarding supplements. I do feel a whole foods plant based diet is the way to go. Include as much raw food as posible and see how you feel after dietary changes. Do consult your naturopaht before taking supplements or changing a diet to be safe. However whole plant based foods are going to give you more energy and vitality.

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