A few years ago you couldn’t PAY me to eat a raw carrot. You just couldn’t. I liked them just fine cooked, and damn if I don’t love a good carrot cake – But raw carrots? Get out of town.
It wasn’t happening. It just wasn’t. There was something about raw carrots that taste metallic to me. I dunno. I think that’s the only way I can describe it. To me munching on a carrot, even one drowned in ranch dressing was like biting into tin foil. I wasn’t having it.
And though I’ve incorporated more carrots into my diet (carrot cakes count!), they never quite gave me the warm and fuzzies. Now that I’m older I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of carrots, and have begun to almost like them raw. Not munch, crunch raw – I still haven’t quite embraced that. Rather, in juice or smoothie raw.
So I’m making baby strides. The truth is, carrots have all these vitamins and whatnot. I all need vitamins. Quite frankly, it has gotten to the point where vitamins are becoming a necessity, a way of life. I just don’t want to have to choke down a horse pill to get my vitamin fix. Food is the answer. Carrots are part of the vitamin puzzle. Allow me a moment to get carrot nerd-i-licious on you; an illustration of words, if you will.
Carrot Benefits Situation
- Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, providing 210% of the average adult’s needs for the day. In addition, Vitamin A has all these anti-aging properties. That’s like the fountain of youth in a carroty stick. Um… Yea…
- Carrot contain Beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gives carrots their bright orange color. Beta-carotene is absorbed in the intestine and converted into vitamin A during digestion.
- Plus carrots also contain fiber, vitamin K, potassium, folate, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin E and zinc. A whole mess-a stuff.
Good stuff, right?
Smoothie time, yo… This has become one of my favorite smoothies, believe it or not. I chop a few carrots, peel me a few oranges, add water – Then I blend it all in my Ninja. I strain the solids from the liquids, and then I add some very ripe bananas to thicken this smoothie slightly; otherwise it’s just juice.
Do you want to know what else I add to this smoothie? You want to know… I add a heaping tablespoon of ground flaxseed. Did you know flaxseed has all these health benefits? Allow me to get nerd-i-licious on you one more time.
Flaxseed Situation Benefits
- Flaxseed is packed Omega-3. Omega 3s are essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. You already know… We’re about this heart healthy life.
- Flaxseed has fiber, which keeps you regular. FACT: The older you get, the more emphasis you place on being “regular”. It’s just a fact of life. Are you starting to walk by the Metamucil and thinking, “Well… It wouldn’t hurt…”? You are. Its OK – Embrace it.
- Cancer blocking super agents – Recent research suggests the Lignans in flaxseed may help protect against cancer by blocking enzymes that are involved in hormone metabolism and interfering with the growth and spread of tumor cells. Who doesn’t want to kung-fu the crap out of cancer?
Along with flaxseed and ripe bananas I add a tiny splash of vanilla extract and blend, for a second time until fully combined. I don’t add sugar. That’s what ripe bananas are for. The carrots are plenty sweet, as are the bananas and oranges. The plash of vanilla extract makes it just creamsicle enough, but not quite enough to make you forget you just blended carrots. #Truth.
What you have here is a full vitamin tick-tick-tick health bomb in your tummy. It’s kind of the bomb taste wise, too. Like almost forgetting this isn’t a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting “the bomb”. Well… Not quite, but you get the idea.
Carrot Orange Banana Smoothies
- 5 carrots roughly chopped
- 3 oranges - peeled and removed of pith
- 4 cups cold water
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1 heaping tablespoon flaxseed
- splash of vanilla extract
- To a high powered blender, add water, carrots and oranges. Blend until smooth and completely combined.
- Strain the carrots and oranges into a large bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible.
- Add the newly strained juice back in the blender, and add the bananas, flax seed, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. Serve onto 8 oz glasses.
- Serves 6