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[Trend Spotlight] Crazy About Carrots

Posted by janethelm
September 29, 2014
Featured in: Trend Spotlight
[Trend Spotlight] Crazy About Carrots

by Janet Helm, MS, RD

Could carrots be the new kale?  This humble root vegetable is suddenly showing up every where, especially in restaurants. Nation's Restaurant News recently wrote about the carrot trend:  Carrots find roots on restaurant menus.

"Carrots have been trending on menus for some time, propelled by a combination of renewed consumer interest in vegetables and the rising influence of New Nordic cuisine. While Danish chef René Redzepi, a New Nordic leader and co-owner of Copenhagen’s seminal Noma restaurant, has been a prominent cheerleader for all underappreciated root vegetables prevalent in Scandinavian kitchens, he’s been a veritable virtuoso with carrots. Among other treatments, he has fermented them into cocktails, smoked and dried them, roasted them in goat butter, and slow-cooked them over black-hay ash. While these edgier culinary experiments won’t translate to the broader market, his embrace of the vegetable has been a factor in its revival. And since carrots happen to be available, affordable and acceptable to a wide audience, it has been easy for restaurants at all levels to get in on the action."

One menu item that's getting a lot of buzz is the jumbo Carrot-Glazed Carrot at Chef Marc Forgione's steakhouse American Cut. This poached carrot is glazed with carrot and orange juice and served with fresh mint and Maldon salt.  At The Bristol in Chicago, one of my favorite restaurants, I love to order the Smoked Carrot Salad that's served wtih sumac spiced yogurt, barley, crispy kale and black olives. This dish is truly amazing. 

Carrots are surprisingly versatile.  Chefs are pureeing, roasting and caramelizing carrots to create innovative side dishes, soups, condiments, drinks, appetizers and desserts, including ice cream, cakes and doughnuts.   

Healthy Aperture bloggers have been busy cooking up lots of carrot creations using all sorts of preparation methods -- from pickled to spiralized.  Carrot cake is taking many forms beyond cake --  in donuts, scones, muffins, pancakes, puddings, macaroons, smoothies, popsicles, oatmeal and more. Perhaps carrot cake is the new red velvet?  Take a look at all the creative carrot recipes from our Healthy Aperture network.  The photos above include: 

Easy Refrigerator Pickled Carrots by Domestic Dreamboat

Gluten-Free Carrot Pancakes by A Happy Food Dance

Carrot, Cashew and Coriander Fritters by Circus Gardener

Carrot Cashew Pate by Bold Vegan

Curried Carrot-Coconut Soup by Can Caramelo

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats by The Organic Dietitian

Carrot Cake Muffins with Sweet Potato Frosting by The Dark Chocolate Alchemist

Carrot Cake Donuts by Martha's Gluten-Free Kitchen

Carrot Cake Pancakes by Uproot from Oregon

[Trend Spotlight] Crazy About Carrots

Carrots are a favorite vegetable to spiralize -- which is a trend I recently wrote about here on Trend Spotlight. I just recently bought a spiralizer and can't wait to try some of these carrot noodle recipes.

Carrot Noodles with Ginger-Lime Peanut Sauce by The Roasted Root

Zucchini Carrot Noodles by Create N Plate

Shaved Carrot Salad with Pistachio and Pomegranate Vinaigrette by Feasting at Home


[Trend Spotlight] Crazy About Carrots

How about drinking your carrots?  Take a look at these liquid carrot creations: 

Carrot Cake Smoothie by the Recipe Runner

Carrot Juice with Lemon and Ginger by The Healthy Cook

Carrot and Orange Juice by The Honour System

[Trend Spotlight] Crazy About Carrots

Carrots are equally delightful savory or sweet.  I grew up loving carrot cake and it's more popular than ever. Yet now this classic is taking new forms:

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake with Skinny Cream Cheese Frosting by Food Doodles

Carrot Cakesicles by The Healthy Maven

Carrot Cake Larabar Bites by My Whole Food Life


What's your favorite way to prepare carrots?


Janet Helm is the author of the FOOD TRENDS Feature on HealthyAperture and is a registered dietitian who wears multiple hats – as a public relations executive, blogger and nutrition journalist. Currently, she is the Chief Food and Nutrition Strategist in North America for Weber Shandwick, a global public relations firm. Janet is also the co-founder of Healthy Aperture, founder of Nutrition Blog Network and author of The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook. She blogs at Nutrition Unplugged and for WedMD and is a former media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and nutrition, and a master’s degree in dietetics from Kansas State University. Janet lives in Chicago with her husband and 10-year-old twins.
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