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Easy Vegetable Side Dishes

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If you’ve embraced a resolution for healthy eating in 2021, you’ll surely want to try this recipe for Savory Spiced Carrots. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, or omnivore, vegetable side dishes are a must to balance every meal!

From a nutritional standpoint, carrots are high in vitamins A, C, and K. They are full of antioxidants, which are thought to fight inflammatory processes—now understood to be the root cause of many life-threatening diseases. Although carrots are sweet, they still have a low glycemic index and are a good vegetable for diabetics. The carrots’ fiber is also excellent for clearing the colon, so this is an ideal vegetable when you follow a detoxifying diet.

Although many nutritionists praise raw rather than cooked vegetables, Ayurveda recommends cooking vegetables as the better choice because it makes them easier to digest. This is especially true for people with weak digestion and for all of us during the cold winter months. If you want to eat raw foods, modern Ayurvedic practitioners suggest juicing vegetables to make them more digestible. (With either cooking or juicing, part of the body’s digestive process of breaking down the food has already been accomplished.) Still, at this time of year, raw vegetable juice is a chilling factor during a cold time. So, I recommend cooking your veggies.

This recipe easily lends itself to your taste preferences. I’ve offered ranges for the spices from quite mild to a spicier blend. You may want to try this dish with increased amounts of spice to suit your taste.

Adding nuts is optional. Blanched almonds are the easiest to digest of all nuts, but I didn’t think ahead to soak the almonds, so I used pistachios instead. If you want some crunch, sprinkle the nuts on the dish just before serving. For easier digestion, let them soften by steaming with the carrots.

Most carrots are naturally sweet, but occasionally I’ll get a bitter bunch. Taste before serving, as you may want to drizzle the carrots with some pure maple syrup to perfect the dish.

Enjoy these Savory Spiced Carrots as you embrace a healthier you in this fresh new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAVORY SPICED CARROTS

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
or less (10 active)
Serves 4 to 6

10 medium carrots
2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
1 to 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
½ to 1½ teaspoons paprika
⅛ to ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon mineral salt, or more, to taste
¼ to ½ cup blanched almonds or pistachios
1 to 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup (optional)

Time-Saver: Buy pre-cut carrots if you wish.

1. Scrub the carrots with a vegetable brush and cut them into 1-inch pieces.

2. Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a large, covered saucepan on medium heat. When the fat is warm, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the spices. If you want to soften the nuts, add them now. After 30 seconds, add the carrots with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir and cover.

3. Steam the carrots until they are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. If using thinly sliced pre-cut carrots, they will cook in about 10 minutes.

4. If you saved the nuts for a crunchy topping, add them after the carrots are cooked. Before serving, drizzle with maple syrup, if you wish.

Only use ¼ teaspoon paprika, or less!

Add 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, if you wish.

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