Orange Carrot Salad with Toasted Almonds (vegan, gluten free)
Continuing our rainbow series, and picking up from the last post, we are moving on to orange. This week I am bringing a crisp, sweet, fresh, salad that would impress any dinner party. This dish is so simple and easy, but fantastically delicious and appears quite time-consuming and impressive. So lets get to the nutrition and the recipe!
First, higher consumption of carrots, packed with beta-carotene, has been correlated with an increase in healthier bone mass. Carrots are also packed with vitamin A, biotin, vitamin K, molybdenum, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. In addition, carrots are packed with the carotenoids, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and lutein. These carotenoids have correlated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, and have been shown to improve eye health, liver health, reproductive health, and can protect against cancer.
Oranges are well known for their high quantities of vitamin C, but they have so many more benefits than just vitamin C. The phytonutrient, herperidin has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as serve as a powerful antioxidant. In addition, the presence of free radicals within DNA is the beginning of cancer, and the potent amount of vitamin C in oranges disarms free radicals, especially throughout the digestive tract. As a result, oranges have been correlated with a decreased risk in colon cancer. Oranges can also lessen the effects of inflammatory conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Energetically orange corresponds to creativity and has the ability to inspire creative ways to solve problems. Often times we go about our days “in our heads”, thinking our way through issues. Instilling some creativity; through drawing, painting, writing, and cooking can get us out of ours heads and into the flow which can bring about new solutions and different ways to approach life.
Now onto the recipe!!
4 large carrots
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
½ cup sliced almonds
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp grade A, dark maple syrup
juice of 4 oranges
zest of 1 orange
½ tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg
Wash your carrots and gently peel into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Add carrots to a large salad bowl.
Chop your mint into ribbons by rolling the mint (like a burrito or sushi), and then chopping vertically. Add to salad bowl with carrots.
In a small frying pan, add ½ cup sliced almonds, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and ½ tsp salt. Toast the almonds, stirring continuously, on high heat until lightly toasted.
Remove almonds from the pan immediately to avoid burning and pour out onto parchment paper. Allow to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk the juice of 4 oranges, the zest of 1 orange, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp nutmeg until fully incorporated. Set aside.
After allowing the almonds to cool completely, roughly chop them into small pieces.
If serving immediately, add almonds to salad bowl along with other ingredients, pour the dressing over the top, mix, and serve.
If serving at a later time, reserve the almonds and dressing in a separate container, and mix together when about to serve.