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Satisfying Purple Carrot Recipes: An Easy Plant-Based Guide

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Vibrant purple carrots make for a fun, nutritious ingredient to incorporate into everyday meals. Compared to orange carrots, purple carrots tend to be sweeter while also packing more antioxidants and anthocyanins for better health. From salads to soups and everything in between, read on for our complete guide to cooking with purple carrots.

An Introduction to Purple Carrots

Purple carrots come in a range of shades from deep purple to reddish-purple. They have a sweet, herbaceous taste comparable to orange carrots but with their unique flavor profile.

In addition to their eye-catching color, purple carrots provide these health benefits:

  • Higher levels of anthocyanins – These antioxidants reduce inflammation and protect cells.
  • Extra beta-carotene – This gets converted into vitamin A, supporting eye and skin health.
  • More lutein – This antioxidant boosts eye health and vision.
  • Lower glycemic index – This helps control blood sugar levels.

With a crunchy texture and vibrant color, purple carrots liven up any dish. They work especially well for plant-based recipes, adding wholesome nutrition. Keep reading for our favorite ways to cook with them!

Breakfast and Brunch Purple Carrot Recipes

Purple Carrot Recipes
Organic purple carrots at a local farmers market

Start your day off right with these energizing breakfast ideas centered around purple carrots:

Purple Carrot Pancakes

Make fluffy, veggie-packed pancakes by shredding purple carrots into the batter. Top with maple syrup or fresh fruit for a visually stunning stack.

Breakfast Hash with Purple Carrots

For a savory breakfast, sauté diced purple carrots with potatoes, bell peppers, and onions. Season with cumin, garlic, and parsley.

Overnight Purple Carrot Oatmeal

For grab-and-go morning meals, mix old-fashioned oats with almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla, and shredded purple carrots. Refrigerate overnight so the oats soak up the liquid.

Purple Carrot Breakfast Cookies

Wake up to these wholesome cookies made with spelt flour, purple carrots, raisins, and cinnamon. They provide lasting energy on busy mornings.

Purple Carrot Soups and Salads

Purple cabbage salad.
Purple cabbage salad.

From light starters to heartier mains, purple carrots excel in chilled and blended soups along with fresh salads:

Purple Carrot Soup

Simply sauté diced purple carrots with onions and garlic before blending into a creamy, vibrant soup. Garnish with parsley or chives.

Carrot Apple Slaw Salad

Shred purple carrots and green apples for a sweet slaw. Toss with lemon juice and olive oil for a tangy salad side.

Purple Carrot Fennel Soup

Braise fennel and purple carrots in broth with thyme and bay leaves, then purée into a complex flavor soup.

Shaved Purple Carrot Salad

Thinly slice purple carrots using a mandoline for delicate shavings. Dress with oil, cider vinegar, mustard, and dill for a light salad.

Main Dishes Featuring Purple Carrots

Slices of purple carrot with pink salt and olive oil for roasting.
Slices of purple carrot with pink salt and olive oil for roasting.

From comforting casseroles to plant-based proteins, purple carrots make flavorful additions to complete meals:

Lentil Purple Carrot Casserole

Cook green lentils with quinoa and diced purple carrots, then bake with an almond milk sauce and breadcrumb topping for a vegetarian main dish.

Purple Carrot Tofu Scramble

Stir sautéed purple carrots into scrambled tofu with turmeric and nutritional yeast for vibrant vegan breakfast tacos or bowls.

Purple Carrot Veggie Burgers

Shred purple carrots into the mix when making homemade veggie burger patties using beans, oats, and herbs. The purple flecks look fantastic.

Purple Carrot Mac and Cheese

Blend steamed, chopped purple carrots into a creamy plant-based cheese sauce of cashews, potatoes, carrots, and nutrional yeast over pasta.

Sides and Snacks with Purple Carrots

Don’t forget light snacks and sides – purple carrots work deliciously here too:

Purple Carrot Fries

These oven-baked fries look gourmet but come together easily. Cut purple carrots into fry shapes, coat with oil and spices, then roast until crispy.

Pickled Purple Carrots

Preserve harvested purple carrots by packing raw coin slices into jars with vinegar, sugar, and spices for tangy, shelf-stable snacks.

Purple Carrot Hummus

Blend chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and steamed purple carrots for vivid dip full of nutrition. Serve with pita chips or fresh veggies.

Purple Carrot Rice Pilaf

Cook white or brown rice pilaf with broth, garlic, and diced purple carrots for a colorful, antioxidant-rich side dish.

Baking with Purple Carrots

Muffins, breads, and cakes all get better with purple carrots. Here are nutritious baked goods to try:

Purple Carrot Zucchini Bread

Fold shredded purple carrots and zucchini into a spiced, sweet quick bread batter before baking loaf pans. The purple hue looks brilliant swirled with green zucchini.

Purple Carrot Walnut Muffins

Natural food dyes have nothing on purple carrot muffins. Grate carrots into the mix along with walnuts, cinnamon, and raisins before baking.

Purple Carrot Cake

Moist carrot cake gets even more colorful with vibrant purple carrots in the batter. Cream cheese frosting pairs perfectly.

Purple Carrot Maple Cookies

Mix shredded purple carrots into wholesome cookies along with oats, maple syrup, coconut oil, raisins, and pecans.

Key Takeaways

  • Purple carrots have extra antioxidants and a sweet, herbal flavor compared to orange carrots. Their anthocyanins offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • They excel in both raw preparations like salads and slaws as well as cooked dishes such as soups, casseroles, and baked goods.
  • Fold shredded purple carrots into batters for vivid, health-boosting pancakes, muffins, cakes, and breads.
  • Pickle or roast purple carrot pieces for snacking. Blend them into dips and dressings too.
  • Let the vibrant purple color shine by adding carrot pieces to recipes or shredding them instead of blending.
  • Store fresh purple carrots in the fridge for 2-3 weeks, wrapped in plastic to retain moisture.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do purple carrots taste compared to orange carrots?

Purple carrots have a sweet, herbal flavor with earthy, spice notes as well. They tend to be sweeter than regular carrots.

Are purple carrots healthy?

Yes! The anthocyanins that give purple carrots their color also deliver extra antioxidants. Purple carrots contain more beta-carotene and lutein too.

What are the best ways to cook purple carrots?

Roast diced purple carrots in the oven until caramelized for a simple side. Also shred them raw into salads, slaws, baked goods like muffins and cakes, blend into soups and dips, or pickle into snacks.

How do you grow purple carrots?

Grow purple carrots from seed during cool weather in spring or fall. Sow seeds directly in prepared garden soil in a sunny spot. Water regularly and harvest carrots when roots size up, about 2-3 months from planting.

Can you substitute purple carrots for orange carrots?

Absolutely! Purple carrots can swap evenly for orange carrots in any recipe. Their sweet flavor may mean you can use less added sugar. Adjust to taste.

How long do fresh purple carrots last?

Store fresh purple carrots in the refrigerator crisper, unwashed and untrimmed, inside a plastic bag to retain moisture. They will last 2-3 weeks when stored properly. Cooked purple carrots keep 4-5 days refrigerated.

Where can you buy purple carrots?

Check well-stocked grocery stores, especially those with robust produce sections. Farmers markets also frequently offer purple carrots when in season. Some natural food stores like Whole Foods sell them too. Can’t find fresh? Use canned or jarred purple carrots

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