A few weeks ago, I came upon a great find at the Hinesville Farmers Market: mixed organic carrots. There were quite a sight, a bounty of white, purple, yellow, and orange. I bought several pounds of the multi-colored beauties and couldn’t wait to get home to prepare them.
Not only are fresh organic carrots an extremely tasty treat eaten raw or cooked in just about any dish, they truly are one of nature’s most powerful super-foods. Loaded with vitamin A, beta carotene, alpha carotene and lutein, carrots can help the body in a variety of ways.
They are heavy-hitters in the vegetable world, with the ability to help flush toxins from the body and reduce cholesterol. Carrots also help fight aging, strengthen our teeth, protect skin from sun damage and help to maintain our eyesight. They even help to prevent cancer.
The more carrots we all can get into our diets the better. I suggest you run, not walk, to the next farmers market to pick up these super carrots for yourself. For added inspiration, I found both meal and beauty-regimen uses for my treasured finds.
Baked herbed carrots
2 pounds organic carrots, any variety, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup low-sodium beef, chicken or vegetable stock (to taste or to pair with entree)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup dried minced onion
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons herbs de Provence
Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients into a Dutch oven or glass baking dish with a cover. Bake for 40 minutes to an hour. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, remove cover, stir, and continue baking uncovered until done to your liking. Serve warm.
Carrot face mask
2 medium carrots – powerful antiseptic to kill germ and protect skin with antioxidants. Carrots help protect the skin from free radicals and promote the regeneration of healthy skin cells.
1 tablespoon raw local honey – also antiseptic and reduces swelling
1 tablespoon olive oil – nourishes and cleans the skin
1 lemon – astringent and acidic. This maintains the acid mantel of your skin, which keeps in moisture and keeps out germs.
Peal the carrots and steam until soft.
Mash the carrots into a creamy consistency.
Mix in honey and stir in olive oil.
Squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice into the face mask mixture. Lemon is a natural astringent and will help clean greasy skin. If your skin tends to dry easily, add only 8 to 10 drops; if you skin tends to be oily, add up to 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Use a spoon to drop small amounts onto your hands and gently massage the mask onto your whole face for several minutes.
Keep the mask on for an additional 5 minutes, then wash it off with water.