It’s that time of the year – time for Easter eats, and while you may have your main dish covered, we can’t forget about the supporting roles. It’s no secret, carrots are an essential Easter side dish – you can thank Bugs Bunny for that one. But, let’s be real. They’re expected and too often boring. Not this time, folks. Join Paige Green, Hy-Vee Dietitian with the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as she gets your holiday hopping when she turns carrot sticks into fun “fries” with a happier health profile. More than just vehicles for eating ranch dressing, carrots are the perfect veggie to serve fry-style. Tap into your inner bunny and be the hostess with the mostess with these bite-size crunchers. There’s no need to sacrifice flavor for healthiness, and let’s face it, Easter just isn’t Easter without carrots!
Vision Boosting Vitamins?
We’ve all heard it growing up, “eat your carrots, they’ll help you see better.” Was that just a ploy our parents played to get us to eat our veggies? Kind of. Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, which is good for eyesight, however, unless you have a severe Vitamin A deficiency, carrots will not improve your vision.
Fortunately, it’s rare to be low in Vitamin A, especially if your plate includes these and other Vitamin A treasures, such as sweet potatoes or dark leafy greens like spinach and kale.
Keep Calm and Carrot On
Snap, Crackle, Crunch
Carrots are very versatile. They can be eating raw, steamed, or roasted. Use carrots in coleslaws, salads, or wraps, or add to baked goods, like muffins.
Let’s Not Sugarcoat It
Your child’s Easter basket could be full of the same amount of sugar that the American Heart Association recommends over the course of several weeks ( 6 tsp for women/children and 9 tsp for men). Remember, Easter is a holiday, not a holi-week, nor a holi-month. Celebrate without the sugar crash!
Baked Carrot Fries
All you need:
For the carrot fries:
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dill
Salt and pepper to taste
All you do:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place parchment paper on a large baking sheet.
Slice the top and bottom off each carrot. Slice in half, and then each half into thirds, lengthwise. Place in a large bowl.
Add oil, cheese, seasonings, and parsley to the carrot bowl, and mix together until carrots are well coated.
Spread carrots on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy. Garnish with extra Parmesan and parsley if desired.
While carrots are baking, mix together ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small bowl.
Serve warm carrots with dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts per serving (1/3 of the fries; sauce not included):
130 calories, 9 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 380 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g total sugar, 0 g added sugar, 3.5 g protein
Source: Adapted from www.tasty.com