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carrot tops

Have you ever tried Carrot Tops?

Carrot Tops are the greens (tops) of the carrots that grow out of the ground.  When I picked them up in our CSA box for the first time a few weeks ago, I wasn’t really sure what to do with them.  The first few weeks I added them to salads and stirfy’s.  They taste more like an herb than a leafy green veggie, but they taste good, especially mixed with fresh lettuce.

If you get the carrots with attached green tops, the tops should be cut off before storing them in the refrigerator because they will pull moisture from the carrot and cause them to wilt more quickly. The tops should be used fairly soon because they will begin to wilt very quickly.

[Did you know? Carrots should we stored away from certain fruits, such as apples and potatoes because they produce a gas that will cause the fruits to become bitter.]

Today, I decided to do something different with the carrot tops- I juiced them!

Along with my carrot tops, I added the following to my juice:

  • 1 beet
  • 1 apple
  • handful of carrot tops
  • 3 carrots
  • 5ish celery stalks

This juice tasted great!  I couldn’t really taste the carrot tops, but hopefully I got some nutrients from them.  I juiced them first too see what kind of juice I would get.  I did, in fact, get juice from them!

The combination of beets and celery might be one of my favorites in juice.

Along with my juice, I had 2 slices of Carrot Raisin Manna Bread spread with Pepita Sun Butter.

Good breakfast!

Backing up a bit…

I woke up this morning, down a glass of Amazing Grass Lemon Lime and 2 Organic Medjool dates, and was off to swim.

When I got to the pool, it was packed, but luckily a few minutes later most people had left.

I swam 2200 yards.  I decided to change it up a bit today so after my 100 yd warm-up, I sprinted every 5th lap.

  • 100 yd warm-up
  • 2000 yd swim (sprinting every 5th lap)
  • 100 yd cool-down

It felt good to pick it up every so often.  I was tired by the end, but felt great!

This week, I have remembered why I love morning workouts!  For one, it gets my workout out of the way.  But, what I really love about them is that they leave me feeling great for the remainder of the day!  I love it.

Moving on to lunch…

I forgot to pack up my lunch last night, and the veggie all needed to be washed, so I opted for an easy grab-an-go lunch today.

Yogurt with banana and Uncle Sam’s cereal, museli and raw granola bites.  This definitely hit the spot and kept me full.

For my afternoon snack, I had some sprouted chocolate nuts and dried mango slices.

These nuts are awesome.  Trust me.  Sprouted nuts+raisins+raw chocolate=so good!!

Dinner was also fantastic and very easy.

Emily came over to chat for a bit, so by the time she left, I didn’t feel like making a big dinner.  Instead, I popped a can of soup on the stove.

When it was almost done heating up, I added some lentils that I had cooked last night to the pot to bulk it up.  I like Amy’s soups when I am in a pinch, but the minestrone did not have much bulk to it.

And, served the soup with some chips for dipping.

Last night, while we were eating dinner, I threw 1 cup of green lentils into my rice cooker with 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 tbsp of olive oil and 2 cups of water.  I closed the lid and set it to the white rice/mixed setting.  An hour later, my lentils were done!  I knew I would want a quick dinner tonight, and this was perfect. 🙂

crunchy carrots

It’s raining again?!  What is going on?  I thought it was April showers…

I wanted some of everything for breakfast this morning.  Does this happen to anyone else?  Sometimes, when I am that hungry, I end up eating random bites of things straight out of the cabinet or fridge.  But, I have been trying not to do that lately.  Even though my random bites from the cabinet are not unhealthy (because I really don’t buy items with artificial ingredients and the like), they do not make me feel satisfied.

Eventually, after searching, I decided on a big glass of fresh-squeezed juice and manna bread with almond butter and banana.

In the juice mix:

  • 1 apple
  • 2 carrots
  • pineapple
  • 3 celery stalks
  • ginger
  • 1/2 cucumber

I loved the cucumber!  I could really taste it, and it made the juice very refreshing, which would be perfect for the summer!

Served along with some manna bread, almond butter and banana.  I love juice with breakfast, but I also like something to chew (and some fat for satiety).

Carrots

You have probably noticed that I add carrots to almost every juice that I make.  Well, I really enjoy the taste of carrots, but I don’t love eating them.  It may be weird…but, it’s just something about eating carrots that I don’t like – I can’t explain it.  But, carrots have so many beneficial nutrients (and I like the taste), that I am able to add to my diet by adding them to my juices.  I normally try to make juice a few times each week.

(Source)

Carrots do contain a good amount of sugar, but because it is natural sugar and has a high carotenoid content, it actually helps balance blood sugar.  They provide an excellent source of vitamins, including A, C, D, E, K, B1 and B6.  Carrots have a high amount of antioxidant compounds which help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer and also promote good vision, especially night vision.  And, are also very rich in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.  As we know from my post about the benefits of chocolate, over 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.  We need magnesium for heart health, muscle relaxation and to increase our brainpower.  So, if you don’t like chocolate (?!), then eat your carrots!

Enough about carrots!  It’s time for lunch.

I made up a delicious salad to bring with me today with a little of everything from my fridge.  Salad with romaine, cucumbers, heirloom cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and apricot stilton with pear infused viniagrette.

My home-cooked chickpeas are pretty good!

Along with my salad, I had a side of Cheese-y Quackers that I picked up from One Lucky Duck in NYC.

Cheese-y Quackers are raw crackers made with organic almonds, organic flax, organic nutritional yeast, organic spices and organic sea salt.  Can’t get much healthier than that!

And, they tasted great.  They were just as crispy as crackers could be, and had a great cheese-y taste.  They tasted very rich, which meant that I only needed a few!  Definitely a perfect replacement for me.

It is so gross out, and it looks like we have a few more rainy days in the future.  It’s a perfect day to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of tea…too bad I’m headed back to work!