Carrot-Top Pesto


Reducing food waste is the ultimate win-win. It reduces our environmental impact by allowing less to go to waste. And, by using more of what we buy, it saves us money. So, I've been exploring recipes that use ingredients that normally you'd throw away. Today, student Hanna has perfected a pesto recipe made from the green leaves and stems of carrots instead of the commonly-used basil. Voila - carrot-top pesto! Perfect timing before our local carrots start to pop up in farmers' markets and produce stores.  Thanks Hanna! That's Hanna's handiwork with the camera too :)

Carrot-Top Pesto Ingredients

4-5 carrot top leaves

1/2 cup of olive oil

2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp toasted pinenuts (or walnuts or macadamias or almonds)

1/4 tsp salt

Dash of pepper

Carrot-Top Pesto Directions

  1. To toast pine nuts: Lay out pine nuts on a baking sheet or aluminum foil for 200C for 5 minutes, watching them so they don't burn. This can also work with a nonstick pan constantly stirring the pine nuts.
  2. In a food processor, combine carrot tops, garlic, salt and pepper until smooth. Begin to add the olive oil until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Enjoy!

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P.S. This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan.

Carrot Salad

carrot salad

Sometimes we need to be reminded of the classics. Carrot salad is perfect for this time of year - when we're tired of eating Winter fare but we're still waiting for Spring and Summer's local bounty.

Naturally sweet, this is a salad that many non-salad eating picky kids will actually eat.

It's also a very forgiving recipe - make more or less salad as you wish. Reduce the honey if you find it too sweet, or reduce the amount of dressing if you prefer your salads lightly dressed. Enjoy!

Carrot Salad Ingredients

3 cup grated carrot

1 cup raisin, seedless (sultana)

1 tbsp honey (wait to offer babies honey until after 12 months)

6 tbsp mayonnaise (plain yogurt works well too)

1 tsp lemon juice (fresh is best)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup milk

Carrot Salad Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine grated carrots and raisins, tossing lightly.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour mixture over carrots and raisins. Stir carefully until well combined.
  4. Chill thoroughly before serving.
  5. Enjoy!

Deconstructed Version (for kids who don't like their foods to touch) :

  • Set aside some grated raw carrot and raisins. Serve in their own small piles on the plate.
  • Set aside a small amount of the dressing in a small dish.

Get more healthy, easy, tasty recipes here.