Carrots – A Trusty Staple

Welcome back to Budget Bites - as we continue to see food prices climb, especially fresh produce, it can seem close to impossible to eat an abundance of veggies whilst keeping within a budget. But before you go and throw away your healthy eating goals, let's shine some light on a veggie that’s cheap, super healthy and versatile - cue the humble carrot!

Carrots are one of the most abundant vegetables produced in New Zealand and are available year-round. They only cost around $2.50/kg ($0.38 per carrot) – which is budget-friendly in comparison to other root vegetables like parsnip costing $8.50/kg or beetroot costing $6.50/kg.

Carrots may not be thought of as a ‘superfood’ but if you take a closer look they are rich in vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight (we’ve all been told it helps us see in the dark and it’s no joke!), as well as fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium.

More than just a vessel for hummus, carrots can make impressive side dishes, creamy sauces or the star of the show in your next salad.

Roasted Carrots

Carrots are naturally sweet so when they are roasted this intensifies their sweetness even more! Roasted carrots are a perfect side to many dishes – but to make them a little special, serve them with a creamy sauce or feta and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds for some crunch.

Here is our recipe for Roasted Carrots with Cashew Cream. You can use regular carrots cut into batons or baby carrots. We’ve topped this dish with some roasted pistachios as we love their flavour and colour but for a more budget-friendly option, you can sprinkle over some toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Cashew Cream

Add roasted carrots to a grain salad following our hearty salad formula from our free ebook – How to build the perfect salad. An example of a delicious grain salad is our Warm Brown Rice, Chickpea Salad with Roasted Pumpkin, Carrot and Feta – roasted vegetables, nutty brown rice and chickpeas tied together with our favourite creamy tahini, and mustard dressing, finished off with some creamy feta and tangy pickled onions.

Warm Brown Rice, Chickpea Salad with Roasted Carrots, Pumpkin and Feta

Served Raw

We love adding grated carrot to coleslaws and salads and this Moroccan-Inspired Carrot and Quinoa Salad is one of our all time favourites! Serve it with some smoked salmon for a super easy, healthy mid-week meal. 

Moroccan-Inspired Carrot and Quinoa Salad

Make into a sauce!

Yes, you heard that right carrots can be blended into a delicious creamy pasta sauce! This is the perfect pasta to have up your sleeve to cook for any vegan friends or if you want to include more plant-based meals into your diet. 

Vegan Creamy Miso, Carrot Pasta with Crispy Breadcrumbs

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