Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Carrot Harvest Solution: Crispy Curried Carrot Fritters

So this summer I planted a HUGE bed of carrots, not really thinking about the fact that I'd have around 50+ of them at once when it came time to harvest. I kind of forgot about this fact through the end of summer and beginning of fall, but the other day I wanted to plant garlic for next year in the same, sunny bed as I planted the carrots this year, result being a crap load of carrots I gotta use up (with pleasure, of course). I pictured a few examples of my carrots below, a few different varieties to keep life interesting. I think my favorite was the "purple haze" which is the one furthest to the right. They all taste amazing, though. Not even close to the hard, dried out giants you find in the grocery store. Carrots fresh out of the ground taste incredibly sweet and fresh, and have a gentle crunch to them, not like their grocery store counterparts that take a good bit of gnawing to get through. So, though I was enjoying these carrots immensely simply dipped in hummus, I had (and still have so many) that I wanted a way to incorporate a huge amount of them into a meal, something more interesting than roasting or steaming. Result: crispy curried carrot fritters!

I used a similar recipe over the summer when my zucchini plants were fruiting in overdrive, trying a few variations such as mexican and italian. The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can tweak the herbs and spices to what you like. For some reason, I really like the sweetness of carrots with the spiciness of curry, so I decided to throw in some curry powder and accompanying spices and fried em' up. Not only is this recipe incredibly delicious, but with so many incredibly immune boosting veggies and spices (tumeric in particular!) it is a perfect way to enter into the increasingly cold winter months. Enjoy!

Crispy Curried Carrot Fritters
2 cups grated carrot (use the larger grate on the cheese grater, it took me about 4 medium size carrots to get this quantity)
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto or alternatively, 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro and 2 tbs (more if you like it spicier) diced jalapeno, and 2 tbs olive oil
1 egg
1/3 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (you can use whatever type of cheese you like, though)
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cumin
1.5 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper

olive oil for frying

1. put grated carrots, diced onion, minced garlic, cheese and pesto and/or chopped herbs into a mixing bowl. Stir till well combined.
2. Add the egg and mix in so that all of the carrot mixture is coated.
3. Add the dry ingredients (flour, spices, s & p) and mix it into the batter. It should become thicker and more bound together.
4. Lightly oil a frying pan and heat it up on medium. Add about 2-3 tbsp of the batter to the frying pan to make each fritter. Fry on each side for around 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to turn nice and golden brown and crispy. You will probably have to do a few frying rotations (unless you have the world's biggest burners/ frying pan) so in this case just be sure to re-oil the pan after each round so the fritters do not stick to it.
5. Enjoy these puppies! I served them with mango chutney on the side...yum yum yum!

Health Benefits!!
Carrots- contain beta-carotene, great for your eyesight. High levels of antioxidants may help prevent cancer, high in vitamin A, may decrease risk of heart problems, and may help reduce cholesterol levels due to their richness in fiber.
 Onion- strong antimicrobial benefits, contains sulfides lowering blood lipids and blood cholesterol, contain flavanoids which are known to help protect against cardiovascular disease, high sulfur content for anticlotting agent.
 Garlic- Contains allicin, an incredibly medicinal component, especially in raw garlic. Allicin can help prevent high blood pressure (as it increases circulation), aid in digestion, aid in inflammation reduction, help prevent and cure cold, and much much more!
Tumeric- has high levels of curcumin, which is an antioxidant and can help improve digestive function. Has also been shown to aid in relieving arthritis related pains. Has also been shown to help prevent alzheimer's disease.
Cumin- helps to control diabetes, aids in digestion, high in magnesium.
Cilantro-Powerful anti-inflammatory capacities that may help symptoms of arthritis, Protective agents against bacterial infection from Salmonella in food products, Acts to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), Relief for stomach gas, prevention of flatulence and an overall digestive aid, Wards off urinary tract infections, Helps reduce feelings of nausea, Eases hormonal mood swings associated with menstruation, Has been shown to reduce menstrual cramping, Adds fiber to the digestive tract, A source of iron, magnesium, and is helpful in fighting anemia, Gives relief for diarrhea, especially if caused by microbial or fungal infections, Helps promote healthy liver function, Reduces minor swelling, Strong general antioxidant properties, Disinfects and helps detoxify the body, Stimulates the endocrine glands, Helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar, Acts as a natural anti-septic and anti-fungal agent for skin disorders like fungal infections and eczema, Contains immune-boosting properties
Acts as an expectorant, Helps ease conjunctivitis, as well as eye-aging, macular degeneration, and other stressors on the eyes.
Jalapeno- super high in vitamin C, one pepper contains over a days amount of the vitamin. Also high in vitamin K, A, potassium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese, high in antioxidants, and capciasin to help boost the metabolism and detox the body.


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