You probably know them for their vision-protecting reputation, but carrots have a lot more to offer. The (usually) orange vegetable boosts immunity, promotes vibrant skin, reduces cholesterol, boosts oral health, protects the heart, improves digestion, increases cardiovascular health, and detoxifies the body, thanks to a plethora of vitamins and minerals.
If your diet is a little slim on carrots—or even void of 'em—it's time to reconsider this underrated root veggie. From breakfast to dessert, you're guaranteed to find something below that tickles your taste buds while slimming down! Bought (or grew?) more than you need? Throw some into one of these 21 Warm Weather Slow Cooker Recipes. Now let's get cookin'!
HEALTHY NO-BAKE CAKE BATTER BITES
Nutrition: 184 calories, 7.6 g fat (<1 g saturated), 41 mg sodium, 21.5 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2.6 g sugar, 8.4 g protein
Remember when you were little and you got to lick the cake batter spoon? Yeah, this is even better. It's actually good for you, won't give you salmonella, and may even boost your fitness goals. Bite into one or two of these pre-workout and you'll be energized, carbed up, and ready to tackle those deadlifts.
Get the recipe from The Big Man's World.
PARMESAN HERB CARROT FRIES
Nutrition: 163 calories, 12.3 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 122 mg sodium, 11.9 g carbs, 3.3 g fiber, 5.2 g sugar, 3.5 g protein
Before you have fries with that, consider this: a large fry from McDonald's Menu
contains 510 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 67 grams of carbs. This tasty carrot version contains one-third of the calories, half the fat, and one-fifth of the carbs.
Get the recipe from The Scrumptious Pumpkin.
CARROT PINEAPPLE ORANGE JUICE
Nutrition: 122 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 64 mg sodium, 30.6 g carbs, 5.6 g fiber, 21.2 g sugar, 2 g protein
This isn't just your run of the mill OJ. This batch is sky-high in vitamin C, a nutrient that keeps away the sniffles and belly flab, thanks to its ability to counteract the stress hormones that leave you feeling tense and trigger the fat storage.
Get the recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH CARROT SOUP
Nutrition: 210 calories, 17.2 g fat (11 g saturated), 58 mg sodium, 14.2 g carbs, 3.4 g fiber, 5.2 g sugar, 3 g protein
This soup is made from two vegetable superfoods.Like the almighty carrot, butternut squash packed with potassium, fiber, and carotenoids or fat-soluble pigments that fight heart disease, asthma, and arthritis and promote healthy vision and skin.
Get the recipe from What's Gaby Cooking.
CARROT CHICKPEA HARISSA DIP
Nutrition: 148 calories, 7.9 g fat (1.1 g saturated), 33 mg sodium, 16.2 g carbs, 4.6 g fiber, 3.7 g sugar, 4.7 g protein
Not only are chickpeas loaded with lysine—the amino acid that blasts away cellulite by repairing tissue and collagen—but they're also one of the best high fiber foods, aiding in weight management. A study published in the journal Obesity found people who ate a single serving of chickpeas each day reported feeling 31 percent fuller than their bean-less counterparts. Whether you're looking to shed a few pounds or just maintain a healthy weight, start dipping!
Get the recipe from The First Mess.
HONEY MAPLE ROASTED CARROTS
Nutrition: 117 calories, 4.1 g fat (0.6 g saturated), 79 mg sodium, 20.3 g carbs, 3.2 g fiber, 12.7 g sugar, 1.3 g protein
Not a big carrot person? Dress them up with this honey maple recipe and don't miss out on all the wholesome benefits.
Get the recipe from The Café Sucré Farine.
ROASTED CARROT AVOCADO SALAD
Nutrition: 332 calories, 29.7 g fat (5 g saturated), 94 mg sodium, 18.2 g carbs, 7.3 g fiber, 6.8 g sugar, 2.3 g protein
Don't let the fat count get in the way of you and this waist-whittling salad. While consuming the wrong sources of the macronutrient in excess is one of the things making you fatter, this kind isn't one of them.
A study in the journal Diabetes Care found that a diet rich in monounsaturated fat, like the fats in this nutritional profile, may actually prevent abdominal fat by down regulating the expression of certain fat genes.
Get the recipe from What's Gabby Cooking.
SHAVED CARROT SALAD WITH PISTACHIO POMEGRANATE VINAIGRETTE
Nutrition: 129 calories, 8.6 g fat, 91 mg sodium, 12.2 g carbs, 3.3 g fiber, 5.9 g sugar, 2.4 g protein
Bored with the same old side dishes? These heirloom carrot ribbons will freshen up any entree. They're bright, colorful and tasty. And that's not all they liven up.This dish might improve performance in the bedroom. A study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research discovered that pomegranate juice, rich in antioxidants that support blood flow, can help improve erectile dysfunction.
Get the recipe from Feasting at Home.
ROASTED CARROT HASH WITH GROUND BEEF AND BACON
Nutrition: 340 calories, 17.1 g fat (5.2 g saturated), 394 mg sodium, 9.4 g carbs, 2.2 g fiber, 4.8 g protein, 35.6 g protein
This Paleo-friendly egg dish boasts 35.6 grams of satiating muscle-building protein. Just made sure to opt for grass-fed beef, which naturally leaner and void of harmless chemicals. Wondering what the deal with Paleo is? Check out these 30 Paleo Questions Answered in 5 Words or Less!
Get the recipe from Paleo Running Momma.
CARROT PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE
Nutrition: 93 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 22 mg sodium, 23.5 g carbs, 2.7 g fiber, 15.7 g sugar, 1.2 g protein
Looking detox? Blend this. According to David Colbert, MD, a dermatologist and internist in New York City, "acids in citrus fruits help flush water through your body. And because citrus also contains fiber, they move through your system slowly and flush out toxins that contribute to body odors."
Get the recipe from Gimmie Some Oven.
CARROT CAKE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES
Nutrition: 260 calories, 9.9 g fat (8.2 g saturated), 197 mg sodium, 43 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 11.3 g sugar, 4.1 g protein
You had us at ice cream sandwiches and carrot cake. But this recipe is stacked with slimming foods including almond milk, coconut oil, cinnamon, and walnuts. In fact, walnuts are one of the best dietary sources of polyunsaturated fats, which activate genes that reduce fat storage and improve insulin metabolism. Plus, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free? This is a health foodie jackpot!
Get the recipe from She Likes Food.
CARROT NOODLES WITH THAI PEANUT SAUCE
Nutrition: 192 calories, 13.1 g fat (7.1 g saturated), 520 mg sodium, 12.8 g carbs, 3.1 g fiber, 5.2 g sugar, 8.8 g protein
Spaghetti squash, zoodles, and caroodles? Yeah, it's a thing and a good one. Twirl these carrot noodles on your fork and you'll be one step closer to your summer body goals. Just make sure to go light on the sauce and drink lots of water to counterbalance the sodium intake.
Get the recipe from The Endless Meal.
CARROT GINGER SOUP
Nutrition: 107 calories, 5.3 g fat (2.3 g saturated), 463 mg sodium, 11.8 g carbs, 2.1 g fiber, 6.2 g sugar, 4 g protein
This is not your typical carrot ginger soup. It's very rich and creamy but just 107 calories. The secret? A gift from the Greek gods who created a yogurt that's low in sugar, high in protein and creamy enough to make you think you're committing sin. Not sure which kind to buy? Check out these 25 Best Yogurts for Weight Loss.
Get the recipe from Foodie Crush.
Nutrition: 308 calories, 22.2 g fat (6.6 g saturated), 234 mg sodium, 25.1 g carbs, <1 g fiber, 15.7 g sugar, 3 g protein (calculated with stevia baking blend)
This recipe calls for ⅔ cups of oil, but you should opt for coconut oil. A growing body of research shows that adding it to your diet could be one of the easiest ways to improve your body goals, memory, overall health, and appearance.
Get the recipe from Gimmie Delicious.
ROASTED GARLIC PARMESAN CARROT NOODLES
Nutrition: 268 calories, 20.1 g fat (6 g saturated), 348 mg sodium, 14.5 g carbs, 3.1 g fiber, 6.2 g sugar, 10.4 g protein
Gentlemen, listen up: According to a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, men who generous amounts of carrots, as opposed to other veggies, saw improved sperm performance (count and motility) by 6.5 to 8 percent! And what better way to sneak them into your diet than to sub them in for the nutrient-void noodle? To look your best naked, check out these 25 Best Foods for a Toned Body.
Get the recipe from Kirbie Cravings.
VEGAN CARROT COCONUT PANCAKES
Nutrition: 261 calories, 7.9 g fat (4.5 g fat), 104 mg sodium, 42.2 g carbs, 5.4 g fiber, 9.5 g sugar, 4.8 g protein
Whether you make these pancakes for breakfast or dessert, top them off with walnuts for an extra boost of heart-healthy fats and muscle-building protein. Plus, the added healthy fat will help fill you up, without filling you out.
GARLIC ROASTED CARROTS
Nutrition: 90 calories, 7.1 g fat (1 g saturated), 49 mg sodium, 6.5 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 1 g protein
Frequently find yourself in a dinner bind? Pair these Garlic Roasted Carrots with a rotisserie chicken and sweet potatoes, and you've got yourself a wholesome meal with minimal effort! For more recipes you can whip up on the fly check out these 20 Best-Ever Fat Burning Soups.
Get the recipe from Damn Delicious.
CARROT CURL CHIPS
Nutrition: 71 calories, 4.7 g fat (<1 g saturated), 127 mg sodium, 7.4 g carbs, 1.9 g fiber, 3.5 g sugar, <1 g protein
Do you secretly hoard mini bags of potato chips in your snack drawer at work? Ditch the greasy guilt and try these carrot chips, which puts potato chips' nutritional profile to shame.
SWEET AND SPICY CARROT HUMMUS
Nutrition: 160 calories, 5.4 g fat (<1 g saturated), 115 mg sodium, 22.4 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 5.2 g sugar, 6.5 g protein
Capsaicin, the compound that gives sriracha its signature kick, increases body heat, turns up your calorie burning oven, and decreases appetite. In fact, scientists are currently looking at turning capsaicin into an all-natural anti-obesity supplement for its ability to activate our "good," calorie-burning brown fat stores! For more ways to increase caloric burn, check out these 55 Best-Ever Ways to Boost Your Metabolism.
Get the recipe from Bowl of Delicious.
CARROT CAKE PANCAKES
Nutrition: 146 calories, 5.4 g fat (3.2 g saturated), 172 mg sodium, 20.7 g carbs, 1.3 g fiber, 6.5 g sugar, 4 g protein
Carrot cake and pancakes is a match made in comfort food heaven. And at just 146 calories and 5.4 grams of fat, need we say more?
Get the recipe from The Smitten Kitchen.