The Perfect Raw Treat: Orange Carrot Bars

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carrot orange barsCarrots provide us with a well-rounded influx of vitamins and minerals. They have been one of the most widely used vegetables because it is versatile and easy to use and grow. Like anise, celery and dill, they are a member of the parsley family and typically orange in color but you can also find less common ones like red carrots, white, yellow and even purple ones.

The antioxidants in carrots are proving to play an important role in the prevention of cancer.

Beta-carotene (the antioxidant most of us are familiar with carrots) has been associated with lowering the risk of colon cancer and carrot juice extract is proving to be effective inhibitor and “killer” of leukemia cells. Another compound in carrots, falcarinol is thought to stimulate cancer fighting mechanisms in the human body because it’s already been shown to decrease the risk of tumor development in rats.

They have even been shown to lower the risk of lung cancer in for smokers who enjoy carrots a few times weekly.

Carrots are known for their high vitamin A content (beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the liver). They are rich in vitamin C which stimulates white blood cells into activity and is an important element in the human immune system, offer fiber for good digestive health and vitamin A for eyesight. Eating one carrot a day has proven to reduce the risk of stroke by 68%…that alone is a good reason to eat your daily carrot.

These bright orange slender beauties have been favorite substitutes for the needed “sweet element” in many natural raw desserts, snacks and treats throughout the ages because they contain more sugar than any other vegetable besides beets.

Carrots keep best sealed in plastic or wrapped up in a paper towel. Stored properly, carrots should stay fresh for about two weeks. Do not store carrots near pears, potatoes or apples as the ethylene gas released causes carrots to turn bitter.

Not surprisingly, it’s best to purchase organic carrots if possible to avoid any contamination by pesticides.

Here’s a great carrot bar recipe that will remind you of your favorite carrot cake and sure to become a family favorite:

ORANGE CARROT BARS

3 cups fresh carrots
2 cups pecans
1 cup dates
½ cup raisins
1 orange
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup shredded coconut

Soak dates for at least 30 minutes then drain. Chop orange roughly and place all ingredients in food processor.

Shape into individual bars or press into one large baking tin to be cut when ready to serve.

Topping:

1 ½ cups cashews
½ cup water
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
3 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoons vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

Blend these ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Place in fridge to achieve a thicker consistency
and spread on top of bas when ready to serve.

For more great healthy raw snack, treat and dessert recipes that you can feel good about eating and sharing with your family and friends check out “100 Healthy Raw Snacks and Treats”…all prepared with the finest raw ingredients, free of chemical additives and processed sugars.