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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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What's in season: carrots

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You can buy British carrots almost all year round. A member of the parsley family, carrots are also a relative of celery, fennel and parsnips.

This delicious root vegetable is known for its rich supply of the antioxidant named – in part – after it: beta-carotene. In fact, the saying that carrots help you see in the dark isn’t entirely false, as beta-carotene is an important nutrient in maintaining healthy eyes. Carrots have also been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system.

 

Some carrot varieties refuse to be typecast, boasting a range of colours, including white, yellow or purple. Whatever the colour of the carrots you choose, try them in soups, salads or as a side.

Carrot, cumin and coriander salad

A tasty salad that is great served with a slice of quiche or a piece of grilled fish or chicken This salad also keeps well so is ideal for making a few hours in advance if you have friends coming round.

Serves 4 – vegetarian – gluten free – dairy free – 0.5 portion of fruit and veg per serving – prep: 15 mins 

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds2 tsp lemon juice2 tsp extra virgin olive oil½ red onion (50g) very thinly slicedGood grind fresh black pepper2-3 carrots, approximately 250-300g once peeled, topped and tailedFresh coriander leaves to serve

  1. Add the cumin seeds to the palm of your hand and gently crush and rub them with the thumb of your other hand to release the flavours, then add them to a bowl.
  2. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, onion and pepper, mix and set aside.
  3. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the carrots into thin ribbons.
  4. Toss the carrots into the dressing and serve scattered with a few fresh coriander leaves.

Chef’s tips

You could use poppy seeds, sesame seeds or caraway seeds instead of cumin seeds. Or, try using a different oil such as toasted sesame or walnut.

For a really colourful salad look out for heritage carrots which as well as orange can be purple, white or yellow.

Per serving

44Kcals – 0.9g protein – 6.9g carbs (

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6.3g sugars) –

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2g fat (

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0.3g saturates) –

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0.1g salt

Carrot Kugel 

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Kugel is a traditional Jewish dish. It is usually made with noodles and is sweet, but savoury versions are also made, sometimes with potatoes or carrots. It makes an excellent light lunch or supper served with salad and can be eaten hot, warm or cold.

Serves 4 – vegetarian – gluten free – 1 portion of fruit and veg per serving – prep: 10 minutes  – cook: 20-25 minutes 

2 eggs1 clove garlic, crushed1 tsp Dijon mustard50g reduced-fat cream cheese50g reduced-fat mature cheddar, finely gratedGood pinch white pepper500g carrots (approximately 400g once peeled, topped and tailed)50g onion grated2 tsp sunflower oil

  1. Add the eggs, garlic, mustard, cream cheese, cheddar and pepper to a large bowl and mix well, beating with a fork.
  2. Grate the carrot and onion, add to the egg ad cheese mixture and beat together so that the carrot is completely coated with the mixture.
  3. Oil an oven proof pie dish or tin 15-18 cm in diameter. When coated, add the mixture and lightly press to ensure its evenly spread.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven 180°C Gas MK4 for 20-25 minutes until the top is starting to brown.
  5. Allow to cool a little before serving or cool completely and refrigerate to use the following day.

Chef’s tip

You could also flavour this dish with 2-3 tsp of freshly chopped herbs such as basil, oregano, tarragon, thyme or coriander.

Per serving

179Kcals – 11.25g protein – 11.6g carbs (

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10.6g sugars) –

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9.8g fat (

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3.7g saturates) –

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0.6g salt
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