Throw together a few fresh carrots, plump golden raisins and field-crisp sunflower seeds, and what do you get?
No, not rabbit food.
No, not bird food.
A super salad comes together based on a melody of nutritious, yet oh so delicious, ingredients. Yes, from these humble beginnings a carrot raisin salad is born.
A handful of carrots and a few other inexpensive ingredients make this salad a quick prep during every step. Still not convinced? Carrot raisin salad lightens up even more with substitutions of fat-free mayonnaise and strained, plain nonfat yogurt.
All Carrots Are Not Equal
Use the highest quality carrots that you can find. Fresh and local tastes better than old and shipped.
In August tender, sweet carrots are available at farmer’s markets and are worth a special carrot hunting trip. Look for unblemished, snappy carrots with lively feather duster parsley-like tops. If the green tops are missing, take an even closer look to ensure freshness.
Besides the traditional Bugs Bunny bright orange, carrots come in a variety of colors that range from deep maroon to white. Remember the color is only skin deep. Often a lighter shade hides under the peel. Besides, all carrots taste the same, despite their color. Any difference in flavor comes from the variety of carrots grown, storage practices and overall freshness.
Serving Up Salad in Different Ways
As a summer dish that travels well, carrot and raisin salad has many possibilities. The golden raisins act like little sponges and soak up any extra juices from the fresh carrots. If you decide to take the extra low calorie route and substitute fat-free mayonnaise and strained, plain nonfat yogurt for some or all of the mayonnaise, throw in a few extra raisins. More dried fruit will eliminate the watery run off non-fat dressings create.
Any leftovers make Mom-approved, wholesome additions to lunch boxes. With its health-giving qualities and unique twist on standard ingredients, carrot and raisin salad adds to the food interest of a pot luck menu.
This salad is a family favorite even with the not-crazy-about-veggies crowd. The neon bright orange color puts some edible sunshine on the table. Carrot and raisin salad really does shine.
Carrot and Raisin Salad3 cups shredded carrots, about 5 large carrots 1/3 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons plain yogurt 1/3 cup golden raisins 1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel 1/3 cup unsweetened pineapple, chopped and drained
Wash, peel, trim and finely shred the carrots then set aside. If available, a food processor works well for shredding carrot bits into a uniform size.
Place mayonnaise and yogurt in a large bowl. Stir in carrots, raisins, sunflower seeds, grated orange peel and pineapple.
Serve immediately and refrigerate any leftovers.