Carrots are the cornerstone vegetable of the SCD diet. They are the first vegetable that Elaine recommends to eat for a good reason. Carrots contain extremely high amounts of carotenoids, which have been linked to fighting cancer, fighting parasites, protecting vision, and reducing heart disease. Basically they are an SCD super food!
The worst part about carrots, though, is that they take 3 to 4 hours of boiling before they are fully cooked. While the research is a bit inconclusive about the degree to which steaming is better than boiling, it is a widely accepted fact that steaming vegetables allows them to retain more vitamins and minerals. Not only is it healthier to steam veggies but the best part is it’s faster!
For the first batch of carrots you make, I highly recommend you boil them just to get a good idea of what they look like when they are done (and feel that pain of boiling something for 4 hrs). Honestly, I always hated it when my math teachers made me learn the 47 steps to solve a problem before showing me a 2 step process that produced the same result. Therefore, I can’t fault you if you want to try the easy method first. The secret to cutting their cooking time by 3 hours is below!
Start by picking up 4-5 pounds of carrots from the store (buy local or organic if you can).
Now, we need to wash and peel them. Next, grab the big end of the carrots and use your swivel peeler to run the length of the carrot. Make sure to rotate the carrot and get all sides of it. Then, flip the carrot around so you can peel the area you were holding onto.
Next, I set up my steamer. I use an Oster steamer, but you could just as easily steam them in a pot on the stove. If you have a steamer like mine, fill it up with water and get it set up so all you have to do is plug it in and start it. If you’re using a pot to steam, start boiling the water while you prepare the carrots.
Now that the steamer is setup, chop off the ends of the carrots and cut them into roughly 1 inch sections and place them right into the steamer.
Next, we need to start the steamer… I’ve found that depending on how ripe the carrots are it usually takes 40 to 45 minutes in the steamer to reach the same cooked level as boiling them for 4 hours. If you’re using a conventional steaming pot on the stove, it can take up to an hour and a half.
Your fork should easily poke through the carrots. It’s a good idea to check and then give them an extra 5 minutes.
Now, dump the cooked carrot chucks into your food processor and blend away. I don’t like adding water to my carrots because I like them to be extremely thick; however, it is sometimes a good idea to add ¼ to ½ a cup of water to the food processor to dilute the carrot sauce a bit (especially for kids because it makes them easier to digest).
Great job on making your first batch of SCD legal carrots! If you want to enhance the flavor of the carrots, sprinkle some salt over them prior to steaming them.
Let me know if you have any questions or an even faster way to prepare carrots.