Updated: December 10, 2015

Sweet with a hint of earthiness, "carrots are one of the few vegetables that are just as flavorful raw as they are cooked," says Lon Symensma, executive chef at Buddakan in New York City.

  • as a salad
    Toss together 5 grated carrots, 3 cups shredded napa cabbage, and ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts. In another bowl, combine 4 tbsp. lowfat mayonnaise and 2 tbsp. chopped candied ginger. Fold in carrot mixture. Stir in 1 tbsp. lime juice. Salt to taste.

  • as a dessert
    In a saucepan, combine 1 can lowfat evaporated milk, a pinch of sugar, 2 cups nonfat milk, 1 tsp. cardamom, and 2 cloves. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Pour mixture over grated carrots; toss together gently and serve.

  • in a soup
    Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in a stockpot. Add 1 chopped onion, 3 quartered lemongrass stalks, and 5 chopped carrots. Cook on low for 6 minutes (don't brown). Add 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth; cook for 20 minutes. Remove lemongrass and pureé. Season to taste.

In one cup chopped carrots: 52 Calories, 1069 MCG Vitamin A, 328 MCG Lutein AND Zeaxanthin

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