I’ve discovered a salad that my daughter will gobble up like candy. In fact, she eats so much of it that she’s almost in danger of turning orange! I’m talking, of course, about good, old-fashioned carrot salad–but with a few updates and improvements.
Carrot salads are usually loaded with mayo and sugar, but I’ve found a way to cut out both and wind up with a salad that’s actually more delicious than the regular version. The not-so-secret ingredients are cashews and raisins, which when blended produce a creamy, lightly sweetened dressing that brings out carrots’ natural sweetness without smothering them. Normally I use lemon juice to balance out the sweetness, but just for fun this time I substituted orange juice for a sunny burst of flavor. If you have a good high-speed blender and a food processor, you will not believe how quickly this 6-ingredient recipe comes together.
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (or 2 tbsp. lemon juice)
- 1/4 cup plain soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 pound carrots
- salt to taste
Place the raisins in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak until raisins are plump. (Place in refrigerator if soaking overnight.)
Drain the raisins (you may reserve the water to use for sweetening other dishes). Place 2 tablespoons raisins, 1/4 cup cashews, the orange juice, and the soymilk in a blender and blend on high speed until completely liquefied.
Set up your food processor with shredding disk. Trim the carrots, cut them into lengths so that they can fit horizontally in the large feed tube, and shred them in several batches. Place carrots in a large bowl, stir in the cashew cream, and add salt to taste. Stir in the remaining raisins and cashews. Refrigerate for at least an hour and stir before before serving.
You can bring out the flavor of the cashews by lightly toasting the ones that are tossed into the salad at the end, though I prefer keeping them raw because they’re more nutritious that way.