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.
Nutritional info is approximate.
pbJuly 31, 2011 at 7:30 am
This looks gr8..I think I might add white pepper here….but definitely looks very yummy…
DawnJuly 31, 2011 at 7:57 am
This sounds so good. I can’t wait to try it! I’m trying to cut back on the fats now that I think I’ve successfully eliminated animal from my diet and now I am working on anything processed such as crackers and the fats. Just taking it one step at a time.
janetJuly 31, 2011 at 8:15 am
This looks like such a wonderful potluck dish! I can’t wait to try this out, Susan! 🙂
BellaJuly 31, 2011 at 8:52 am
Looks like the best summer salad I have seen yet. I must try this. Plus I can easily pack it for work!
RobinJuly 31, 2011 at 9:04 am
This looks so good. I’m having a baby in Sept and after I would like to take the family to a fully vegetarian diet. (not ready to go vegan yet) We have done it before and although I was completely thrilled with how I felt and honestly how my children behaved but I find that I can’t seem to work out the iron thing. I get a little deficient. Do you take supplements or do you have any good book recommendations on balancing a vegetarian diet when you are just getting started? I love your blog, the food is just beautiful and bright.
SusanVJuly 31, 2011 at 9:26 am
Robin, I haven’t read it, but this new book, Vegan For Life, gets rave reviews for providing essential nutritional information for vegans. My family and I have never been iron-deficient, so I’m not sure what to suggest, but I’ll bet that book will address the issue. We take B12, calcium, DHA, and vitamin D supplements, but no iron.
Congratulations on your new baby, and good or you for moving your family to a vegan diet!
LainaJuly 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm
Robin, in addition to what Susan mentioned, I follow, “Eat To Live” by Dr. Fuhrman. He recommends a minimum of one cup of beans (legumes), 1 ounce of nuts or seeds and work towards one pound of greens raw plus cooked. If you follow his recommendations, you’ll have plenty of iron in your diet.
This article may be helpful as well. http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm
RobinJuly 31, 2011 at 5:58 pm
Thank you so much. I will check it out.
RobinJuly 31, 2011 at 5:59 pm
Thank you Susan, I appreciate the link.
Jeni TreehuggerJuly 31, 2011 at 9:06 am
YUM! This looks and sounds soooo good.
JoanneJuly 31, 2011 at 9:18 am
Can’t wait to try this! It looks delicious!
Kathleen @ KatsHealthCornerJuly 31, 2011 at 9:24 am
Thank you SO much Susan for sharing this recipe!! I actually have turned a little oraange from eating too many carrots, mangos, pumpkin, sweet potato, peaches, etc! This looks absolutely DELICIOUS! 😀
kimJuly 31, 2011 at 9:50 am
Lovin this… i bet my 2 yr old would love it, and my 13 yr old part-vegan…. 🙂
moonwatcherJuly 31, 2011 at 9:58 am
This looks delicious, Susan!! What a scrumptious way to turn oneself orange!!
Marian HamiltonJuly 31, 2011 at 10:40 am
This sounds so YUMBO, Susan! Can’t wait to make it!! (Added it to my Recipe Box too!!!) xxMarian
Get Skinny, Go Vegan.July 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm
This looks like a GREAT potluck dish. It’s beautiful (I hate taking stuff that looks grey!) AND it is so simple. I hate having to take dishes to ANYTHING usually because I feel “performance pressure” and then have decided on NOTHING like one hour prior but this salad is SO beautiful!! I would have made it today to bring to a “gathering” but I just saw it before I have to hop in the shower! Next time! Thanks for providing such great food ideas.
Get Skinny, Go Vegan.July 31, 2011 at 12:01 pm
Oh, other question, and it is probably on your blog already. But the “points” listed, are they for the new “fruits are free” type of program or the old WW?? Asking because many peeps in my life are into the WW and just wondering which on this is for?? THANKZ!
SusanVJuly 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm
The points for this and other recent recipes (posted in the last 2 months) are the new points. Most of the earlier recipes have the old Flex points.
sharronsussJuly 31, 2011 at 12:58 pm
gonna try this – but will shred the carrots with a plain old four-sided grater as I have no processor. The Vitamix should be up to the challenge of making the dressing, though!
(Bet I can set up, shred and clean up faster with my grater than anybody with a processor! A little blood won’t make the salad non-vegan…)
TiffanyJuly 31, 2011 at 1:46 pm
I love simple salads like this one. The sweet creaminess sounds quite appealing. Thanks for sharing, Susan. 🙂
Evan ThomasJuly 31, 2011 at 2:26 pm
This looks like a great idea. I’m a big fan of cashew cream in dishes for creaminess. Never thought to use it as a mayo replacement before.
LeighJuly 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm
I am totally making that this week. Yuh um!
LainaJuly 31, 2011 at 4:16 pm
If ‘E’ likes this, I know I will too!!! I’ve never been disappointed with the recipes I’ve tried from her list of favorites. 🙂 So please tell her thanks for me. Can’t wait to give this a try. I love how easy it is.
kathyrJuly 31, 2011 at 5:59 pm
I loved the carrot salad receipe. When I was in Israel in 1977 I ,asked for a carrot salad receipe that I loved. But.. this one is by far much healthier and tastier !
BrennaJuly 31, 2011 at 6:09 pm
I just made this! But I used almonds instead of cashews since that’s what I had around. Pretty good. Decided to add a little dried ginger and a dash of salt, now I’m addicted.
Laura @ La VeggienistaJuly 31, 2011 at 10:00 pm
This looks and reads as something I would want to eat everyday! I think, with a pinch of cinnamon it would almost work as a carrot cake-like weekday dessert, or do you serve it as a sidedish?
Either way, I’ll be taking the risk of turning orange and make it, thanks!
buy personal care productsAugust 1, 2011 at 10:11 am
Nice! Reminds me of the carrot chips (like potato chips made out of carrot) that my mom used to make 🙂
Jessica @ Dairy Free BettyAugust 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm
Yum… this sounds really great!! Perfect for lunches at work1 Thank you!
Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamilyAugust 1, 2011 at 11:26 pm
What a great idea! I mean it, this is going to be a regular at our house I just know it. I totally laughed out loud about the turning orange bit. 😉
I’m working on a carrot recipe (time willing) I am going to bookmark this and link back to you for other great carrot salad recipes if that’s ok.
SueAugust 2, 2011 at 5:14 pm
Wonderful! In my 20s I went thru a period where I’d eat 5 lbs of carrots a week. I’d make a salad with grated carrots, raisins, coconut shreds, alfalfa sprouts, pineapple and yogurt. I did kinda turn a bit orange, but, as well, having some bohemian genes in my heritage mix, may well contribute to my skin’s sallow orange cast.
I will try this salad. Sounds delightful.
KristenAugust 3, 2011 at 10:17 pm
This is sitting in the fridge right now, and from the ‘quality control’ bites I took before putting it in there, I think I am in love! Can’t wait to eat it, and already wishing I’d made a double batch! Thanks for sharing!
jess lAugust 4, 2011 at 8:29 pm
I made this tonight and LOVED IT!!! I went the lemon juice route, and also added some sesame oil and sriracha. Absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing your genius with us 🙂
ClaireAugust 5, 2011 at 4:23 pm
I had a boatload of carrots from my CSA and this salad is fantastic and fast. I used dates instead of raisins (what I had around) and this salad is really filling. From all the suggestions above I am sure this would make versatile dish–going more savory or sweet depending on what you added. Great dish!
Patricia BaughmanAugust 8, 2011 at 11:07 am
I cannot use soy milk due to allergy. Would plain rice milk work for this?
SusanVAugust 8, 2011 at 11:12 am
It should work just fine with any non-dairy milk. I should have mentioned that!
dawnAugust 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm
This looks easy and delicious.
Cashews should be soaked overnight (in the fridge), or for at least a few hours, prior to blending, for them to be at their creaminess. So with this recipe, you could just soak them with the raisins.
SusanVAugust 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm
I don’t find that soaking them makes a difference, but to each her own.
AnupamaAugust 9, 2011 at 3:09 am
Love this salad idea Susan. I make a carrot salad very often too. You might like it. I mix diced tomatoes, grated carrots, coarsely ground roasted peanuts, lemon juice, a little sugar , pinch of chilly powder and salt to taste. It’s yum!! Thanks for your recipe
MarissaAugust 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm
That looks gorgeous!!!! I’ve been craving new salad ideas and this is such a fun twist! Thanks!
LainaAugust 9, 2011 at 10:52 pm
Just made this tonight so I can have it tomorrow for lunch. It is sooooooooo delicious! It’s blender licking good. 🙂 I can’t wait to eat it after it has marinated a bit.
tandteacakeAugust 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm
This. Sounds. SO easy and SO delicious! This sounds like one of those dishes that you can prepare in no time spontaneously whenever you crave it. I can imagine adding some cabbage to the mix turning it into a coleslaw! 🙂
SusanVAugust 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm
Ah, you hit on my secret: with a couple of extra herbs, this is the same dressing I use for coleslaw!
MelissaAugust 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm
This recipe looks so good!! Do you have sugguestions on what to serve with it?
RossAugust 23, 2011 at 2:43 am
This is very interesting. a very healthy yet a delicious salad. Can’t wait to try it! Thank you for sharing.
Maija HaavistoAugust 23, 2011 at 5:11 am
Sounds good! I’ll definitely have to make it. It’s too bad my husband doesn’t like raisins, but as I say, more for me. ;-P
The traditional Finnish carrot salad would be very fitting for Fat-Free Vegan too: it’s just grated carrots and canned pineapple. Simple but very tasty. Of course it would be even better with fresh pineapple.
P.S. Taking calcium supplements is likely to do more harm than good. There is no good evidence it is beneficial for the bones – and may even be bad for them. It can have adverse cardiovascular effects and it can also worsen magnesium deficiency, which is already highly prevalent, even among people who eat very healthily. If there’s a supplement nearly everyone should take – besides vitamin D – it’s definitely magnesium, not calcium. The important bone-building ingredient which may be deficient in vegan diets isn’t calcium but vitamin K2, unless you eat natto…
CassandraAugust 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm
This tasted amazing!! Thanks for yet another delicious recipe!
LynneAugust 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm
This looks so good but I can’t find raw cashews anywhere? Ideas
SusanVAugust 27, 2011 at 6:50 pm
You can buy them online. It’s not the best option, but they’re really so good in creamy sauces and dressings.
loppitzSeptember 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm
This salad was fantastic! We will be making it again very soon. I wonder how it would taste with dried cranberries? Thanks so much for all your wonderful recipes