We’ve been stockpiling carrots for the last couple of weeks (for the Easter Bunny of course). I’ve been adding them to everything – oatmeal, muffins, chili, soup, smoothies and obviously: macaroni and cheese.
Let’s do a quick review of what the carrot has to offer shall we? As we all know they are off the charts as a source of beta-carotene (which is a powerful anti-oxidant, and is also converted to Vitamin A – think skin, eyesight, immune system). Carrots are rich in many other antioxidants as well and studies have linked them to heart health and cancer prevention. Don’t take my word for it though – you can read all about it yourself.
Please don’t worry folks, I did save a few crunchy carrots for the Bunny too.
This recipe can be made with squash, parsnips, sweet potato or any combination. It’s also fine to leave out the eggs and skip the baking part to save time or if your family prefers more of a saucy macaroni and cheese. Just heat up the purée, add the cheese, toss with the cooked noodles and you’re good to go!
2 cups of dry whole grain macaroni noodles (I like this GoGo Quinoa macaroni, it’s gluten-free and makes for a lighter dish in my opinion)
6 medium carrots, chopped and steamed until tender
1 cup of milk (dairy or non-dairy)
2 1/2 cups of grated real cheese, not processed cheese food or anything weird like that (I used a fairly strong cheddar)
3 tablespoons ground flax-seed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons quinoa flakes
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook macaroni according to instructions on the package.
Combine cooked carrots, milk, eggs, flax, salt and mustard in a blender and purée until smooth. You should end up with just over 2 cups of purée.
In a large mixing bowl, combine purée, cooked noodles and 1 and 1/2 cups of the grated cheese. Mix well.
Spread the mixture evenly into an oiled baking dish.
Sprinkle the quinoa flakes over top, and then sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of grated cheese over that.
Baked uncovered until it’s starting to brown, approximately 25 minutes.