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Spiced carrot dip and how you can avoid being a health statistic

Mad for carrots? Me too. Our fridge and grocery order is not without about a kilo of carrots each week and whilst a few drab herbs might remain by the week-end, this is not the case with our carrots. They’re our go to snack straight up as they come, dipped in hummus, made into their own dip, roasted and whacked into salads, pureed with pumpkin for a mash, dropped into baking  to top up the fibre status and the list goes on.

Often in the hype of ‘healthy eating’ people can become caught up in looking for health food in the wrong places and find themselves with discretionary foods in their hands instead, when the simplest and easiest way is to look for and enjoy fresh, whole, vegetables to top up your nutrition.

For every time you might be thinking is this bar or that better for me when you hit the supermarket, can I gently suggest that maybe you just redirect your cart over to the fruit and vege section and grab some of those which you don’t need to question? Sure you’re not ALWAYS going to feel like snacking on raw vegetables, but at least make a start at trying to find more ways to enjoy them rather than looking at all the other options before you go to the fresh food isle.

What if for the next month, one change you made to your diet was simply making one of your snacks each day a box of vegetable sticks with some hummus or another yummy dip of your choice or dipping your veggie sticks into a veggie dip? (Hint: there’s a GREAT spiced carrot dip recipe just below…*wink)

Do you know if you made that small change you’ll start topping up your vegetable intake even by 1 serve per day which will take you closer to the 7 serves per day recommendation which the majority of us don’t even come close to meeting.

In 2018 the ABS reported that less than 1 in 10 adults met the recommendations for daily vegetable consumption, read that one again…

 

Further more the ABS reports that in the “2017–18 National Health Survey (NHS), 1 in 2 people aged 18 and over (49%) did not eat the recommended 2 serves of fruit, while over 9 in 10 (92%) did not eat the recommended 5–6 serves of vegetables (ABS 2018).”

“The proportion of adults with inadequate vegetable intake was similar across age groups”.

AND

“In 2017–18, Australians aged 18 or over in the lowest socioeconomic areas were less likely to meet the fruit and vegetable guidelines than those in the highest socioeconomic group.

  • For fruit, 46% did not eat enough in the highest socioeconomic areas compared with 53% in the lowest.
  • For vegetables 92% did not eat enough in the highest socioeconomic areas compared with 94% in the lowest”

So what’s the lesson here? Simplicity is so often best for your health. The simplicity of mother nature’s carrots and other beautiful veggies grown in the earth as your snack rather than some of the other confusing options out there.

You can be part of the change in the statistics by making small changes to your own diet and life, you’ll feel better for it, AND be the modelling someone else needs in their lives to make that change too.

SPICED CARROT DIP

Gluten free : Vegan

500g carrots, cut into 1 cm thick pieces

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup coriander, leaves and stalks, finely chopped

1 tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

sea salt and black pepper

HEAT oven to 200C, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, arrange carrots onto tray, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place in oven to cook for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

COMBINE cooked carrots, remaining olive oil, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper in a food processor or blender and blitz.

SERVE with a sprinkle of sesame seeds or dukkah, fresh vegetables and crackers.

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline is an Accredited Nutritional Medicine Practitioner specialising in family and early childhood nutrition and gut health. She writes for several media publications, hosts a regular nutrition segment on Channel 7 and in 2016 published her first book, "Seasons to Share" (Murdoch Books). Jacqueline is passionate about working with corporations and brands to support and educate their community and audience and is currently a media spokesperson and ambassador for Remedy Drinks, Eimele Australia, Woolworths, Kitchenaid and Nutrition Director at Bondi Bubs Wholefoods. She is mum to Jet and outside her working hours you'll find her with her family in the surf, on the beach, or out and about in nature.

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