Crunchy carrots and cucumbers are simply seasoned with the flavors of basil and honey. This raw carrot salad is an easy and refreshing way to enjoy your vegetables!
A simple, delicate dressing composed of white vinegar, honey, olive oil, and salt enhances the flavors of sweet, raw carrot and crisp cucumber.
Sometimes you're just craving something simple, light, and fresh. When that mood strikes, this healthy raw carrot salad with cucumbers certainly fits the bill! I think that the contrast in texture between the orange ribbon carrots and the matchstick cucumbers makes this dish both aesthetically pleasing and interesting to eat!
This carrot salad serves as a lovely accompaniment to a richer foods, such as cacio e pepe ravioli, halloumi stroganoff, or spicy adobo chicken.
Another healthy, veggie-packed salad recipe that I highly recommend is wonderful kale crunch salad which has both sweet and savory flavors.
If it's carrots you're craving, be sure to check out my quick pickled carrots, carrot omelet, and savory red pepper lentil soup!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Raw carrot salad is comprised of simple, fresh ingredients.
- The tangy herb dressing adds refreshing flavor.
- Raw carrot salad with cucumbers is a healthy side dish to a variety of main courses.
- This salad recipe is the best way to use extra carrots you may have in the fridge.
- You'll learn all about how to make a raw carrot salad.
- This raw carrot salad recipe will satisfy any crunchy cravings you may have!
- White vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Dried basil
- Sea salt
- Cracked black pepper
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located on the recipe card below.
Pregnancy benefits of carrots
Carrots are an excellent vegetable to partake of during pregnancy. Firstly, carrots offer folate which is also known as vitamin B9. In its synthetic form, folate is known as folic acid. Proper folate intake during pregnancy is crucial in helping to prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) which can develop early on. An NTD occurs when a neural tube (which forms the spinal cord and brain) does not close properly.
Secondly, carrots also offer abundant beta carotene, which is an antioxidant that the body uses to form vitamin A. Vitamin A supports proper development of baby's lungs.
Additionally, another vitamin present in carrots is vitamin C. Vitamin C supports proper development of baby's muscles, bones, gums, and teeth. Intake of this vitamin enables a pregnant woman to more easily absorb plant sources of iron. Vitamin C also supports wound healing.
The fiber present in carrots is extremely beneficial to pregnant women. As the insoluble fiber moves through the gut, it pushes out waste, speeding up digestion and helping to keep bowel movements regular. 100 grams of raw carrots provides 2.8g of total dietary fiber.
Also importantly, carrots are part of a healthy diet for those with gestational diabetes. Carrots are a non-starchy vegetable and are thus unlikely to cause blood sugars to spike.
Bottom line, carrots are a healthy vegetable to consume during pregnancy, in both raw and cooked form.
How to make raw carrot salad
First, thoroughly rinse and scrub the carrots and cucumbers. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the carrots and some of the peel from the cucumbers (optional), and discard. Removing the cucumber peel makes the cucumbers less tough to chew.
Thinly slice the cucumbers into thick matchsticks and place into a large mixing bowl.
Use a peeler to peel the carrots into thin ribbons. Add to the bowl.
Next, add the white vinegar, honey, dried basil, and extra virgin olive oil. Toss thoroughly to combine. Finally, add sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Serve salad in individual bowls.
Make ahead & storage
Store leftover raw carrot cucumber salad in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Before serving, give a toss to disperse the dressing that may have separated.
If making this carrot salad recipe ahead of time, prepare and store the dressing in a separate container and then add to the carrots and cucumbers just before serving.
Recipe variations & substitutions
- Spicy - add a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes before tossing the veggies. A teaspoon of Dijon mustard would also add a zesty kick!
- Onions - for a little kick, add some sliced white onion to the mix.
- Carrots - if you prefer smaller bites of carrot, try grated carrots instead. Use a box grater to finely shred the carrots into small pieces. Alternatively, a food processor could be used to quickly prepare shredded carrots.
- Protein - add a cup of cooked chickpeas for a boost of plant-based protein that makes this recipe more suitable as a standalone lunch.
- Acidic flavor - instead of white vinegar, use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar for fresh acidic flavor.
- Dried herbs - if basil isn't your favorite herb, then try dried parsley or dill instead.
- Olive oil - if you don't have any heart-healthy olive oil on hand, this recipe can be made with coconut oil instead.
- Sweetener - If you don't have any honey on hand, substitute with maple syrup for sweetness.
For a vibrantly colored dish, try using a variety of different colored carrots. Combine orange, yellow, and purple carrots together for additional color and visual appeal!
Frequently asked questions
Surprisingly, a 2003 study showed that more beta carotene was absorbed when the carrots were cooked prior to eating. On the flip side, cooking the carrots can reduce the amount of vitamin C present. No matter how they are cooked, carrots are good for you, so it's a smart idea to include a combination of raw and cooked carrots in your diet!
Ranch dip is a time-tested favorite that pairs well with raw carrots. Creamy French or Russian dressing is also a delicious option. Other great dips include creamy hummus, peanut butter and almond butter.
For maximum nutritional value, consume cucumbers with the skin on. Be sure to thoroughly rinse and scrub the cucumbers beforehand. If you find the skin too tough and unpalatable, try using a vegetable peeler to peel off just part of the skin.
Related pregnancy vegetable recipes
Raw Carrot Salad with CucumberAuthor:
- 2 cups carrots, thinly sliced
- 2 cups cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- sea salt, to taste
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- Thoroughly rinse and scrub the carrots and cucumbers.
- Peel the carrots. Optionally, remove a few strips of cucumber peel.
- Thinly slice the cucumber into strips. Place in a large mixing bowl.
- Thinly slice the carrots, using a peeler. Add to the mixing bowl.
- Add vinegar, oil, dried basil, and honey to the bowl. Toss thoroughly to combine.
- Add sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste.
- If you don't have any honey on hand, try using maple syrup as a natural sweetener substitute.
- For a vibrantly colored dish, try using a variety of different colored carrots.
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