Prostaglandins are like pirates. Better to deal with them before they are board. I have been doling out a lot of NSAIDs lately, a treatment for which I have mixed feelings. Yes, it might quell inflammation in your joints or uterus or wherever, but oh, your stomach—your kidneys!! I weep for the innocent bystanders of systemic COX inhibitors. I did a short search for evidence on COX inhibitors in food, thinking I would always rather prescribe a meal than a pill. Very little and old evidence on quick search, but I found a couple papers touting praiseworthy inklings toward quercetin, a natural phenol present in cilantro, kale, radishes, fennel, capers, buckwheat, cranberries, blueberries, sweet potato…the list goes on. Quercetin demonstrates a decreased COX dose-response to an inflammatory stimulus (TNFalpha, for you nerds). Carrots, unfortunately, don’t have these, and in fact, the wild varietal may have some estrogenic properties that would exacerbate your menses if that’s your particular prostaglandin problem area. But I’m thinking that the amount of fiber they add to your diet will help you excrete any extra estrogen they generate—so, overall, this dish is not only a win for fiber, but against inflammatory pirates.
Roasted Carrots with Caraway, Coriander, and Cilantro
Adapted from Food and Wine Oct 2013
1 teaspoon(s) ground caraway
1 teaspoon(s) ground coriander
2 tablespoon(s) honey
1/2 teaspoon(s) whole caraway seeds
1/2 cup(s) cold buttermilk
1/2 cup(s) cold plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/2 serrano chile, seeded and minced
24 (1 pound; thin) baby carrots, tops discarded and carrots scrubbed
2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup(s) sprouted mung beans or sprouted lentils
1/4 cup(s) salted roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup(s) cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small skillet, toast the ground caraway and coriander over low heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey.
In another small skillet, toast the whole caraway seeds over low heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer the toasted seeds to a small bowl and stir in the buttermilk, yogurt, serrano chile, and half of the honey mixture. Season with salt and refrigerate.
Spread the carrots on a large baking sheet and season with salt. Toss with the remaining honey mixture and top with the butter. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender and slightly charred on the bottom.
Pour the buttermilk dressing onto a platter in a thin layer. Arrange the carrots on the dressing and top with the sprouted beans, sunflower seeds, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Didn’t taste anything at all like carrots, which is exactly why I will make this again and again when I get anxious about my Vitamin A intake. So good—wish I had made a double batch. Interestingly, it has been noted that this recipe uses three ingredients from the umbelliferae family: carrots, caraway, and coriander. Apparently, umbelliferae is a functional family—their unique flavors all get along in this dish. A fresh take on Family Medicine?
AND– I actually did have a question on hypervitaminosis A on my shelf exam last week. YES! Carrot research paid off! (times two, once for grades, once for health)