Carrots, with their solid nutritional profile and sweet taste, are loved by most of us. However, some might be allergic, or others might not like the idea of having something sweet in their savory dishes.
Regardless of the reason, if you want to substitute carrots in your dishes, you have come to the right place. For those who are looking for quick answers, we suggest using squash, cucumbers, parsnips, etc. But there’s much more to play, so read ahead and find our recommended substitutes.
Moreover, we have also shared how to preserve them when they are in season, what their benefits are, and many, many more to make our article more comprehensive.
What Do Carrots Taste Like?
The taste of this orange root veggie can vary as per its color, size, and where it is sown. If you take a bite of carrot, you will feel a little bit sweet, woody, earthy, or bitter.
If the carrots are raw and small in size, they will be sweet in taste, whereas when the carrots are big, they can have a bitter taste.
There are plenty of dishes one can make from carrots. If you want to know what they are, you can learn that further.
What Can Be Made From Carrots?
You can prepare a lot of cuisines from carrots. Some of the popular dishes are mentioned below:
- Carrot cake
- Carrot smoothie
- Carrot juice
- Carrot stew
- Carrot sandwich
- Carrot soup
How To Preserve Carrots?
In the off-season, when carrots are pricey and you want to have some carrot smoothies, you can store them when they are in season.
It’s as simple as cleaning them, blanching them with a paper towel, removing all moisture, and sealing them in zip-lock bags or vacuum-sealed bags.
It would be best if you could store them in vacuum-sealed bags. It is effective and can preserve carrots for the long run. Then place it in the frozen zone of your refrigerator.
If you can’t preserve them, you can use a carrot alternative. There are a variety of options; keep reading to learn about them.
Health Benefits of Carrots
According to research and studies, the following are the benefits of adding carrots to your life.
1. Carrots are good for your sight:
It contains vitamin A and beta-carotene that help to give you healthy eyes and guard your eyes against strong sunlight and reduce the chances of cataracts.
2. Boost weight loss:
Are you planning to lose some weight? Well, then you must also include carrots in your diet. They carry soluble and insoluble fibers that help you to keep your body fuller.
3. Aids healthy digestion:
A good number of carrots also promotes a healthy digestive system. It aids in producing bulky stool that easily passes through the tract, and thus, you are always away from constipation.
4. Good for your healthy heart:
Carrots kick off LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol from your arteries and blood vessels. It helps to push off unhealthy cholesterol from your body, and specific calcium helps to do this.
5. Help people with blood pressure:
Potassium in the carrots helps to relax your blood vessels and arteries. It helps to keep your high pressure balanced. Thus, it prevents heart strokes and atherosclerosis.
6. It gives you flawless skin and bang-on immunity:
If you want a glow on your face, have a glass of carrot juice daily. The presence of beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, and silicon makes your nails and skin healthy.
Moreover, it is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, potassium, and phosphorous, promoting healthy bones, a healthy nervous system, and substantial brainpower.
20 Amazing Carrots Substitute
We have listed 20 carrot alternatives according to a different use. You can use and try them.
You can substitute squash with carrots when you are preparing soups at home. It will have a similar taste to carrots that you will not even miss carrots in your soup.
You can also try using squash in other recipes, like stews and casseroles.
The best part about using squash is that it can be cooked in the same way as the carrots. And, for that, you have to just cut the squash into rounds or half circles and cook it until it is soft.
You can use squash in the same ratio as carrots in any dish.
You can also try parsnips in place of carrots. They look similar to carrots and have a hint of orange color.
When you take a bite of parsnips, you will feel a sweetish herbal flavor enhancing in your tastebuds. But, the sweetness is not similar to the carrots because carrots are way sweeter than parsnips.
Although you can substitute them in the same ratio as carrots, this time, try them in soups. I am sure you will love them.
Cucumbers are loaded with water, which can help to keep you hydrated. If you are running out of carrots while preparing vegetable juice, you can use cucumber in place of that.
Remember, one big cucumber can is equal to 5 small size carrots. You can safely go with cucumbers if you don’t have carrots while making a salad.
Zucchini might be considered as the cucumber’s younger sibling. In salads, stews, and soups, you can substitute them.
Use them as grilled veggies or in a stew. It will help to give your dish sweetness just as carrots. They are also full of water, just like cucumbers, and when you cook them over time, they can get all mushy.
You call it daikon. We call it oriental radish winter radish. It’s all the same. Just like carrots, daikon is also a root veggie, not just that it is also shaped just like carrots and has a taste similar to it.
So, you can substitute carrots with daikon. If you don’t like the heavy flavor of carrots, then go for a daikon. It is mild, and you can use them in your soup, stew, salad, anything you like.
Either you bake it, steam it or sautee it. It goes well with all. Plus, it also aids weight loss, just like carrots.
Substitute turnip for carrots in your recipe. This versatile winter veggie may look like a fatty carrot, haha, funny, right!
It is also a root vegetable and has a green trumpet which may taste like pepper. However, turpins are sweet and tender.
If you buy a young turnip, it will give a similar flavor to carrots, a little sweet and crunchy, whereas if you get an old turnip, you may find its tatse as potatoes.
You can roast, fry, bake, steam whatever you prefer, and have it in your meal in place of carrots.
7. Baby Carrots
The following replacement for carrots is a young version called baby carrots. These baby carrots can give you a pretty similar taste to carrots.
But manufacturers can swindle you, wondering how? They cut the mature carrots into small ones, and the machine gives them a round edge to make them look similar to baby carrots.
The best part about selecting baby carrots is that they are already peeled and do not require pre-washing.
You can replace carrots with baby carrots in your carrot cake recipe. They are sweeter and slender.
8. Water chestnut
Have you tried water chestnuts? No, it is not a nut, guys. Instead, it is an aquatic vegetable majorly produced in the Pacific islands, Australia, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
This veggie is low in calories, rich in antioxidants, keeps your fuel, and can help you fight against cancer growth.
The taste of water chestnut is sweet, nutty, and a little tart. You can exchange them with carrots in a salad and stir fry veggies.
Just like carrots, celery is also both a snack and a vegetable that may be used in cooked recipes, stir-fries, and salads on the go.
It is a part of the Apiaceae family. Some of the other members are carrots, parsnips, parsley, and celeriac.
Its leaves, stalks, and roots can all be used in cooking. Green leaves provide herb-like flavors, stalks are great in salads and dips, and carrots can be replaced with celery.
These green veggies are the best for your fat loss and help you to keep you hydrated.
If you want to make a vegetable sandwich and there are no carrots, don’t worry. You can use cabbage for the unique crush.
Cabbage is high in vitamin C, is good for your intestines, and helps to maintain your heart in good health. It aids those with type 2 diabetes and kills cancer cells at the same time.
Moreover, just like carrots, you can blend cabbage in multiple ways. You can go for steam, stir fry, saute, or have them raw like tortillas and bread.
You can also try another sibling of cabbage in place of a carrot called kale. It will help you to give good vision, just like carrots.
People who don’t like carrots replace it with kale to keep their vision strong and fulfill their antioxidant needs.
Like carrots, it also promotes healthy digestion, good skin, strong bone, and a healthy heart.
You can use kale in your soup, salad, or as a side dish.
Rutabaga is also known as swedish turnip or wax turnip. It is basically a cross of turnip and wild cabbage, and you can eat its leaves and roots.
This veggie is a good source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. You can munch them raw or could also boil them or stir fry.
If you like baked veggies, you must try baked rutabaga. It tastes yummy. You can replace carrots with rutabaga in soups and salads too.
Try chayote in place of carrots in your cuisine next time. I am sure you will love this thin-skinned squash veggie from Mexico. You can widely find them in the local market of the Southwestern United States.
Although it is classified as a fruit, it is commonly used as a vegetable. You can consume them raw or prepare them for cooking.
It has a sweet taste and has fibrous leaves. You can add this low-calorie veggie to your salads and soups.
To fill the void of carrots in your meal, you can also try kohlrabi.
This vitamin C-enriched veggie doesn’t belong to the root family. However, it is a part of the turnip, broccoli, cabbage family. Use its bulb; it tastes similar to carrots and gives you a crunchy texture.
It has sweet-but-peppery flavors. It is also helpful while dieting. When you buy kohlrabi, make sure to always look for a firm and solid one and always avoid squishy kohlrabi.
Cute little umbrella-shaped vegetable mushrooms are delicious and widely popular in Asian cooking.
Black and forest mushrooms (no, they’re not like European dry mushrooms) are the most widely used mushrooms in Chinese cuisine, and they’re mostly produced in China and Japan.
Their dense, fleshy heads have tough stems that can be utilized for seasoning before being removed. You can use them in place of carrots. They have a meaty body and can be chewed easily.
While preparing stew, pasta pause, or risotto, you can add these little mushrooms in place of carrots. Just replace one gram of mushrooms with one whole carrot. I am sure your kids will flawlessly love this.
Beets are nutritious versatile vegetables that can switch their place with carrots while preparing smoothies, juice, soup, and salads.
You can utilize its leaves or bulb. Boil it, steam it, stir fry it or bake it. You can do whatever you enjoy.
If you are making curry, you can replace one gram of beet with one gram of carrots.
Potatoes are an all-rounder vegetable, and its native is America. You can use potatoes in curry, with meat, and everything.
It goes effortlessly with everything you can try with fricasseeing recipes. Most people in many dishes use potatoes as a substitute for carrots.
You may get confused when you see jicama with potatoes. It looks pretty similar to potatoes, has white flesh, and may feel like you are having an apple, although it is not that sweet.
You can exchange jicama with carrots. It can make your salad amazing if you chop them in advance because it doesn’t get brownish (oxidize) or soggy once you chop them.
Note: You cannot consume its leaves and seeds since they are toxic.
If you love grilled vegetables, you can surely go for jicama.
Radish can also work as carrots. It is crunchy, just like carrots. Mash the radish and use it in place of the prepared carrot in a dish.
It’s worth noting that you’ll need to leave the radish’s skin pristine to acquire a higher level of sharpness.
The ratio of radish will be the same as carrots while substituting.
You can use onions in place of carrots. The sweet flavor of onion can easily replace carrots if you specifically want to sear the carrots.
When you fry onions, they will lose their core flavor and resulting in a flavor that is essentially the same as a carrot.
Onions can give you the crispness of fresh carrots and add flavor to any dish, so they’re rarely a bad choice.
However, you have to pick the right kind of onion for carrot substitutes.
For instance, you can use Pearl onions as a side dish, but they are also fantastic if you use them in any sauce.
What can you use instead of carrots in carrot cake?
Root vegetables with the same water content can be added to carrot cake instead of carrots as they can make it dense and moist. Grated zucchini is a reliable option for preparing carrot cakes without any carrots.
Why are carrots used in cakes?
Carrots are added to cakes to make them sweet and moist. Moreover, they bring nutritional benefits to the table as well.
Well, that’s a wrap!
There are more than 10 carrot alternatives. You can use them according to your needs. Remember, not every alternative works for every dish.
You can make soup with parsnips, turnips, and daikon in place of carrots. Although you can also add squash, beets, and celery in place of that, the result would not be very satisfying.
If you like munching carrots as snacks, then try jicama, celery, and water chestnuts. If you know any other alternatives that are not on this list, do let us know in the comments.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.