There are not many vegetables that can be as tasty and nutritious as carrots. They are common root vegetables that I love to use in many of my salads, soup, and stews.
But what if you run out of carrots? What should you do? Why not save yourself some anxious time by checking out the best substitute for carrots below!
What Do Carrots Taste Like?
Carrots are a popular vegetable in our daily meals. Whether it is salads, soups, stews, or dessert dishes, you can find the use of carrots as a nutrition supplement and flavor enhancer.
There are many types of medium carrots in the market, like white carrots, purple carrots, orange and yellow carrots. For each type, their flavor can be slightly different.
The most popular one we usually have is orange carrots since the 17th century. The reason why they are preferable is because of their fresh flavor and nutrition advantage.
In terms of flavor, orange carrots have a sweet, fruity, earthy yet slightly bitter flavor. The taste is bitter in the outside rings and becoming sweeter in the inside part.
Raw carrots can be firm to the touch with a crunchy texture. When cooked, carrots become tender and soft with a sour and earthy taste.
Having cooked carrots inside your dish can give you enough vitamin A supplements for a day. They are also a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and beta carotene. These nutrients are beneficial to your cholesterol level and eye health. They are such amazing food if you’re looking for a weight-loss vegetable.
Because of their tasty and nutritious flesh, carrots are a versatile food that you can use in many dishes. They are great to be a dipping snack or an additional ingredient in coleslaw, salads, soup, and stews. You can even make a carrot cake for your sweet tooth.
9 Amazing Vegetables Used As A Substitute For Carrots
Carrots are an amazing ingredient for your daily diet. However, if you run out of them at the moment, you can always use these substitutes for carrots with these ingredients:
1. Baby Carrot
If you run out of carrots, you can always substitute them with another alternative carrots version.
Many people tend to have bad feelings about baby carrots. With a distinctively small size, they seem to be premature carrots. And it is proven that young carrots are not as tasty as normal carrots at all. They can taste chemical-like and soapy, which is undesirable to be in your dishes.
The real truth is baby carrots are not exactly what you think. They are not at a premature stage but actually at their peaked maturity. Baby carrots are another variety of regular carrots with a small diameter. Their flavors are quite the same. A bonus point to baby carrots is they are prewashed and peeled, giving you fewer preparation tasks.
The flavor of baby carrots can be sweeter and slender than regular carrots, making them a great ingredient for carrot cakes and sweets. As they are practically the same, you can substitute baby carrots for carrots in any recipe.
If you look for that sweet and fresh taste of carrots, you can use squash as a great carrot substitute. Similar to carrots, butternut squash is used often in savory and dessert recipes. Many people find butternut squash a tasty ingredient with amazing nutrition that you should consider in your low-carb diet.
Raw squash is yellow-orange flesh, which bears a great resemblance to carrots. When cooked, they have a creamy and buttery texture with a flavor combination of nutty, moist, and distinct sweet notes that can be similar to sweet potatoes or butterscotch.
Not only delicious to your mouth, but squash is also a nutritious vegetable with an abundance of vitamin, fiber, antioxidants, and mineral content that you can fill in the grated carrot gap in your low-calorie diet.
You can use butternut squash effectively in cooking stews and soups. Just peel the skin and cut it into small cubes or slices and enjoy the tasty dish.
Parsnip is normally mistaken for white carrots because it is a vegetable that looks like carrots. It is quite understandable as parsnips are related to parsley and carrots, making them a great carrot alternative.
Besides their similar shape, parsnips also have a crunchy and firm texture. However, their flavor is slightly different. Unlike carrots, parsnips are sweeter with a nutty and earthy undertone.
Some people also find them as sweet as sweet potatoes. Moreover, they are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and many antioxidants similar to carrots.
When substituting carrot dishes, you can apply the same ratio to parsnips. However, their cooking time is less than carrots as they become super soft if you cook them too long.
When your soups or stews are almost finished, you can put them inside to blend out the sweet flavor and keep their crunchiness.
Another ideal substitute for carrots is beet. Although beets are not root-vegetable like carrots, they can easily work well as a carrot substitution. In the market, you can find different colors of beets, from orange to dark purple shade.
Overall, beets have a round shape instead of long and slender like carrots. When cooked properly, you can find beets have a sweet, slightly bitter taste with some earthy notes like carrots. They are also quite nutritious with a pack of fiber, folate, vitamin C, and minerals suitable for your calorie diet.
Because of their deep flavor, beets are used widely in boiled, steamed, and roasted recipes. They are amazing carrot substitutes in salads, smoothies, and soups as well.
Cucumbers are one of the most common vegetables globally, with many health benefits that can be a potential carrot substitute. If you are still finding a great ingredient for your nutritious salad, you should get cucumbers.
This green vegetable has green skin and brighter color inside. It is super juicy, with a leafy and mildly sweet taste that you can use raw. When taking a bite, the cucumbers are crispy and crunchy like carrots.
You can use cucumber to substitute carrots in salads and soups. You can also utilize its juiciness in your healthy smoothies.
Another great alternative for carrots in carrot cake is Zucchini. It is a popular vegetable for many vegan recipes because of its nutritious content.
Like cucumbers, Zucchini has a similar texture to carrots. You will find a crunchy and firm texture with a juicy, fresh, and mildly sweet taste when taking a bite. They also contain a high concentration of vitamin A, water content, and low-calorie.
People tend to use Zucchini in carrot juice and smoothies, baking, and salads. When substituting for carrots, you can use a ratio of 1 large zucchini for three regular carrots.
Although Daikon is not a popular vegetable in the U.S, it is a great carrot substitute and an excellent substitute for celery in many Asian countries because of its texture and mild flavor.
From the outside, Daikons are long and slender-shaped vegetables that look like carrots. In terms of flavor, Daikon can be described as fresh, tangy, and mildly peppery when in the raw state. Its texture is crispy and mildly juicy. When cooked, it is as sweet as carrots with a soft and tender consistency.
Because of the lovely flavor, Daikon can be used in a wide range of carrot-based recipes like baked, steamed, and boiled dishes.
Turnips are amazing root vegetables that you can find as a great substitute for carrots in soup. The lovely flavor of turnips can be described as a combination of potatoes and carrots.
These white vegetables are sweet, fresh, nutty, and earthy that can be roasted, fried, steamed, and boiled in many dishes. You can use it for any recipes asking for carrots as a side dish like braised lamb and veal dishes.
Lastly, you can find celery root a good carrot replacement because of its texture and nutritional content. Celery has a white round bulb with a firm and crunchy texture.
You can find a distinctly earthy and fresh flavor that can replicate carrots in many soups and stews recipes. People tend to use this carrot-like vegetable raw for salads or cook them in carrot soup, stews, and side dishes.
How To Use A Replacement For Carrots?
Carrots are such versatile vegetables that you can cook them in both savory and dessert recipes. For desserts, a common way to process carrots is making carrot cake. The earthy, nutty, and sweet taste of carrots can be replaced with Zucchini to give a similar tasting experience.
You can also find many vegetables similar to carrots to substitute at great length in savory dishes. Making Bolognese sauce with celery roots instead of carrots can still give enough texture and earthy flavor. When making stews, slices of turnips, Daikon, or celery can supply enough sweetness and nuttiness for your fad diet.
It is hard to imagine a nutritious dish without carrots as they are such a tasty ingredient with many great health benefits. However, in the game of cooking, all ingredients can be replaced to certain degrees. Therefore, if you find yourself short of carrots, you can always find the best substitute for carrots on my list that can work well with any complex recipe.