Recipe: Carrot Crumble

I am home sick and my body and sore throat call for comfort food. This dish looks unimpressive, mashed up even, but it tastes wonderful. 

Looks like shit, but tastes wonderful: Carrot crumble

Normally, when sick, I would cook chicken soup. Grandma's recommendations can't be bad for you. Today, as I am still feeling a little groggy, I opted to create something from what I have in my fridge: No chickens there, but carrots. I spotted a carrot crumble recipe in my Ayurveda cookbook, so here we are:

This recipe looks like shit, but it tastes wonderful, at least for me, a vata-pitta type: all stressed out, dried out and sore. It's the crumbly texture with sun flower seeds, buttery and salty, combined with the sweetness of the carrots, and the spiciness of cardamom and ginger that leads to a surprisingly discreet, but aromatic taste. Ayurveda is comfort food. The head always believes chocolate would be, but it is not. When I eat dishes like this carrot crumble, I instantly have a feeling of: Hmmmmmm… this is exactly what I needed, wow.

Apart from that… well, not much. When I'm sick, it usually goes like this: Either I am so exhausted that I sleep all day (which is good), or I get easily bored, which means I have to be careful to actually rest and not spend the day doing stuff that I have always wanted to do but mostly don't have time for - like: painting, planting flowers on my balcony, cleaning windows, doing laundry etc. Resting means not moving, so I try to tie myself up the couch. Today I have been too exhausted to read (which is a shame, because I am reading this wonderful book), so opened my laptop, could not resist to read some work mails and criticized myself for it, watched some silly tv shows and read a couple of good articles that I had saved for later. Among those was also a ted talk on how to solve traffic jams. I seriously love this stuff. I had read about the removal of a highway in Seoul a couple of years back, which showed that removing an inner city highway did not result in more traffic. There are different theories for why this happens, I can only recommend to read about it, it is interesting. I don't have a car, so what's my interest in traffic (and urban planning)? What I love about all this stuff is the intricacy of social behavior. I love cities and I am always interested to see what makes these huge systems tick. And whatever I read about it, it usually comes with something that I would not have guessed and that impresses me. 

Anyway, this post is about carrots, so I thought, I might as well google what good things are in carrots. Basically, most good things in carrots are about beta-carotene, and I remember that's what you get told as a kid why you should eat carrots („It's for your eyes!“). I have high myopia, so my parents can't have been very convincing with this one. Googling carrots I also found out that there is a World Carrot Museum - a virtual one, and ugly, just as my carrot crumble. The museum aims to „educate, inform and amuse visitors through the collection, preservation, interpretation and exhibition of objects relating to the Carrot“ and I would have guessed it closed in the 1990s if there hadn't been a small remark that the page has been updated Monday 13 April 2015 11:23 GMT. I am thinking of recommending Jimdo to the guy (contact leads to 'Mr. Carrot').

For the sake of balance I also tried to find out what bad things are in carrots, and obviously baby carrots are the worst. A brief glance shows this is because of the way how they have been processed. Apart from that, a lot of vegetables and fruits contain natural toxins anyway, which, in small amounts are not harmful. I believe Paracelsus was right when he said: „Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.“ Well, now that you know, decide for yourself if you want to try this wonderful buttery carrot crumble:

Buttery Carrot Crumble

You need (4 servings):

  • 7 cups sliced baby adult carrots
  • Some olive oil to sprinkle on the carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole spelt flour
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of water

Here's what you need to do:

  1. Clean/Peel the carrots and cut them in slices.
  2. Steam the carrots until very tender.
  3. Sprinkle the carrots with olive oil and puree them in a blender, add cardamom, ginger and a bit of salt.
  4. Spread the mixture in a baking dish.
  5. To make the crumble, blend the sunflower seeds and rolled oats in a blender or coffee mill (sorry, Daniel!) to a powder and mix them with the flour and some more salt.
  6. Add the ghee/butter and water and mix everything to a crumbly texture, then distribute it over the carrot mixture.
  7. Bake until the topping is browned, ca. 40 minutes, at 180°C (350°F).

Enjoy your ugly carrots!