One of the easiest ways to eat more plant-based foods is to make your own condiments. In fact, all it takes is a few basic ingredients and 10 minutes of your time to create a homemade sauce or dip.
This carrot ginger dressing is the perfect example. Simply add the ingredients to a food processor or blender, then whiz until combined. From there, you can adjust the flavor based on your personal preferences.
And speaking of flavor, this dressing is full of it. This is due to the array of tangy and salty ingredients, including rice vinegar, sesame oil, and white miso.
Table of Contents
- Carrots. Be sure to roughly dice the carrots before adding them to your blender or food processor. This will make it easier for your appliance to break down the carrots.
- Ginger. For the best flavor, use fresh ginger. But you can also use powdered ginger. Start with ⅛ teaspoon and add more as needed. The ideal amount will depend on the quality and freshness of your powdered ginger.
- Rice vinegar. Rice vinegar adds tanginess and brightness to this dressing. If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can also use white or apple cider vinegar.
- Water. To make the dressing pourable, you’ll need to add some water. For a thicker dressing, use less water. For a thinner dressing, add more. It’s up to you.
Health Benefits of Ginger
- Contains antioxidants. “Ginger contains antioxidants compounds called gingerols,” explains registered dietitian SaVanna Shoemaker, RDN. Antioxidants can help prevent or reduce oxidative stress, which is caused by excessive amounts of unstable free radical compounds.” This is important because, over time, oxidative stress can increase the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
- Reduces inflammation. Although inflammation is a normal immune system response to illness or injury, long-term inflammation can contribute to chronic disease, says Shoemaker. But eating plenty of anti-inflammatory foods, like ginger, can help reduce the risk. Ginger gets its anti-inflammatory properties from gingerols and shogaols, according to Shoemaker.
- Alleviates nausea. Per Shoemaker, ginger has been used as a natural remedy for nausea for a long time. “Researchers believe it may work by promoting faster gastric emptying, or by making food move through the digestive tracts more quickly,” says Shoemaker.
- Supports immune function. “Ginger can support the immune system by regulating inflammation, which is an immune response,” explains Shoemaker. The antioxidant effects of ginger can also help improve overall cell function, which supports a healthy immune system, she adds.
Health Benefits of Carrots
- Promotes eye health. Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A in the body, according to Shoemaker. (Fun fact: Beta-carotene is also the plant pigment that gives carrots their orange color.) This is key because vitamin A plays an important role in eye health and vision, says Shoemaker.
- May reduce high blood pressure. Carrots also contain potassium, which is a mineral and electrolyte, according to Shoemaker. This means it can help regulate the body’s fluid balance and reduce high blood pressure, a major risk factor of heart disease.
- Supports regular digestion. Thanks to the fiber in carrots, the vegetable can also encourage regular bowel movements. The fiber also serves as a prebiotic, or a food source for healthy gut bacteria, says Shoemaker.
How to Make Carrot Ginger Dressing
As with all homemade dressings, you can customize this recipe based on your preferences. We’ve included suggested ranges, but we recommend starting with less of each ingredient. This way, you can taste the dressing and adjust the ingredients based on your taste buds.
1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender.
2. Blend until the carrots are mostly pulverized. Taste and add more ginger, miso, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and/or agave nectar. The dressing is also meant to be somewhat chunky, but you can add more olive oil or water for a thinner and smoother texture.
3. Spoon the dressing on top of salad or noodles. You can also use it as a dip for rolls or dumplings.
Recipe Tips, Variations, and Substitutions
- Steam the carrots. If you prefer a smoother dressing, steam the carrots first. This will slightly reduce the nutrient content and add more time to the recipe, but it’s worth trying if you want a smoother condiment. Be sure to let the carrots cool before blending.
- Add lime juice. For a more tart and tangy dressing, add a splash of fresh lime juice.
- Add garlic. Use 1 to 3 minced cloves or 1 teaspoon garlic powder per recipe.
- Blend with orange juice. Do you love the taste of ginger and citrus? Replace the water with freshly squeezed orange juice for a delicious orange carrot ginger dressing.
How to Store Carrot Ginger Dressing
Store leftover carrot ginger dressing in an air-tight jar for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the dressing in ice cubes and thaw it for later use, but doing so might change its texture.
- Vegan lettuce wraps — A crunchy dish that will taste amazing with this dressing.
- Vegan spring rolls — Use this dressing as a zesty dipping sauce.
- Vegan tofu poke bowl — Brighten up this protein-rich recipe.
Carrot Ginger Dressing
- Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth.
- If you prefer a smoother dressing, steam the carrots first. This will slightly reduce the nutrient content and add more time to the recipe, but it’s worth trying if you want a smoother condiment. Be sure to let the carrots cool before blending.
- For a more tart and tangy dressing, add a splash of fresh lime juice.
- If you’d like to add garlic, use 1 to 3 minced cloves or 1 teaspoon garlic powder per recipe.
- You can replace the water with freshly squeezed orange juice for a delicious orange carrot ginger dressing.
- Store leftover carrot ginger dressing in an air-tight jar for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the dressing in ice cubes and thaw it for later use, but doing so might change its texture.
- The exact amount of servings will depend on how you use the dressing.
About the Author
Kirsten Nunez is a journalist who focuses on healthy food and cooking. Her vegan and plant-based recipes have appeared on VegNews, eHow, Shape, and more. When she’s not creating and photographing vegan recipes for Clean Green Simple, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen and sharing plant-based meals with friends and family. More articles by Kirsten.