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The Ultimate Carrot Salad (With Hemp Hearts, Parsley, and Mint)

May 28, 2024 (Last Updated: May 29, 2024)

This isn’t just a simple carrot salad. While it offers all the benefits of raw carrots, it’s also packed with plant-based complete protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, it’s flavorful, vibrant, and incredibly versatile.

Why We Love This Carrot Salad

We love a classic French carrot salad, or munching on crunchy carrot sticks. As a Romanian, I love a grated carrot salad with celeriac and apple (you will find a recipe in my latest cookbook, Everyday Low-Lectin Cookbook). But I wanted to create a carrot salad with more nutritional value than a simple shredded carrot. I wanted flavor, vibrancy, and a salad that could be a meal in itself or a nutritionally dense side dish.

There are many reasons to love this salad. Besides the fact that it’s very easy to make, here are the main ones:

  • Nutrient-Rich: Packed with fiber, this salad is a great addition to any meal. Its balance of micronutrients and macronutrients, including complete plant-based protein, makes it substantial enough to be a meal on its own.
  • Versatile: It can be served as an appetizer, side salad, or full meal. To make it even heartier, top it with more protein, like chicken breast or chickpeas.
  • Flavorful and Satiating: It’s not only nutritious but also delicious, with a satisfying taste.

When and How to Enjoy This Salad

If you’re planning to eat a high-carb food (like rice, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, bread, or dessert), having a serving of this salad as an appetizer can help mitigate your blood sugar response, thanks to its high fiber, protein, fat, and acetic acid content.

Otherwise, enjoy it as a side with your protein of choice or as a complete meal. This salad is designed to be flexible and fit into your diet in a way that works best for you.

The Ingredients

Carrots, Going Viral

There is a good reason the carrot salad went viral on TikTok, highlighting its hormonal balance benefits. This humble root vegetable is a great source of fiber, promoting gut health and smooth digestion. Some women’s health specialists also believe carrots help break down excess estrogen, aiding in its elimination and restoring hormonal balance, especially if consumed around the menstrual cycle. Rich in beta-carotene, carrots support vision, immune function, and skin health.

Plus, they add a pleasant crunch and sweetness to this salad.

To maximize the carrots’ fiber and crunchiness, we recommend cutting them into matchstick-sized pieces. You can achieve this with a food processor, a mandolin, or a peeler fitted with a special blade (like the one in the picture below). If you don’t have any of these tools, shredded carrots will work, too; you will just lose some of the crunchy factor.

Sliced raw carrot

Hemp Hearts

Hemp hearts are a nutritional powerhouse, providing complete protein, healthy fats, and essential micronutrients. They’re especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for heart health, brain function, and reducing inflammation.

Ideal for vegetarians and vegans, hemp hearts are a fantastic plant protein source (my favorite!), and they also offer magnesium, iron, and zinc for overall well-being.

Parsley and Mint

Parsley and mint are a dynamic duo, packed with micronutrients, antioxidants, and some fiber, yet very low in calories. Parsley offers vitamins A, C, and K, vital for immune function, skin health, and blood clotting. Mint, with its anti-inflammatory properties, aids digestion and soothes the stomach.

This combo, reminiscent of Middle Eastern tabbouleh, adds a fresh, vibrant flavor and boosts the salad’s nutritional profile. I love using this combo in many of my recipes, like this millet tabbouleh with hemp hearts and this easy millet salad with parsley and mint.

You can use any type of parsley you have; both flat-leaf parsley and curly parsley will work. I prefer Morrocan mint.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

Extra virgin olive oil and unfiltered apple cider vinegar enhance nutrient absorption and support digestion. Olive oil, rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants like vitamin E and polyphenols, promotes heart health and reduces inflammation. Just make sure you choose a good quality olive oil.

Apple cider vinegar, with probiotics and acetic acid, improves digestion, regulates blood sugar, and supports metabolism. Together, they add a flavorful tang and contribute to overall digestive health.

Pomegranate Seeds (Optional)

If the additional carbohydrate content doesn’t bother you, adding pomegranate arils brings a burst of flavor and numerous health benefits. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, they support heart health, reduce inflammation, and provide natural sweetness.

Pomegranates can be beneficial for hormonal balance during perimenopause and menopause. The seeds add delightful crunch and color, making the salad even more nutritious and tasty! 

All the ingredients for the ultimate carrot salad

Complete List of Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 1 cup hemp hearts
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into matchstick-sized pieces
  • 1 heaping cup chopped parsley (flat leaf or curly parsley can be used)
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1 or 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • Optional: 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

For the Dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (or to taste)
  • Zest of one organic lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (Celtic or ancient sea salt)

How to Make The Ultimate Carrot Salad

Prepare the Dressing:

  • In a jar, combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt.
  • Cover with a lid and shake vigorously until the ingredients are well combined and emulsified.

Assemble the Salad:

  • In a large bowl, combine the hemp hearts, carrots, parsley, mint, and scallion. If using, add the pomegranate seeds.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients.
  • Toss to combine thoroughly, ensuring all the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.
Hemp hearts, carrots, parsley, mint, and scallion in a bowl

Taste and Adjust Seasoning:

  • Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt or lemon juice to suit your preference.
Carrot salad in a serving bowl

How to Serve the Ultimate Carrot Salad

This salad can be served immediately, or it can be covered and stored in the fridge. The salad will stay fresh and vibrant even the next day. Enjoy the leftovers!

From the above quantities, you will make four to six servings, depending on how you serve it.

These are our favorite ways to serve this salad (with or without pomegranate arils):

  • As a standalone meal
  • Topped with baked or grilled chicken breast
  • With beans, chickpeas, or lentils for a vegan meal
  • As a low-carb, fiber-packed appetizer, before consuming a higher-carb meal, to help with regulating blood sugar
  • As a side dish with chicken, beef, roasted vegetables, fish, and more!
Carrot salad with hemp hearts and herbs served on a plate

Enjoy!

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

The Ultimate Carrot Salad (With Hemp Hearts, Parsley, and Mint)

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By Claudia Curici, Health Coach Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 minutes

This isn't just a simple carrot salad. While it offers all the benefits of raw carrots, it's also packed with plant-based complete protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, it's flavorful, vibrant, and incredibly versatile.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE DRESSING
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (or to taste)
  • Zest of one organic lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (Celtic or ancient sea salt) or more to taste
  • FOR THE SALAD
  • 1 cup hemp hearts
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into matchstick-sized pieces
  • 1 heaping cup chopped parsley (flat leaf or curly parsley can be used)
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1 or 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • Optional: 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Instructions

1

In a jar, combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt.

2

Cover with a lid and shake vigorously until the ingredients are well combined and emulsified.

3

In a large bowl, combine the hemp hearts, carrots, parsley, mint, and scallion. If using, add the pomegranate seeds.

4

Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients.

5

Toss to combine thoroughly, ensuring all the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.

6

Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt or lemon juice to suit your preference.

7

This salad can be served immediately, or it can be covered and stored in the fridge. The salad will stay fresh and vibrant even the next day. Enjoy the leftovers!

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