This shredded carrot salad with raisins and pineapple is the perfect addition to all your summer fun. The delicious crunch of the carrots combined with the sweet pineapple and tartness of the lemon, gives you a recipe that is reminiscent of what grandma used to make.
Scroll below for tips on working with carrots and pineapples or scroll to the bottom to print this easy to follow, easy to make, perfect summer salad.
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Carrot Raisin Salad
When spring starts to peak its head around winter’s corner, my mind zooms to all the summer picnics and backyard BBQ’s I’ve yet to enjoy. I think they call that spring fever? While I might be getting a bit ahead of myself about the temperature, I still like to start enjoying the flavors of summer, long before I pull out the shorts and sunscreen.
Carrot Salad is one of those recipes I find myself coming back to again and again – it’s easy to put together, goes with everything, and reminds me of long summer evenings, even in the crisp air of fall or winter.
Better still, the kids love carrot raisin salad because of the sweet, and I appreciate knowing there is a decent option we can all agree upon as a side. So you may be asking yourself how to make carrot salad.
Yes, I know you can buy carrots already shredded at the grocery store. Its so easy to grab a little bag of pre-done carrots and it works in a pinch for uniformity and ease.
But per pound, they are just WAY more expensive so buy shredded carrots than simply grating them yourself if you are looking for a huge salad. I realized that making shredded carrots was just as easy as buying them at the store, so long as I wasn’t shredding up my hands while I was doing it. Plus, if you shred them yourself, you can make as much or as little as you want and you have control over the type of shred you get.
How to shred carrots for a salad
Shred carrots with a grater and kits love doing this. You can even mix this up by using a spiralizer to create long spiral versions for your Carrot Salad and its so fun to experiment how textures influence flavors.
- For regular carrot shreds, to do a safe and effective job, you’ll need a box grater with sharp rasps on each side.
- To shred carrots, I like to use the side typically for cheese – it’s the shape and size piece that my family seems to enjoy and matches the store kind pretty well.
- For things like carrot cake or other grated carrot baked goods, I typically use a smaller rasp, so the pieces bake up smoother.
How to Shred Carrots
To begin, peel your carrots and cut the top off.
I also like to cut a small part off the bottom (pointed) end, so I have something flat to start against the grater. If your carrot is really long or really thin, cut it in half crosswise, so you have a stiffer piece to work with.
The key to protecting your hands is to first, start slowly until you get the carrot into a groove on the grater and second, go slowly as you get to the end.
Also, pay attention. You can adjudicate the kids’ dispute after your hands and carrot are safe.
Raw carrots nourish your body
While cooked carrots are sweeter, the best way to get all the health benefits out of your carrots is to eat them raw.
Raw carrots retain all of their original nutrients, unlike cooked carrots, giving you the most bang for your health buck. This carrot salad is perfect for that as its made with raw carrots!
Carrots offer you a wealth of nutritional benefits that affect nearly every part of your body and its systems – your eyes, heart, digestive system, immune system, oral health, blood sugar regulation, and notably, cancer prevention and you can feel good that this Carrot Salad recipe is as good for you as it is tasty.
Plus, when eaten in combination with other ingredients, like the pecans, pineapple, and raisins in the Carrot Salad, the effects of the carrots can be magnified.
Traditional Chinese medicine suggests that it is not only the foods we eat but the specific combinations of foods that give us the greatest health benefits.
Like any fruit or vegetable that comes in a can, it can be confusing to figure out when you need to spring for a fresh version and when canned is OK.
Canned pineapple is something I always have on hand in the pantry, but I rarely end up with fresh pineapple in my house.
In this particular salad, either is fine – while canned pineapple sometimes has more moisture in it, you can simply adjust the other wet ingredients slightly to keep the salad drier.
A key issue with fresh pineapple is choosing one at the store. No matter what I do, it feels like a guessing game to figure out whether the pineapple is actually ripe, or just seems ripe.
The other part is once I break open that husk, I suddenly have a massive amount of pineapple to eat in a relatively short period.
Let’s tackle the ripeness issue first.
There is apparently a lot to know about pineapples and how to choose a fresh fruit, which you can read more about here.
For a quick guide, focus on three things – the color, the size of the crown, and the weight of the fruit.
Pineapples are generally green before they are ripe, like bananas, but mellow to a light golden color at peak ripeness.
If your pineapple is mostly green, it should be golden around the eyes, at the very least or you should consider it not ready to eat yet.
The crown should be in good condition – at least four inches tall, but not longer than twice the height of the fruit.
Lastly, the pineapple should feel heavy for its size.
This can be the hardest to determine, but more weight indicates more liquid which generally means a sweeter, juicier pineapple.
If you end up with a not-quite-ripe pineapple, you’ll have to let it sit on the counter for a few days. If yours is ripe, cut and serve that day.
As for the, “oh man, there is a lot of pineapple here to eat” issue – start with this Carrot Salad Recipe of course but also add grilled slices to burgers, mix in yogurt, eat it with a fork right out of the container, or make shish kabobs.
Fresh pineapple is just divine.
Whether for a light summery barbecue or a picnic with friends, Carrot Salad is my go-to choice for a healthy side all summer long.
Looking for something different? Try this Hawaiian Coleslaw, another way to enjoy the sweet salads all summer long!
Did you make this salad?
Leave me a comment, a rating, or tag me on social media #SaltySideDish so I can see your version! You can also check out more vegetable side dish recipe ideas here.
Carrot Salad with Raisins & Pecans
- 1 package 10 oz, matchstick carrots
- 1 can 20 oz, pineapple chunks, drained
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup pecans
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Mix carrots, pineapple, raisins and pecans together in a bowl and mix well.
- Sprinkle with sugar and salt and mix.
- Add mayonnaise and lemon juice and mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
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