Remember when Chick-fil-A served a Carrot Raisin Salad as a side option? If not, there are multiple possible reasons why, including that you may be too young!
Carrot Raisin Salad was on the Chick-fil-A menu for almost 50 years but was dropped around 2013. My late grandparents (born in the 1910s) were fans and even made a version at home. And now that I think about that, the phasing out of carrot raisin salad is likely the result of decreased demand due to changes in demographics and food tastes. It reminds me of “liver and onions” being phased out of restaurant menus as the older generation passes on.
Perhaps as an homage to the past, Chick-fil-A posted the Carrot Raisin Salad Recipe on their website. Not surprisingly, it is chock full of sugar. While the combination of fruit, veggies and mayo is a bit questionable as a “salad”, the ingredients themselves are agreeable. So, I set out to give it a shot without the added sugar to see how it would turn out.
Why Raw Carrot Salad?
I’m not sure what prompted me to search for this particular carrot salad recipe. I have been looking for some different side dishes lately, especially while trying to add more carbs to my meals. But I was also inspired by my son’s recent, and surprising (he has never like eating crunchy vegetables), interest in eating raw carrot salad. But, evidently this is a Ray Peat thing?
I had never heard of Ray Peat until my son became a devotee. In fact, he credits implementation of some of what he has learned from Ray Peat for significantly improving his systemic eczema and other health struggles. And his improvement is impressive enough that my initial skepticism has been quelled. I am now much more open to Ray Peat and all things “Peaty”, as my son would say.
What Does Ray Peat Have to Say about Raw Carrot Salad?
As it relates to this raw Carrot Raisin Salad Recipe, Ray Peat has a lot to say about the benefits of shredded raw carrots. And there is anecdotal evidence that raw carrots can help bind excess estrogen and toxins and eliminate them from the body. Even though I am not aware of formal studies to back this up, there are many people who claim to have experienced improvement in certain health problems. For example, it’s been linked to better control of bacterial overgrowth, PMS symptoms, thyroid function issues, hormone imbalances, metabolic dysfunction and high stress hormones. Carrots contain loads of beta-carotene and lots of fiber. Even without all the other supposed benefits of raw carrots, you can’t really go wrong eating a carrot raisin salad in terms of quality, nutrient dense food.
My son explained Ray Peat would advise that raw carrot salad include virgin coconut oil. He was a big proponent of eating coconut oil due to positive effects on the metabolism, among other things. And as someone who recognizes the benefits of coconut oil, it makes total sense! So, if you prefer to avoid the mayo for any reason – including sensitivity to eggs, or you do not have the ability to make your own or buy a version with better ingredients, then consider using some coconut oil and a little apple cider vinegar instead, to taste. You could even add a teaspoon or two to this recipe and see how you like it. (It’s listed as optional on the recipe card). I tried it with some coconut oil and the combination with pineapple actually made it totally “work”.
For plumper raisins, soak them in some fruit juice for a while before adding to the salad. Alternatively, soak them in some boiling/hot water a few minutes to plump them up first.
Here’s how you make the Simple Carrot Raisin Salad Recipe
Healthier Chick-fil-A Carrot Raisin Salad
A lower-sugar version of the classic Chick-fil-A raw Carrot Raisin Salad that is paleo and Ray Peat friendly.
- Prep Time: 10
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Side
- Cuisine: Gluten-free
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 4 cups shredded/grated organic carrots
- 8 oz can of crushed pineapple and juice (no sugar added)
- 3/4 cup organic raisins
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1 1/2 Tbsp)
- 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil (optional)
Thoroughly mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Refrigerate for one hour before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
The amount of mayonnaise is a personal choice. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of mayo. I suggest you start with 1/3 and add a little more if you prefer. If you can’t eat eggs or don’t have access to good quality mayo, you could get closer to a Ray Peat type carrot salad by subbing some coconut oil and a little apple cider vinegar in place of the mayo.
If your raisins are not already plump, before adding them you can pour some boiling/hot water over them in a separate small bowl and let them steep a few minutes until plump.
Keywords: Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, paleo, Ray Peat, carrot salad