Carrot Dogs Are The Vegan Hot Dog Substitute You've Been Waiting For

Carrot in hot dog bun
Carrot in hot dog bun - Paopano/Shutterstock

If you assume eating vegan means giving up on classic fare like cheeseburgers and hot dogs, you're sadly mistaken. For those who follow a vegan diet, carrots are crunchy vibrant vegetables used to upgrade several plant-based meals. Yet, next to adding bulk to your veggie burger or color to your tofu stir-fry, carrots can also be transformed into one of America's most iconic foods. Among the plethora of vegan recipes that will make you want to go plant-based, transforming carrots into satisfying pseudo-hot dogs may be a recipe worth making time and time again. But how can nutritious root vegetables serve as viable stand-ins for tasty processed beef and pork?

Luckily, by maintaining a positive attitude and following a strategic cooking method, carrots can easily be made into delicious hot dog substitutes. According to Healthline, carrots are loaded with fiber and essential vitamins like vitamin A, biotin, and potassium. Since you already know you have a nutritious foundation, put your efforts into mindful preparation.

One of the biggest roadblocks to transforming carrots into tender "hot dogs" has a lot to do with this vegetable's hard, robust texture. To make carrots perfectly tender, you first have to simmer or boil them to cut down on their firm consistency. Instead of using regular water, a flavorful marinade or simmering liquid gives carrots a savory, developed taste. Once boiled, you're ready to transform carrots into tasty hot dog alternatives with the help of your favorite outdoor appliance.

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Texture Is A Crucial Component To Ultra-Satisfying Carrot Dogs

Whole carrots on grill
Whole carrots on grill - Zi3000/Getty Images

Instead of choosing between the best vegan hot dog brands at your nearest grocery store, turn carrots into delicious hot dog alternatives with the right blend of ingredients. To make the best "not dogs," trim the ends of raw carrots, rounding them at the ends. Boil carrots in a blend of flavorful ingredients like soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, ground mustard, and smoked paprika. For added complexity, try a bit of maple syrup for a touch of sweetness and pickled jalapeño juice for added spice. If you have ample time to spare, you can start by simmering whole carrots in water until tender and then use your array of flavorful extras as a marinade before the final step.

Either way, make sure not to over-boil the carrots in the first stage of cooking. You should be able to pierce them with a fork without breaking them apart. Once you have flavorful, partially cooked carrots at the ready, it's time to fire up your grill.

Oil grate and grill carrots on all sides until they develop a decent char and fair amount of color. Since carrots are naturally sweet, their sugars caramelize under high heat, giving these veggies a distinct outer texture. With a charred exterior and tender interior, carrots are easily made into delicious vegan hot dog alternatives. If you don't have a grill, you can make these tasty dogs in more ways than one.

More Creative Ways To Make Carrot Hot Dogs

Carrot hot dogs with colorful toppings
Carrot hot dogs with colorful toppings - Jenifoto/Getty Images

Sure enough, you can make delicious carrot dogs from start to finish in the comfort of your own kitchen. Instead of boiling and grilling, add raw carrots to a roasting pan with your homemade marinade and roast veggies in a 425-degree oven until fork tender. To create a caramelized exterior, start off by roasting carrots uncovered, and then halfway through the cooking process, roast uncovered to achieve adequate browning.

If you don't want to use your oven, you can also use an air fryer to make carrot hot dogs. Marinate carrots ahead of time and roast in your air fryer to achieve carrots with a perfectly roasted exterior. Whichever way you decide to make these vegan-friendly hot dogs, once you've made a successful batch, you're ready to dress them in all your favorite toppings.

If you want to add more bulk to your vegan fare, instead of the usual mustard and ketchup, try getting creative with your toppings by using fresh guacamole, refried beans, or a smear of hummus. You can also serve these tasty veggie dogs alongside some meat-free baked beans, vegan coleslaw, or simple fruit salad. To create the tastiest carrot dogs with the right amount of texture and flavor, don't forget to roast carrots over high heat using your grill, oven, or air fryer.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.