Want to fool your taste-buds with the best trick ever? Try these amazing carrot dogs! They have the perfect texture and taste of a hot dog without the nitrates and bad aftertaste. Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and full of beta-carotene, these carrot dogs will be the hit of this summer’s bbq!
I tried a plant-based detox last year at probably one of the worst times – just before 4th of July festivities. Traditionally our table would be lined with ribs, dairy-based slaws, peach ice cream and processed flour laden yeast rolls. This predicament put me in a bit of a pickle. I really wanted to stay on track, but I wanted to celebrate and ENJOY my food as well. I mean, I like healthy eating and how it makes me feel, but I also enjoy the amazing taste and texture of food too. There needs to be a balance. After a little research, I stumbled upon this really neat recipe idea to try grilling hot dogs made out of carrots. I was totally expecting it to be a decent pass, but was totally blown away when I realized just how close this recipe was to the real deal!
These carrot dogs have just the right bite texture and smoky flavor so that you can literally fool even the most avid hot dog eater. I have taken them to several parties and wowed someone new each time. There are a few tricks though that will make your dogs better than the average carrot:
TIPS TO MAKE THE BEST CARROT DOG:
- Carve carrot dogs into hot dogs shapes with a sharp knife. To do this, I pick thicker carrots, peel off the outer layer and keep carving down (with a peeler or knife) until it reaches the desired thickness, evening out the carrot as I go along so that it is one uniform size when done. Trim the ends to look like rounded hot dog edges. While this step is not mandatory, it definitely makes for a more traditional looking hot dog.
- Cut carrot dog thickness to approximately the size of a thin Nathans bun-length hot dog. I have tried them thicker and thinner and this size works perfectly every time.
- Boil carrot dogs at the thickness talked about in step 2 for exactly 10 minutes. This will soften them but keep firm enough to handle the marinade without falling apart.
- Marinate for at least 12 hours. You can pull them out early but they won’t soak long enough and some of the traditional flavor may be missing.
Seriously look at the inside!! Other than the color being slightly brighter than meat dogs, these things look like the real deal! That orange color adds a bit of a bonus too: in addition to being free of yucky hot dog chemicals, these tasty carrot dogs are loaded with beta-carotene, making them an incredibly healthy bbq treat. How often does that happen!? Beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A, which is needed for a healthy immune system, beautiful skin, and vision. Carrot dogs are amazing topped with coleslaw, ketchup, mustard and my personal favorite, Maple Baked Beans for a little protein boost.
Go ahead and eat your way to the healthy glowing skin you’ve always wanted…from a “hot dog”!
How to make Carrot Dogs:
1) Place all marinade ingredients into a leak-proof container.
2) Peel and carve hot dogs into the desired shape.
3) Boil for 10 minutes.
4) Remove carrot dogs from boiling water and place into marinade.
5) Seal container and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 12 hours, gently shaking the container to coat all the carrot dogs a few times during the process.
6) Heat a grill or frying pan. Cook the outside of the carrot dogs until char marks appear and they are warmed throughout, about 2-3 min on each side.
7) Serve warm with your favorite bun and hot dog toppings.
Want something to go with your Carrot Dog? Check out this awesome Plant Based Potato Salad or yummy Vanilla Mint Berry Bowl! They make the perfect party appetizer or snack while you lounge next to the pool this Summer!
If you have tried Carrot Dogs, I would love to hear what you thought – Please leave a comment below!
How to Make the Best Carrot Dogs
- 12 large whole carrots
- 1/2 cup low sodium tamari
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 green onions sliced
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1.5 tbsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- hot dog buns
- hot dog toppings - ketchup, mustard, etc
Place all marinade ingredients into a leak-proof container.
Bring a medium saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil. Peel and carve hot dogs into the desired shape (see post for details).
Boil for 10 minutes.
Remove carrot dogs from boiling water and place into marinade.
Seal container and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 12 hours, gently shaking the container to coat all the carrot dogs a few times during the process.
Heat a grill or frying pan. Cook the outside of the carrot dogs until char marks appear and they are warmed throughout, about 2-3 min on each side.
Serve warm with your favorite bun and hot dog toppings.