How to Make Jamaican Carrot Juice
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Fred Scille, the senior recruiting manager at Taste of Home, explains how to make his family's Jamaican carrot juice. This creamy drink is served alongside Sunday dinner.
When Fred Scille is in Jamaica with his family, Sunday dinner is an all-day production. He remembers waking up before sunrise as a child to the sounds of his mother and grandmother already in the kitchen preparing the meal for that evening. The meats needed marinating, cake batters needed mixing and, of course, someone had to cook breakfast, so the Sunday kitchen was a busy kitchen.
“You can basically expect the cook, or cooks, in the family to be on their feet in the kitchen from dawn to dusk on Sundays,” Fred says.
But the bustling kitchen does get quiet around midmorning when pots and pans are left to simmer on the stove while everyone goes to church together.
“Most Jamaicans look forward to Sundays,” Fred says. “You put on your Sunday’s best, and see others in their Sunday’s best.”
By the time the family makes it to church and back, it’s been a few hours and “there is this magic in the air.” The slowly simmering food, seasonings and desserts are almost ready!
What Is Served for Sunday Dinner?
On the Sunday dinner table, Fred could look forward to a meal of traditional Jamaican foods like stewed chicken, rice and peas, and salad. Dessert always followed the feast consisting of something like rum cake, fruit cake or another Jamaican dessert. (You can make a similar meal with our Caribbean-inspired recipes.)
Without fail, this bountiful spread was served with a glass of sweet and creamy carrot juice. It’s more than the liquid you might squeeze out of your juicer; it’s luxurious and thick, almost like a dessert.
This indulgence was reserved for Sundays because according to Fred, “it does take a bit of effort, which makes it harder to make during the workweek.”
How to Make Jamaican Carrot Juice
Fred likes to use a whole can of sweetened condensed milk in his carrot juice, sometimes called carrot punch. But he recommends that people sweeten the drink to their own tastes. Here’s what you need to make Fred’s carrot punch:
- 4 cups water
- 4 whole carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1-½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ to 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 bottle stout
Step 1: Boil and cool the carrots
Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, add the carrots and boil for 20 minutes or until carrots are soft. Strain the carrots, reserving the liquid they were boiled in.
Put the carrots and two cups of the liquid into a blender. Place the blender in the refrigerator to cool for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Blend
Remove the blender pitcher from the refrigerator and blend on medium for two minutes until there are no large chunks of carrot left.
Add the nutmeg, vanilla extract, sweetened condensed milk and milk to the blender and blend until smooth. Taste the mixture and add more sweetened condensed milk, if desired.
Step 3: Add the beer
Add the beer and pulse just to combine. Don’t overmix or the beer will lose its frothy carbonation.
Pour the entire mixture into a large pitcher and cool completely in the fridge before serving. This Jamaican carrot juice can be served over ice.
Editor’s tip: If you want to share this beverage with kiddos and teens, just omit the beer. It’s still a delicious treat! (And you can always stir some stout into your glass.)