This authentic Jamaican carrot juice takes me back to my childhood in Jamaica. This creamy, spiced up drink was a favorite of mine because it was like drinking my vegetables and dessert at the same time. As a kid, I got so excited when my grandmother made this drink. It’s one of the fondest memories that I recall every time I make this drink.
Growing up, carrot juice was often prepared with Sunday dinners or when we had lots of family or guests coming over. Today, Jamaicans on the island and aboard still maintain this practice.
Authentic Jamaican carrot juice is made by blending fresh carrots with a little fresh ginger root and extracting the juice. That juice is then spiced up with fresh grated nutmeg, a splash of vanilla extract, a pinch of cinnamon and finally sweetened with condensed milk. It’s often served chilled over ice or it can be made into an adult cocktail with the addition of rum, stout or rum cream.
How to Make this Vegan
I was a vegan for a few years and this was one of the things that I missed because one of the key ingredients, condensed milk, is made with dairy. So I turned to a healthier alternative by simple leaving out the milk. However, today there are many vegan milk options that would be great substitutes. One of those is coconut condensed milk. It’s readily available in almost every grocery store these days. It works great in this drink, however it does add a little hint of coconut flavor to the final drink.
How to Make this Healthy
The sweetened condensed milk makes this drink rich and creamy but it also brings with it added sugars and fats. A single ounce is about 15 grams of sugar and about 90 calories.
The healthy option is to skip the condensed milk all together and add fresh lime juice and zest. This option is best when carrots are in season because they’re naturally sweeter and you won’t need to add any additional sweetener. The fresh carrot season usually runs late Spring to early Fall.
Optional Flavors to Add
You can go to 4 different Jamaican homes and you’d find this drink made 4 different ways. That’s because most Jamaicans have their own way of spicing up this drink. My recipe is the foundation and you can choose to mix in any of the following to the final drink:
- Guinness Stout – Will add a roasted malt flavor, with some bitterness and even a slight sourness to the carrot juice
- Peanut Punch is a Caribbean drink made with condensed milk, water vanilla, nutmeg and of course peanuts. Adding this to the carrot juice will give it a creamy, nutty flavor
- Rum – Personally, I don’t drink rum, but I have to mention that this is usually added to the adult version of this drink. Usually it’s Jamaican white rum.
Here are the ingredients and instructions. Have you ever tried Jamaican carrot juice? If so, what are your thoughts? Please comment below and let me know. Also share if you do make this recipe.
Authentic Jamaican Carrot Juice
- 2 lbs. Carrots -washed, peeled and cut into pieces
- 1 tsp Fresh ginger root
- 4 Cups Spring water
- 14 oz Can of condensed milk *see option below
- 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg -grated
- 1/2 Tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Vanilla extract
- Pinch of Salt
- Blend cut carrots, piece of fresh ginger with spring water until smooth.
- Strain mixture into a large bowl using a fine strainer, cheesecloth or linen kitchen towel until all the juice is out and only the pulp remains.
- Mix in condensed milk a little at a time adding enough to suit your level of sweetness. Next add in nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla and mix well.
- Add any optional ingredients and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Pour over ice and serve.
- To make this vegan, you can use coconut condensed milk as the sweetener.
- See list of optional ingredients in write-up to add to the final carrot juice.