California Dreamin’

Did you know that carrots are grown year round in that magical land called California?

I’d never actually given it much thought until recently.  It suddenly occurred to me that the 5# bag of organic California carrots that I buy every few weeks is always the same price, January or July.

The perfect ingredient for a winter salad!

This is a simple salad that we made regularly in my house while I was growing up.  It is fast, requires only a few ingredients, and is an unusual mix of sweet, sour, and crunchy.

California Dreamin’ Salad

Makes 6-8 servings and keeps for a few days in the fridge

  • 3 cups grated organic carrots (I swear they taste better!)
  • 1/2 cup of either raisins or chopped dates or a combination of both
  • juice from one lemon
  • optional: a few tablespoons of strips of Meyer lemon peel
  • optional: top with salted, roasted sunflower seeds
Mix everything together in a big bowl!
The dates and lemon zest are the only changes I made from the old “recipe”.


I almost always have these three things in my house so even if the fridge is practically bare and the garden is sleeping I can manage to make a fresh, raw, nutritious salad, thanks to California.

Good ol’ California.  Where carrots are grown year round, lemons hang from the tress, the raisins sing, and dates are plentiful.  What a wonderland.

Meyer lemons are ripening on the trees out West as we speak and I was thrilled to find them for a reasonable price at my local produce store.    For this salad I used the juice from a regular lemon and about an eighth of a peel of Meyer, sliced into slivers.  The peel was actually a little intense yesterday but by today it’s mellowed and was delicious!



This salad can be eaten right away but I think it gets better if it’s allowed to sit a while, the raisins and dates soak up the lemon and become plump and juicy.



It’s not California but I am West coast bound on Wednesday!


  1. Let’s add some slivers of ginger, fresh or crystallized or pickled.
    I had thought carrots were such a stable staple because they store so well. Your posting surprised me, because I know carrots are a frost tolerant, cool weather crop. So, here is what I read: “Carrots are grown year-round in California. In the southern San Joaquin and Cuyama Valleys, carrots are planted from December to March for harvest from May to July and from July to September for harvest from November to February. In the southern desert, they are planted from August to February for harvest from December to June. In the high desert they are planted from April to July for harvest from August to December. On the central coast, they are planted from December to August for harvest from April to January.

    • gracefulfitness

      That’s what I read too! I only had pickled ginger in my fridge and didn’t like the sound of that but crystallized sounds good.

  2. when I was little we made a similar salad too, but added some chopped walnuts and sour cream to it! Your version is certainly healthier, looks lovely too 🙂

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