Food Spotlight | The Netherlands

Carrot Top - Why is this popular vegetable orange? Dutch roots!

Carrots are one of the most widely used, and enjoyed, vegetables in the world. And for good reason. They can be eaten raw with dips and in salads, or as a snack on their own. They can be served as side dishes, used as foundational elements for soups and stocks, or as the centerpiece of many sweet and savory main courses. It's no surprise that three of the most popular carrot recipes are carrot cake, cream of carrot soup and roasted carrots --- they're delicious! But there's always room for healthy and interesting updates to our favorite classics, especially when we are trying to cut down on refined sugar and animal fats.

Carrots have quite an interesting history; there are entire websites devoted to the orange vegetable.

Research suggests that carrots were first cultivated in what is present day Iran around 5,000 years ago. Those early carrots were purple and yellow, and they were tough and very bitter. Purple carrots made their way to the Mediterranean in the 10th century, and there is evidence that the orange carrot we know today was cultivated in The Netherlands in the 16th century. The debate among carrot historians is why orange carrots were cultivated in the first place. It has been reported that 17th Century Dutch carrot growers did this as a tribute to William of Orange, but others dispute the veracity of this claim. According to the writer Simon Schama, the carrot was used as a political weapon in the 18th Century by the Dutch Patriot movement, who opposed the continued power or the House of Orange. The Patriots declared that orange "was the color of sedition....carrots sold with their roots too conspicuously showing were deemed provocative." Whether or not WIlliam of Orange was in fact the inspiration for the orange carrot, everyone agrees that the Long Orange Dutch carrot is the variety from which the orange carrot we eat today was cultivated.

Carrots arrived in the "New World" with the Jamestown colonists in 1609, but their popularity ebbed and flowed with the times.

The popularity of carrots reached its lowest point in the 19th century when it seems most people thought of them as feed for livestock. The end of WWII saw a surge in carrot appreciation and uses, due, in some part, to a British propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the Germans that British soldiers could see in the dark because they ate a lot of them. According to an article in Smithsonian, "During the 1940 Blitzkrieg, the Luftwaffe often struck under the cover of darkness. In order to make it more difficult for the German planes to hit targets, the British government issued citywide blackouts. The Royal Air Force were able to repel the German fighters in part because of the development of a new, secret radar technology. The on-board Airborne Interception Radar (AI), first used by the RAF in 1939, had the ability to pinpoint enemy bombers before they reached the English Channel. But to keep that under wraps, the Ministry provided another reason for their success: "carrots."

While they might not actually help you see in the dark, the health benefits of carrots are off the charts, with a high fiber content and mega-load of cancer preventing beta-carotene being just the tip of the carrot's impressive nutritional qualities. Check out a full rundown on this Food Rating System Chart from the World's Healthiest Foods.

In the meantime, here's a healthy update to three of our favorite carrot recipes.


If you are searching for a healthy alternative to carrot cake, look no further. These muffins have a lot of ingredients, which can seem daunting, but they are worth it the effort. The dates, pineapple, raisins and, of course carrots, provide a lot of sweetness, which allows us to cut way down on refined sugar. The wheat germ, walnuts and pumpkin seeds provide fiber and a host of nutrients, as well as a fabulous texture and flavor, and coconut oil adds wonderful richness. If you are using organic carrots, try leaving the peel on for extra nutrition. The frosting is optional, but it is delicious!

1 cup extra virgin coconut oil, at room temp

4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp (or substitute with a neutral oil like safflower if you want to go dairy free)

½ cup brown sugar

5 Medjool dates, pitted and very finally chopped

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups fresh grated carrots

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

¼ cup wheat germ

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

8 oz. crushed pineapple with juice

½ cup chopped walnuts

½ cup golden raisins

¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)


1/2 cup softened butter (or Earth Balance vegan butter if dairy free)

8 oz. softened reduced fat cream cheese (or Tofutti vegan cream cheese if dairy free)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup maple syrup

Line a muffin tin with lightly oiled baking cups and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the flours, wheat germ, baking powder and soda and cinnamon and set aside. In a large bowl, or Kitchen Aid mixer, cream together the coconut oil, butter, brown sugar and dates until well combined. Add the vanilla extract and then the eggs, mixing in one at a time, and beat on moderate speed. Fold in the carrots, pineapple followed by the dry ingredients, nuts and raisins, taking care not to over-mix. Fill the baking cups with batter (about 1/3 cup), sprinkle each muffin with some pumpkin seeds if not frosting them, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the muffins are set and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. If frosting, let muffins cool completely on a wire rack before either spreading frosting with a spatula or piping it with a pastry bag. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top.

To make the frosting - place the butter and cream cheese in a bowl and beat on a medium speed until blended. Add vanilla and maple syrup and blend until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Fragrant cumin and coconut oil give this soup its unique character. Fennel is known throughout the world for its medicinal qualities, especially with regard to digestive health. It has half the daily requirement of Vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant, has a high potassium content, which lowers blood pressure and inflammation, and is high in fiber. It also has a lovely, subtly sweet licorice flavor which pairs beautifully with carrots. The roasted beet here is optional but it really adds nice texture and color as a garnish.

2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 bulb fennel, tough outer layer, core and long stem removed and chopped

1 large onion (preferably Vidalia), peeled and chopped

2 lbs. carrots, peeled and chopped (or you may leave the peel on if using organic)

5 cups chicken broth

salt to taste

½ teaspoon fine ground white pepper

two medium beets

a handful of lightly toasted pumpkin seeds*

If you are using the beets, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and dice beets and place on a baking sheet. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast for 15 minutes, remove and set aside (you can do this while you are making the soup). In a medium to large pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat and add the cumin and white pepper. Cook for a moment, until you start to smell the cumin, add the onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, taking care not to brown. Add the carrots, stock, and a healthy pinch of salt. Bring to a gentle boil, cover with the lid ajar, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots can be very easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Turn off heat and blend soup with an immersion blender until very smooth. Check seasoning. Ladle into bowls and top with a tablespoon of beets and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.


1 lb. carrots, scrubbed clean, or peeled if not organic (if your carrots are small and thin, you will need 2 lbs.)

2 cups farro

two large red onions

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 oz. semi-soft goat cheese

¼ cup loosely chopped dill

¼ cup lightly toasted sliced almonds*

for the dressing

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

a healthy pinch of kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

Make the dressing by whisking the olive oil into the lemon juice, salt and pepper in a steady stream. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice carrots on the diagonal into ¼ inch rounds. Peel and slice the onion into ¼ inch slices. Toss carrots and onion with olive oil, balsamic, and a healthy sprinkle of kosher salt and arrange on two roasting pans so that vegetables are in a single layer and not overcrowded. Roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring once to make sure onions are not burning, until carrots are tender and balsamic has caramelized. While carrots and onions are in the oven, cook farro according to package's instructions, making sure you salt the water. When done, drain and cool and place on a large platter and toss with the dressing. Remove vegetables from oven and gently toss them into the farro mixture. Crumble the goat cheese over the top followed by the almonds and the dill.

*To toast almonds or pumpkin seeds, place on a backing sheet and bake for 4 minutes in a 350- degree oven.

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Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.



A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.


A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.


Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.


Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.


Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.


You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.


Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.

What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!


Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

buy happiness You sure about that?

Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.