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A Health Hot Dog?

55 Minutes

8 Servings

Get to Know this recipe

Have you seen the movie What the Health? It's a documentary created by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn in 2017. The documentary questions the connections of some of our most prominent foundations in clinical research and their ties to the food industry. The documentary makers explore how these relationships influence the messages we receive about what is healthy and what is not. The film was nominated for an NAACP – Image Award for an outstanding documentary in 2018. The documentary also explores the food industry in areas that will make you think twice about the meat you eat.

I must admit it got me thinking. With Labor Day right around the corner and hot dogs indeed on the menu, I decided to take to the internet searching for a healthier hot dog. What I found was nothing short of surprising. Could it really be a healthy hot dog? Or was it just a carrot? What I stumbled upon was a recipe that would make you want to throw your hot dogs ours for a familiar veggie, the carrot!

With my daughter wanting to eat hot dogs nearly every night, I knew this had to be my next exploration into the realm of healthy. The picture above was the results of our cooking test. I must admit, with all of the toppings, this option tasted a lot like the original with much less guilt. In addition to the hot dog, we also used the baby carrots to create pigs in a blanket. We took our healthy pigs to a friend's house and paired with horseradish mustard. Everyone was digging in, and they got high marks all around. We even made a second batch the next day, pictured below. The dough wasn't as fluffy as the first batch, and the overnight marinade didn't make a huge difference, but they were still delicious and a welcome snack.

A Health Hot Dog?

How to Make

  • Marinate the carrots for at least 1 hour in the refrigerater. 

  • Boil carrots with marinade until tender

  • Dress in bun and favorite toppings

  • Try wrapping in dough to create pigs in a blanket

 The longer you marinate, the better. After marinating, you then boil them in a pot containing the carrots and the marinade. Let them cook until they are tender. You can grill them to taste even more like the real thing although, we did not and enjoyed them after the boil. You can also wrap them in the dough like we did and create pigs in a blanket. The more topping you use, the more you will really feel like you're getting the traditional hot dog experience. However you decide to enjoy them, I hope they are as much of a home run for you as they were for us! 

A Health Hot Dog?
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  • 6 carrots, preferably no more than 3/4 thick

  • 1 cup of vegetable broth

  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce (we used Tamari for a gluten-free option)

  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke

  • Hot dog buns

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