What is Carrot?

Although often dismissed as food for rabbits and dieters, carrots’ crunchy sweetness and stellar nutritional profile make them perfect for everyone.

Benefits

Carrots are a super food that provides invaluable health benefits through beta-carotene and insoluble fiber, including protecting eyesight, keeping the skin healthy, and shielding the body from infections.

Selection and storage

Carrots are available year-round, both with their leafy green tops and without. Either way, look for firm, bright orange carrots with smooth skin; medium carrots are tender, while thicker carrots may have a larger fibrous core making them challenging. Avoid limp or black carrots near the top, indicating that they are not fresh. Immediately remove any leafy green tops and store carrots in a plastic bag in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer for up to two weeks. 

Preparation

Thoroughly scrub whole carrots to remove soil contamination. Carrot skin is perfectly edible, but removing it’s a good idea to eliminate any pesticide residue. Contrary to popular belief that vegetables are more nutritious in their raw form, the nutrients in lightly steamed carrots are more usable by your body than those in raw carrots because cooking breaks down their rigid cell walls, releasing beta-carotene. One pound of carrots will yield about 3 cups chopped or sliced, or two cus shredded.

Recipe suggestions

Carrots are a versatile vegetable, appearing in breakfast (carrot juice), dessert (carrot cake), and everything in between. Besides being a natural for crudites, carrots add color and crunch to salads, stir-fries, and sandwiches. They’re an essential part of mirepoix, the classic soup base of carrots, celery, and onion sauteed in olive oil. And, of course, they’re delicious on their own, lightly steamed and topped with herbs, sea salt, and glazed with orange juice, brown sugar, and freshly ground black pepper. You can even use old carrots left in the refrigerator a little past their expiration date to make flavorful homemade vegetable stock. Simmer carrots, celery, herbs, and unpeeled garlic and onion in a large pot of water for about an hour. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon and season the broth with salt and pepper to taste.

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