Chicken soup just wouldn’t be the same without them – adding great flavour to the cure-all soup. Interestingly, carrots’ crunchy texture and sweet taste grows underground as a richly coloured orange root. It’s the feathery green leaves that emerge above ground.
HOW TO CHOOSE
Although available throughout the year, carrots are locally grown in the summer and fall.
Those with the greens still attached may have the sweetest flavour. Ensure the greens are crisp and fresh looking. In general, the best finds are firm, bright, long, and narrow without cracks on the sides or sprouts where the green tops have been removed.
Remove the greens about two inches above the carrots, cover and refrigerate unwashed young carrots for up to two weeks. Mature carrots keep 3 to 4 weeks.
HOW TO PREPARE
Trim root and stem ends. Rinse. Scrub or peel, however scrubbing retains more juices and nutrients. Leave whole, shred or cut into coins, sticks, or julienned. To preserve natural sugars and sweet flavour, cook carrots in as little liquid as possible.
To freshen limp carrots, crisp them in a bowl of ice water.
They can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, added to soups, stews, stocks, juiced. Steaming and baking lock in the meltingly sweet flavour.
Carrots pair nicely with many meats and enhance the flavour of any dish. The basic sauteing quartet is carrots, onion, garlic, and celery with olive oil. What an aroma!
Yes, carrots are low in calories! More importantly, however, they are an excellent source of antioxidant capabilities may help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer and also promote good vision, especially night vision. If that wasn’t enough, carrots are the richest vegetable source of the pro-vitamin A carotenes.
Carrots (raw), 1 medium
Total Fat: 0.116g
*Excellent source of: Vitamin A (17,158 IU)
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.
- The carrot’s feathery greens adorned the hats and hair as a bird feather alternative for fashionable young women in the 17th century .
- The Umbelliferae family consists of carrots, parsnips, fennel caraway, cumin and dill – the commonality being umbrella-like flower clusters.