Carrots are root vegetables with a crunchy texture and are sweet in taste. They are related to parsnips, fennel, anise, cumin and dill. They do contain sugar but very little starch (which is good for a carb-conscious, healthy diet) and are made of 88 % water, making them a great way to keep hydrated.
Carrots are best known for their rich supply of beta-carotene, which is crucial for healthy skin and mucus membranes, the immune system, and good eye health and vision.
If you growing your own carrots, be sure to wait until the cold weather has moved in before you dig them up. This will ensure that you manage to harvest the sweetest produce.
How to choose?
Look for carrots that are smooth, firm and crisp with vibrant colour. Avoid those that have begun to sprout or are brown at the crown.
How to prepare?
Remove all of the dirt on the surface of the carrot by rubbing it off under cold running water. Trim the ends of the carrot and peel them gently if desired. Just make sure that you do so gently as you don’t want to remove too much of the vitamin-enriched layers.
Carrots can be roasted, braised or enjoyed raw.
They can also be added to other vegetables in stir fries, casseroles, quiches and soups. These crunchy root vegetables can be dipped in hummus, low-fat dressing or peanut butter for a healthy snack.
Preparation time: (for 500g of carrots)
- Boiling: four to six minutes for strips, and seven to nine minutes if thicker.
- Steaming: five to seven minutes for strips.
- Bake: five to 10 minutes or until carrots are tender.
How to store?
Carrots can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month if stored correctly. Carrots can rot when exposed to a lot of moisture. Prevent this by wrapping the carrots in a paper towel and then place in a perforated plastic bag.
It would not be a good idea to store near apples as they give off a gas that makes carrots bitter.
Per 100 grams:
- Fat 0,2 g,
- Cholesterol 0 mg,
- Sodium 69 mg,
- Protein 0,9 g,
- Potassium 320 mg.
If you’re looking for more information on healthy seasonal ingredients that can be added to your healthy eating plan, be sure to take a look at Flora’s list of seasonal ingredients.