Carrots – Gotta have ‘Em
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From the “carrot and stick” approach to the carrot sticks we munch so often, each adult in the U.S. consumes nearly 12 pounds of carrots each year. img_1278 And, not all of them are orange. Carrots are also available to us in purple, yellow, white or red colors, and these are revivals, not recent genetic innovations. Today China and Russia produce the largest amount of the world’s carrots. The U.S. comes in third with the most grown in California, Michigan and Texas.

We can trace the carrot back through Asia, the Middle East and Europe, and they were in bright colors, not only orange back then!  Read more about the history of carrots here.

Carrots, of any color, are rich in fibre, vitamin A and beta-carotene. They are always known to contribute to eye health.

Choose carrots which are firm and bright. Avoid those with excessive cracks.  Store them in your refrigerator crisper for several weeks in plastic bags. Discard once their top ends send out chutes. Do not store next to apples, pears, potatoes or other vegetables which produce ethylene gas, as it causes a bitter taste. If you purchase carrot roots with attached green tops, the tops should be cut off before storing separately.

The purchase of mini-carrots is discouraged, for most of them are cut down from large carrots and processed with chemical solutions.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:

Many cooks add a carrot to savory recipes for its ability to slightly sweeten. This is probably one reason the carrot remains a card-carrying member of the mirepoix aromatics group along with onion and celery.

Always wash carrots before cutting or cooking. It is not necessary to peel them.

Raw carrots can be left whole or sliced, julienned, grated, shredded or sliced into sticks.

Steaming is deemed the most healthy way to cook carrots. Stop cooking while they are still slightly crisp.

Add to soups
Carrot cake, puddings
Carrot health juice
Julienned in Asian spring rolls
Mash cooked carrots with white turnips
Roast with other vegetables
Shred into salads or slaws

Some web recipes for carrots:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/carrot-recipes-soup-cake_n_2545413

htmlhttp://www.bonappetit.com/ideas/carrot-recipes/search

http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Side-Dish/Vegetables/Carrots/Top.aspx

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

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