Universally recognised and appreciated by most, carrots have been a staple vegetable worldwide since records began. Sporting excellent team colours with its leggy orange root and verdant frilly tops, its the ultimate vegetable icon. Did you know that carrots are not naturally orange? In the seventeenth century, the Dutch bred an orange carrot in an early hybridisation experiment by crossing a naturally purple carrot with a yellow one, in honour of their King William of Orange. Not only did it become a cosmetic success, but it spawned an exceptionally sweet carrot, which ultimately achieved world domination. Like all legends, this one is rooted in truth, like all good myths are.
Carrots not only taste good and look great, they also provide ample health benefits when consumed, including:
- Beta-carotene in high concentration, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, amazing for heart and eye health
- falcarinol, an antioxidant for heart and tissue health; also cancer-protective
- B-complex vitamins, for converting food into fuel and giving us energy
Copper and calcium, for bone and tissue health
Growing Season: Baby carrots are best in the spring. At Magic Season Organics Farm, carrots grow best from December through April.
Varieties: Some varieties are bred for flavour. Those such as Nantes and Chantenay are well know. Older heritage varieties ranging in colour from white to yellow to purple are making a comeback in farmers markets. Purple carrots taste earthy and beet-like. Yellow carrots have a slightly citrus tang. White carrots can be a little on the bland side. Like all vegetables, fresh is best. We suggest you stay away from ready-peeled baby carrots - usually these are large carrots mechanically carved into small pieces. They smell and taste like they are already starting to rot.
Storage: Store your carrots in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Good for 2 weeks.
Prep: Carrots usually arrive in your kitchen fairly clean. Even though its organic, we still suggest giving them a good scrub and because the skin contains a concentration of nutrients, avoid peeling if you can.
- Cut carrots into discs or strips or sticks or stubby segments before steaming, boiling or roasting.
- Carrots can be eaten raw. Best to finely slice, shred, grate or put through a spiralizer or cut with a julienne tool to make it easier for the jaw.
- you can slo use a peeler to shave long paper-thin strips, curls or ribbons - soaking these in iced water makes them extra crunchy and curly.