We’ve all been told as kids to eat our carrots or we’ll go blind, right? Although this isn’t completely true, carrots are important for a number of reasons.
Carrots were originally grown to use as medicine before people started eating them. We can still use carrots as medicine today by nourishing our bodies from the inside. Besides the classic orange carrots, there are also white, red, yellow, and purple varieties. These are usually called rainbow carrots.
Why are they beneficial?
Raw orange carrots have beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A when we eat them. This vitamin is important for growth, which is why carrots are a great snack for kids. Vitamin A also helps growth on the cellular level for people of all ages. All cells throughout the body need vitamin A to make new cells. This is why carrots are especially good for our eyes and skin. Carrots also support your immune system with their vitamin C. Different colored carrots offer different nutrients. For example, a specific antioxidant gives purple carrots their color, and it protects against free radicals that cause disease.
When are they in season?
Local carrots can be found in short seasons in the spring and fall in Tennessee. You can always find different carrot varieties in grocery stores.
How long will they keep?
Fresh carrots can last up to four weeks if stored properly. Keep them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If your carrots come with the greens attached, remove them before you store them, but don’t throw them away! Carrot greens are edible. Toss your carrots when they turn white and dry.
How can I prepare them?
There are so many ways to get carrots in your diet. They make an easy side dish for almost any meal. Always be sure to wash your carrots thoroughly before eating since they do come from the ground. Here are a few different ways to prepare them:
- Make carrot fries in the oven. This recipe only has three ingredients and only takes 20 minutes.
- Add them to your smoothie or juice. Carrots go great with citrus like orange or grapefruit. Add some ginger for an extra health boost and flavor.
- Make homemade carrot hummus. Just combine carrots, chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and your favorite seasoning and puree.
- Saute chopped carrots in grass-fed butter, minced garlic, and thyme for a warm side dish.
Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods.