A Colorful History
Carrots may seem like just another root vegetable, but they have been cultivated for more than just their crunch and have a deep-rooted history as an aphrodisiac, a cure for snakebites, and a measure to prevent night blindness. The well-to-do of 15th century France also used the feathery leaves of carrots to decorate hairdos and dresses.
American settlers planted the first carrots in 1609 in Virginia, and later in New England in 1629. Carrots were originally used to make wine and jam. Although carrots have been hybridized since the 1600’s to increase their size and deepen their color, we can still find inedible wild carrots, also known as Queen Anne’s lace, along roadsides and in fields.
Sweet & Nutritious
Carrots are nutrient dense and an excellent source of beta-carotene (vitamin A) which boosts your immune system, supports your vision, and protects your body from harmful free radicals. They are also an excellent source of vitamin K which helps prevent blood clotting and is important for bone health.
They have a high sugar content that is concentrated in their core, so thicker carrots will taste sweeter. My daughter calls them “candy” in the summertime! There are more than 100 different varieties of carrots and they come in many colors besides orange, including yellow, purple, and black.
If you like to eat local food, carrots are a great pick as they store well and are available almost all year-round.
Recipes to Try
Sweet Soy Carrots
1/8 cup honey 1/8 cup soy sauce 1/8 teaspoon hot sesame oil 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic, about 1 medium clove 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch slices on a bias
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1/ Mix the dressing ingredients well until emulsified.
2/ Toss the dressing to coat the carrots.
3/ Roast in oven for 15-18 minutes or until soft.
4/ Toss with scallions and sesame seeds.
Pineapple Carrot Smoothie
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
3 small or 2 medium carrots
1/2 cup coconut water or coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
Blend and enjoy!
Courtesy of Tracey Miller www.diginrealfood.com