Mildly sweet and crunchy, the ever-constant carrot has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. High levels of beta-carotene, metabolized by the body into vitamin A, give carrots their characteristic orange hue and a significant part of their nutritional value.
Vitamin A is known for its positive effects on eyesight, as our mothers endlessly told us. Along with ample A, carrots are also a very good source of vitamin K and potassium. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, helpful in reducing free radical cell damage which keeps the immune system healthy and robust.
Fresh carrots should have a notable heft and stiffness and be very bright orange. If they bend or are dull-looking, they are too old to buy or consume. When storing carrots, cut off the leafy green tops, as they suck the moisture out of the root. Place them inside a plastic bag or damp paper towel and store in the coldest part of the fridge (but not the freezer). They can stay fresh for a couple of weeks this way.
Keep carrots on hand at all times. Incredible nutritional properties aside, they are a staple vegetable in most cuisines. If you have them, you can make almost anything, anytime. Rinse with water and gently scrub carrots before eating. They can be eaten raw, sautéed, or roasted.
Try our Chipotle Roasted Carrot Fries by cutting carrots into narrow sticks, sprinkling with sea salt, pepper, chipotle peppers, lime, and roasting with a little oil for a healthy alternative to French fries.
Raw carrots are a perfect portable snack, and when shredded, carrots add color as well as vitamins to any salad or sandwich.