Our carrots are ready to be harvested!
Carrots are the most widely used root vegetable in the world. And, they are relatively easy to grow. Carrots are versatile in a number of dishes and cultural cuisines and come in different colors such as orange, purple, white, yellow, and red. The taproot of the carrot is the part of the vegetable most commonly eaten, although the greens can be eaten in salads and stir fries.
Most of the benefits of carrots can be attributed to their beta-carotene and fiber content. According to the USDA Nutrient Data, these root vegetables are also a good source of, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C, niacin and vitamin B6.
High cholesterol is a major factor causing heart diseases, and regular consumption of carrots reduces cholesterol levels. Researchers during a study on thevalue of carrots found that cholesterol levels drop by an average of 11 percent if seven ounces of raw carrots per day are consumed for three weeks. A group of Swedish scientists also discovered that these root vegetables can reduce the chances of having a heart attack. Another study found that those who ate more carrots had one third the risk of heart attack as compared with those who ate fewer carrots.
Researcher Dr. Lindeboom found that a deficiency of vitamin A can cause some difficulty seeing in dim light, leading to night blindness. Since carrots are rich in vitamin A, a study to determine the antioxidant capacity of seven colored carrots also suggests they are good for improving eye health and preventing conditions like night blindness from developing as we age. Research has also found that people who ate the most amount of beta-carotene had a forty percent lower risk of macular degeneration compared with those who consumed the least.
A study published in the journal of Preventive Nutrition and Food Science in 2018 determined that carrots are good for blood sugar regulation due to the presence of carotenoids, Carotenoids inversely affect insulin resistance and can lower blood sugar, thereby helping diabetics. They also regulate the amount of insulin and glucose that is being used andby the body.
Carrots have antiseptic qualities and can, therefore, be used as laxatives, vermicides (poisonous to worms), and as a remedy for liver conditions. Carrot oil is good for dry skin, making it softer, smoother, and firmer.
Scientific research indicates that the coumarin found in carrots may be linked to reducingand protecting your heart. They are rich sources of potassium, which is a vasodilator and can relax the tension in your blood vessels and arteries, thereby increasing blood flow and . This mineral also aids in boosting organ function throughout the body and reducing the stress on the cardiovascular system.
Carrots contain a number of antiseptic andproperties that make them ideal for boosting the immune system. Not only that, they are a rich source of vitamin C, which stimulates the activity of white blood cells.
Carrots have significant amounts of dietary fiber. Fiber is one of the most important elements in maintaining good digestive health. Fiber adds bulk to stool, which helps it pass smoothly through the digestive tract, and stimulatesmotion and the secretion of gastric juices. Altogether, this reduces the severity of conditions like constipation and protects your colon and stomach from various serious illnesses, including colorectal cancer. Fiber also boosts heart health by helping to eliminate excess LDL cholesterol from the walls of arteries and blood vessels.
The organic compounds in carrots are good mineral antioxidants and they also stimulate the gums and induce excess saliva. Saliva is an alkaline substance and combats the bacteria and foreign bodies that often result in cavities, halitosis, and other oral health risks.
Eating a carrot every day reduces the risk of stroke by 68 percent. Many studies have strengthened the belief in the “carrot effect” on the brain. Lutein, a carotenoid present in carrots, has been positively linked to improved brain health, according to a study conducted by the researchers at The University of Illinois. Studies conducted on stroke patients revealed that those with the highest levels of beta-carotene also had the highest survival rate.
How to Buy
Baby carrots are not simply infant carrots picked before reaching maturity. The size of these carrots has little to do with their age and actually results from the processing of whole carrots.
The initial production of baby carrots was an attempt to reduce waste. In the 1980’s, a carrot farmer named Mike Yurosek gathered up broken or unshapely carrots deemed “unworthy” of selling. He peeled and shaped these carrots into smaller chunks so they could be sold. This process gave birth to the baby carrots that we get packaged at the store today.
Baby carrots are ready to eat, meaning they don’t require any washing or preparing on your part. This is because manufacturers do all the dirty work. Before they are sold, baby carrots actually go for a swim in a diluted chlorine and water solution. The purpose of this bath is to eliminate any food-borne illnesses. I would wash them again to get rid of any chlorine residue.
Buy ORGANIC! Organic carrots are raised without the use of pesticides. This allows them to soak up nutrients from the soil without absorbing any unwanted chemicals. When you choose the organic variety, you’ll get more nutrients and less chemicals.
Rainbow carrots are the result of carrot breeding, which is a completely natural process. With just some minor genetic alterations, carrot farmers are able to produce carrots that are red, yellow, white or purple.
In produce, color defines nutrients. Most people know that orange carrots contain beta-carotene, which is the source of their distinctly orange color. Lutein, a promotor of eye health, was added to produce the yellow and white carrot varieties. The antioxidant Lycopene, also found in tomatoes, gave rise to red carrots. The purple carrots contain a nutrient called anthocyanin, which can also be seen in blueberries.
How to Store
The carrot is the root of the plant and the green tops take its moisture and nutrition from the root. So, chop those green tops off right away to keep the carrot from going limp. Clean the dirt off and wrapped them in a cotton dishtowel. Carrots can stay firm, and crisp for months at a time when stored properly.
How to Cook
Before cooking carrots, they require minor preparation:
- New, smaller carrots: Don’t peel or cut. Simply scrub clean with a stiff vegetable brush. Cook whole.
- Older, larger carrots: They can be scrubbed clean (in cold water) but if the skin is very blemished or the recipe calls for it, they can be peeled and scraped off too. Larousse Gastronomique advises that carrots should not be scraped or peeled if maximum nutritional content is to be retained; simply brush them if you’re aware of their organic origins but do peel or scrape if concerned about pesticides. These carrots can be sliced, diced or cut into julienne strips for cooking.
- Grate the carrot where the recipe requires. In cooking, grated carrot is often used inside puddings, cakes and savory baked dishes.
Steamed carrots go well with many meals. Boiling is a good cooking method for older carrots. Use vegetable stock as a substitute for the cooking water if you’d like to impart more flavor to the carrots. Carrots can also be braised, added to a stir fry, glazed and roasted.