Did you know carrots could do a disappearing act? Rarely do my boys request a carrot for a snack. Neither do they respond positively if they ask for a snack and I suggest a carrot. But if I peel and set out a bowl of them after breakfast, they seem to magically be gone by lunch. Strange…
A common way of serving carrot sticks is with ranch dressing, but unless you’re making your own with wholesome ingredients, skip the dressing or you’ll turn your healthy snack into an unhealthy fat-, calorie-, and MSG-laden choice.
nutritional profile of carrots.
I knew carrots were a good source of vitamin A, but I didn’t know how good until I looked up the nutrition facts for this post. One carrot. Over 200% of your daily vitamin A needs. That’s incredible! Carrots are also rich in fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and several B vitamins. The nutrition facts displayed here are for 1 medium carrot (nutrient info. from the USDA nutrient database).
Because of their high antioxidant & fiber content, positive effect on the liver and kidneys, and gentle blood thinning compounds, carrots are also commonly used to help cleanse the body. They are often included in natural remedies for both prevention and treatment of cancer.
The freshest carrots are those with their tops still on. Carrots sold in bags are most often past their prime, with the stem ends cleverly hidden under a colorfully-edged bag to hide the areas most likely to show signs of spoilage. Look for firm (not rubbery/soft), fully orange (green tips mean a more bitter carrot), undamaged (no cracks to harbor microorganisms) carrots with crisp, green leaves. If you can, go for organic carrots as pesticides are often used.
When you get your carrots home, twist off the leafy greens (they will continue to draw nutrients and moisture out of the root) and store carrots uncut and unpeeled in the vegetable crisper. They will keep best if kept in a produce bag. To avoid keeping them wrapped in a plastic but also slow dehydrating, you can also store them on the main shelves of the refrigerator in a large glass casserole dish covered in perforated plastic.
As with many foods, carrots provide the most nutrients if eaten raw. They can be eaten washed & unpeeled or peeled depending on your preference. Cooking carrots brings out their natural sweetness, so they make great additions to soups and sauces.