Carrots Good For You? Plus 3 Unique Carrot Recipes
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Carrots good for you?
They’re one of our favorite vegetables to grow (AND EAT) on the farm!
We just love when they come into season!!
Kids love to harvest them because they’re stuck in the ground, they have to dig a little for them, and then you don’t know what you’re going to pull out.
They’re so much fun!
But there may be a few things about carrots that you don’t know about.
Carrots and Sugar
I took my children to a science museum once where they measured the amount of sugar in a carrot against a soda, twinkie, a glass of cow’s milk, and other junk foods.
The carrot was lower on the scale but it was appalling to me that they were lumping carrots into a junk food measurement and giving families the impression that carrots are the same.
Carrots are NOT the same!
Carrots have so many health benefits that out way the sugar content and can’t even compare to junk food.
One health benefit is beta-carotene, for example, an antioxidant that is converted into Vitamin A in the body.
Other benefits include Vitamin K, potassium, fiber, they can lower cholesterol, and (the most popular benefit) they can improve eye health (5).
But as far as sugar content goes…let’s put it into perspective.
In one medium carrot, there is 2.9g of sugar. In one medium onion, there is 4.7g of sugar!
Not such a significant amount of sugar than any other vegetable, right?
Even diabetics can also enjoy a small portion of carrots because they’re low in sugar (1).
Carrots Good For You and Your Healthy Diet?
Carrots help detoxify the liver. Adding them to your diet can help you lose belly fat because they’re an integral part of the detoxification system (2). They cleanse your system of all the unwanted free radicals and pass them along.
Though, too much of something can be too much, even if it’s a good thing.
Eating 10 or more carrots every day for a few weeks can cause carotenemia (3). Carrots are full of beta carotene which is what gives them the orange color, so eating too many can turn your skin orange!
Don’t get carried away eating as much carrots as you want to lose belly fat…not sure if you want to go for the over-spray tan look!
Raw or Cooked Carrots?
Your body can benefit from the beta carotene more by cooking them, but your body can also process the nutrients well when eating raw carrots (4).
If you do cook them, don’t overcook them. They don’t need to be mush. Don’t boil them, steam them instead. Steaming can keep them crisp and fresh.
My kids HATE boiled carrots because of the mushy texture. If they eat them cooked at all, very lightly steamed is the only way to go because it’s similar to the raw texture.
How to Store Carrots
If you have farm-fresh carrots, like the ones you get from our farm, they could have the green tops on them.
Those green tops are completely edible!! Save them for salads, soups, or even dehydrate them and use them as a substitute for parsley. They are NOT something for your compost pile.
But those green tops take the energy out of the carrot which could cause them to go limp.
When you get farm-fresh carrots, make sure to take the green tops off immediately and store them in the fridge.
Outside of the green tops stealing all the energy, the other biggest downfall for storing carrots is dehydration.
Do you like that weird white stuff on carrots bought at the store??
To avoid this in your fridge, store them in a container of water. You’ll want to change that water every 4-5 days to keep it fresh.
Make sure to wash your carrots of any dirt before storing them.
You do not need to peel your carrots!
I repeat…do not peel the carrots!
What you’re actually “peeling” is the dehydration part, but since you’re learning how to store the carrots, you won’t need to do this.
Just wash them really well!
But…chances are, if you got carrots good for you from our farm, they won’t last 5 days!
Because you would have eaten them all!
Long Term Storage
Let’s say you have a crazy ton of carrots that you want to store.
1. You can store them in your freezer…chop them up and lay them on a cookie sheet to freeze individually, then store them in the freezer in a container.
But, maybe you have too many to do this or want to get to something more sustainable than using an electric freezer.
2. You can store carrots for 5-6 months in a container of sawdust.
Yes! It’s the weirdest thing to me too!
You will want to layer the container; one layer of sawdust, one layer of carrots. Do not wash the carrots unless they are ridiculously dirty. If you do wash them, make sure to dry them completely. That water will induce mold.
Shapes and Sizes: Not Every Carrot is the Same
The stores are misleading when it comes to vegetable growth.
They have buyers who look for exact shapes and sizes to make you think bigger is better or everything is the same.
Carrots grow funny!
Even though their ultimate growth could be a few inches, sometimes they’re smaller, sometimes they’re bigger.
Also, if there is something in the ground, like a leaf, rock, clump of dirt, that is in their way, it can stop their growth path, causing them to be stunted.
They also love to hug each other. They will get twisted around each other and make a cute little pairing.
But grocery stores won’t supply these types of carrots because they are not all asymmetrical.
What’s the Deal with Baby Carrots?
Baby carrots are actually not babies.
A farmer many years ago had a huge crop of carrots that he couldn’t sell. He took a green bean cutter and cut the carrot into what we now know as the “baby carrot shape: and sold them as baby carrots.
So they are literally full-grown carrots cut to size, then scraped to be the shape, and then called baby to make you buy more (and pay more for the name “baby”) because they’re cute.
Carrots Good For You?
They’re great to snack on or even cooked.
Below you’ll find 3 unique carrot recipes that can get you outside the beef stew box and exploring what all carrots can provide you.
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3 Unique Carrot Recipes
I actually can’t eat this salad. I am allergic to oranges. But my kids LOVE it!! All the sweet flavors together and the raw carrots, they scarf it up!
Not only is this carrot recipe by Food Fidelity super tasty, but I love the way he uses music to connect with your food. Play this jam while you’re making your carrots for a fun dinner time!
This is an amazing, easy, and quick summer salad that is cool and refreshing. Love having this on hot Texas summer days!