Everything you never knew you needed to know about carrots
Carrots, the original way to get your night vision goggles. It’s not quite as simple as the old adage goes, but there are some mighty sweet benefits to adding carrots to your daily regime.
The carrot (Daucus carota) is a root vegetable often claimed to be the perfect health food. It is a good source of beta carotene, fibre, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants while containing little to no fat. They have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health (So no, your baby blues won’t be piercing the darkness, but if you’re suffering from low levels of Vitamin A you’ll likely see an improvement in your night vision) with reduced risk of cancer and age-related macular degeneration attributed. Carrots in their original forms were consumed for their medicinal properties by the Ancient Greeks and Romans. They even considered them to be an aphrodisiac. No idea what gave them that idea... All hail the humble carrot!
-Carrots were first domesticated in the ancient empires located in today’s Iran and Afghanistan over five thousand years ago.
-The original colours of white, black, red and purple were selectively bred in the Netherlands in the 17th century to create the orange colour we find typical today. It was to honour the ruling House of Orange. Royal roots anyone?
-10,866: The number of carrots the average human will consume in their lifetime.
-The longest carrot recorded stretched an amazing 5.839 meters, while the heaviest came in at a staggering 8.61kg in 1991.
-Wild rabbits won’t eat wild carrots.
-Carrots are sweetest in the Autumn and Winter when they start to store their sugars in the root!
To prep: Organic carrots don’t need to be peeled. Scrub any remaining dirt and cut how you choose. Fresh carrot tops can be chopped into a salad or used in pesto. The greens can be dried and used as an herb like parsley.
To store: Remove the green tops as soon as you can, leaving about 2cm of stems. Refrigerate these carrots in a bag. You can also store them in a bin of water (like celery) to keep them crisp, changing out the water every few days. Save the tops in a bag.
To freeze: Blanch cut coins for 3 minutes in boiling salt water, dunk in cold ice water for 3 minutes, drain, let dry, and pack in airtight container.
(Raw) Whether chopped, grated, julienne or whole carrots are a delicious addition to any salad, sandwich, wrap, or canape, just to name a few.
-Rice paper wraps with carrot, celery and capsicum and peanut coriander dipping sauce
-Julienne carrot salad marinated with miso and lemon
-Crudites (vege sticks for dips)
-Juiced with apple, beetroot, spinach and ginger.
-Raw spiced carrot cake slice (recipe in picture)
(Hit Jamie up at https://www.facebook.com/Peace-of-Keke-105658881476092/ if you’d like more of his raw recipes!)
Once cooked, carrots become sweeter and more tender. My first experience of carrots was boiled to near-death on the side of meat and three vege. I’m pleased to say carrots recipes have come a long way in NZ since my childhood.
-Mediterranean rice salad with cumin, turmeric, roast carrots and dried fruits
-Gluten free carrot cake (Recipe to follow on Noemie and Pedro’s world of Nom Insta)
-Za’atar spiced carrot hummus (Oregano, thyme, marjoram, sumac and sesame seed)
-Pomegranate cherry tomato, feta, basil and chili carrot paste on sourdough pizza base
-Finely grated Carrot jam/relish with cardamon and ginger
-Gluten free Caramelized Carrot tart
-Carrot and purpleheart fritter w/ silver beet sauteed in garlic, lemon and seeded mustard.
From around the world
From Afghanistan, the national dish Kabuli pulao https://igotitfrommymaman.com/kabuli-pulao-the-afghan-national-dish/
Gajar ka halwa – a carrot-based sweet dessert pudding from the Indian sub-continent.
Hotchpot – Hochepot, or hotchpotch, is a dish of boiled and mashed potatoes, carrots, and onions with a long history in traditional Dutch cuisine.
Kimpira - a Japanese dish which main ingredient is root vegetables, such as gobos and carrots
Porkkanalaatikko- This traditional Finnish dish mostly eaten during Christmas. The main ingredients are carrots, mixed with boiled rice or barley, and liquid. Butter and eggs may be mixed into the mash, which may also be flavoured with sugar, salt, white pepper and grated nutmeg.
Tzimmes- is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish side dish made with sweet root vegetables. Preparations often include carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, and dried fruits. This lovely, sweet, colourful dish is often served for Rosh Hashanah. The word tzimmes is a Yiddish expression for “making a fuss” over something.
Morkovcha- is a Korean spicy marinated carrot salad, a kimchi variant.