For peachy skin and eagle’s eyes
Their high beta-carotene or provatimin A content is excellent for healthy skin and eyes, and contributes to good night vision.
Beta-carotene, the basics
- The deeper their color, the more carotenoids carrots contain. Brown carrots contain twice as much beta-carotene as orange ones, while yellow carrots contain very little and white ones, none at all.
- Carotenoids are fat-soluble, which means that they are better absorbed together with fat. The oil in salad dressing for grated carrots is therefore a good idea! (This is also true for all other carotenoids in carrots, like lutein and zeaxanthin.)
Carrots also contain:
- soft fibers
- vitamin B6
Remember: The highest amount of carotenoids is found in frozen carrots (followed by cooked carrots, and lastly raw carrots that contain 3 times less than frozen ones)!
When is the right
time to eat carrots?
Carrots are available year-round, but their high season lasts from August to March! However early carrots are found especially from May to July.
Vegetable patch or
Carrots are biannual plants that grow easily and that like sandy, well drained, neutral, light soil as well as full or partial sun.
To learn everything you need to know about growing carrots, read the page on growing advice. Find more growing tips
Choosing your carrots:
- Make sure that their color is intense. The leaves must also be bright green and not wilted.
- With all the varieties available, you’re sure to find some all year round: precocious, early, new, late harvest, etc.
How to store your carrots:
- Carrots keep well if sheltered from light and humidity./li>
- For better storage: cut off the leaves before putting them in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for three to four days.
- “Long-life” carrots can keep up to 8 days. But if you have a cool, well aired storage place with controlled humidity at home, you can even keep them for much longer.
How to cook carrots
Carrots can be cut in any shape and size, and prepared in any way – cooking with them is a real pleasure! Cut them in julienne strips or cubes; slice them, grate them or crunch them.
Some indications for cooking time:
- Pressure cooker: 8 to 10 minutes
- Steamed or braised: between 20 and 30 minutes
- Boiled: about 30 minutes
- Microwave: 10 minutes, preferably cut in round slices
- Barbecue: yes, you can do that too. With a good marinade, grill them for 45 minutes.
Carrots go well with…
Carrots go with almost anything, sweet or savory, in cakes, pies, soups, vegetable terrine, salads, dips, sauces, etc.
Herbs (thyme, parsley), spices, fresh or dried fruits (oranges, lemons, grapes, raisins, etc.), nuts and grains (walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.), condiments (garlic, shallots, onions, olives, etc.), meat and fish: everything suits them!
Tips for better absorbing the carotenoids in carrots. Prepare them with a bit of fat: oil, butter, nuts or cheese. Carotenoids are fat-soluble compounds, in other words they dissolve in fat!
Carrots can be served in a puree the moment they start eating solids. Babies usually love their sweet taste.
In many countries, carrots are one of the vegetables most frequently given to children from the earliest age. Starting early and serving them regularly are two ways of making sure they’ll love them for the rest of their life.
And for others…
Older people prefer cooked carrots as they are easier to eat!
Where do they come from?
Origins and varieties
Most of the world’s carrots are produced in China, the United States and Russia, and mainly in the Northern hemisphere. In Europe, the podium is shared by Poland, the UK and the Netherlands.
Varieties: From yellow to deep red, from mini carrots to more imposing sizes, many kinds of carrots are available in stores. Their sweetness varies depending on the variety.