Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Currently in Season: Carrots

What’s the big deal?
So Bugs Bunny was a big fan, and our mums used to tell us that they would help us see in the dark. Turns out they really were right! Carrots are packed with a nutrient called beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the body, this really does help you see in the dark as it transforms into a purple pigment called rhodopsin in the retina which is essential for vision in dim light. Beta carotene also promotes healthy, younger looking skin and vitamin A is essential for a healthy immune system. So get crunching because these delicious orange sticks really are good for you!

In Britain, approximately 100 carrots are consumed per person per year, that is £290 million or 700,000 tonnes.
If you laid all the carrots grown in this country in one year end to end they would reach 2.3 million kilometres - that’s two and a half return trips to the moon.
The first orange carrot didn’t originate until the 16th century in Holland. Other colours of carrots include purple, black, yellow, white and red.

Get the best:
Carrots are harvested for 12 months of the year. You should look for smooth form and a healthy orange colour. By selecting carrots that still have greens attached, they will stay fresher longer, the leaves themselves should be fresh and bright green. Selecting young slim carrots will be sweeter

How to cook:
Boil them, roast them, mash them, eat them raw. It really is up to you! Cutting them into smaller pieces helps them cook faster, and you can cook them until tender or keep them a little al dente. Eating carrots raw rather than cooking them, as they release sugar as they cook. Eaten raw carrots have a GI of 20, which rises to 50 when cooked.

Try it
Check out our Mediterranean Chicken with grated carrot quinoa.

Or, for a sweet treat, try this carrot cake recipe

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