Seasonings: Can’t get enough carrots

Published 8:32 am Monday, October 9, 2017


If you’re no stranger to the kitchen, then you know that carrots are a pretty big deal in most recipes Combined with onions and celery, carrots create the first layer of flavor in most soups. They’re always involved when a roast is slow cooked with potatoes in the crock pot. Two of the most common dishes my mom made with carrots were frozen mixed vegetables and boiled cabbage with carrots and potatoes. It’s easy to see that carrots play well with others but did you know they can stand on their own as a delicious dish?

Carrots taste sweet if eaten raw or cooked tender-crisp. They make great snacks, add color to stir fry, and provide needed crunch on salads. Carrot’s natural sweetness can be played up in different ways by cooking in orange juice or adding sugar. They can also lean toward the savory side. Roasted carrots with a balsamic glaze can forever change your idea of their role as a sweet veggie. Oh and by the way overcooked carrots lose their sweet taste and some of their nutrients.

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This low calorie food is sodium free, cholesterol free and a great source of vitamin C. Carrots provide a healthy alternative to salt laden crunchy foods. Substitute carrots instead of chips to use with your favorite dips. Cook and puree carrots to add to smoothies for a healthy and colorful boost. Get creative with your carrot intake.

Now go buy some carrots! But first, let’s talk a little about what you’re going to see at the store or farmer’s market. Some carrots are sold with the tops attached. Fresh-looking tops mean the carrots have been harvested recently. Carrots should have a deep orange color unless you get a fancy variety that happens to be purple or white or something exciting like that. Avoid buying carrots that are split or odd shaped, have a lot of little roots, are oversized, or are very dark at the top end. Baby carrots are especially sweet and tender, but they may be more expensive. If tops are still attached, twist or cut them off. Store in the refrigerator in a plastic bag, where they will keep up to two weeks.

Don’t forget to wash your carrots by running them under cold water and scrubbing them with a veggie brush. If you need a veggie brush, feel free to come to any of my programs at the Boyle County Extension Office and I’ll gladly get you one. Seriously, all you have to do is show up.

Ok, back to cooking with carrots. Here are some ideas for getting more carrots in your diet. You should want to get plenty of carrots in your diet because they’re good for you. Your eyes, immune system, heart and digestive system will thank you.

Grated raw carrot can be added to:

  • slaw or salads.
  • muffin, cake, soft cookie or sweet bread batters.
  • meat loaf, meatballs or spaghetti sauce.
  • peanut butter, to be served as a sandwich filling.

After cooking carrots, try seasoning them with:

  • a little margarine and ginger, cinnamon or curry powder.
  • a drizzle of honey or orange juice concentrate.
  • a splash of lemon juice.

Check out these recipes I’ve picked out for you. They’re pretty great.

If you have questions or comments about the column, or if you’d like more information feel free to contact me by email at . Email me and I’ll answer your kitchen questions as well as any of your questions about life skills.