Everything to Know About Cooking and Shopping for In Season Carrots
Plus, 3 new recipes!
The best way to shop? With the seasons. So, every 2 weeks at Kitchen Stories, we’ll be highlighting a different in-season ingredient along with 3 new recipes. To market, we go!
A true favorite among vegetables, the carrot enjoys great popularity worldwide. And that’s no surprise, since carrots are as versatile as they are inexpensive. Plus, they’re chock full of nutrients.
But, there’s more to know about carrots than meets the eye. Here’s what you need to know, plus 3 new recipes to try to make an old favorite new again!
What’s your favorite way to prepare carrots? Tell us in the comments!
1. Hello, My Name is Carrot!
The carrot belongs to the family of Umbelliferae and is one of the oldest vegetables that exists. Originally, carrots were available in white, yellow, or violet—the well-known orange carrot has only existed since the 17th century. All carrots are strong and slightly sweet in their taste.
With a high amount of folic acid, vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium, and iron, the carrot is regarded as a very nutritious vegetable. These nutrients contribute to increased brain power, memory, and vision, and their high amount of carotene is a secret weapon for beautiful skin.
2. When to Buy Carrots and What to Look For
In contrast to many other vegetables, carrots are available all-year-round. So, you may think that they don’t have a season—think again. Their natural harvest season is late summer and early fall. During the colder season, the harvest mainly comes from southern regions, such as Spain and Italy.
Because of their high popularity, you can buy carrots almost everywhere: at the weekly market, in the supermarket around the corner, or directly at your trusted organic farmer. Carrots are available in a bundle, in plastic packaging, or already peeled and cut. But for the sake of the environment, it’s best to buy unpackaged, unprocessed carrots.
You recognize fresh carrots by a strong green color in their foliage and their crisp texture. You should avoid those that can be easily bent or have a wrinkled, patchy surface.
3. How to Store Carrots
In order for your carrots to remain fresh and crisp for a long time, better keep them cool. The vegetable compartment of your refrigerator is particularly suitable. You should remove the foliage shortly before—but do not waste it! With a bit oil and a few spices, you can turn the inconspicuous greens into a delicious pesto!
When carrots are sold in plastic, it is important to remove the packaging before you put the carrots in the refrigerator, as they begin to “sweat.” With to the accumulation of water, the carrots will begin to rot and decay faster. At best, cool-stored carrots last between two to four weeks, but at least seven to ten days. You can also store blanched carrots in the freezer compartment for about six months.
4. How to Prepare Carrots
It’s in fact not necessary to peel carrots, as most of its nutrients are hidden in the skin. Normally, it is sufficient to clean the carrot under running water. In the case of particularly earthy carrots, you can peel off the skin with a knife or vegetable peeler, or use a vegetable brush to scrub clean.
In the kitchen, the carrot is a true all-rounder and can be eaten raw in a salad or snack, as well as cooked, roasted, or braised. It’s perfect as a side dish for various main courses, as a base for soups or purées, and of course in cake.
So that your body can optimally absorb its nutrients, you should always add some fat to the carrots during the preparation.
5. What to Make Next
Check back all week long for new carrot recipes to add to your repertoire! Here’s what to make next:
Carrot hummus with pita bread
Honeyed carrot risotto
Carrot miso soup
Published on September 10, 2017