Guess what’s in season?
Sweet, tasty (if grown organically) and colorful like rainbow carrots. By reading this article you will learn few interesting facts about carrots, the benefits of eating carrots, the type of carrots we grow and we will share our favorite juice recipe!!!!
Carrots belong to the same family as our favorite cilantro, however, carrots are biennial, and it will take for them 2 years to produce seeds.
Do you know what was the original carrot color grown back centuries ago?
For ages carrots were mostly purple, sometimes white and yellow. Today’s carrot’s color (orange) started in Holland around 17th century.
Different colors signal the presence of different phytonutrients/phytochemicals, the plant active compounds that have protective or disease preventing qualities. Therefore, it makes sense to eat variety of carrots of different colors.
Minerals and Vitamins in Carrots
Vitamins: C, biotin, B6, B3, B1, E, B2,
Minerals: iron, calcium, potassium, sodium, manganese, pantothenic acid, molybdenum, phosphorus, folate, copper
Antioxidants: carotenoids: beta-carotene, beta cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin
More Interesting Facts about Carrots
- The bagged “baby carrots” so popular nowadays on the market are not baby carrots at all, but mature carrots cut down to a uniform small size, then soaked in water containing chlorine. If you cut carrots in small sticks or slices by yourself you will get much better tasting and healthier snack and you will avoid unnecessary chlorine consumption and usage of plastic packaging.
- The green tops continue to draw nutrients out of the carrot, so remove the tops immediately after harvest or purchase. Also avoid storing them near apples, pears, and potatoes, which emit ethylene gas that can give carrots a bitter taste.
- Carrot green tops are edible; however, they contain substances that might be mildly toxic, causing some sort of allergic reaction. That could be a reason why they are not so popular on people’s menus.
Searching on the Internet made me realize that there are many people who have been eating green tops and they are fine. There are plenty recipes out there; however, we have not tried any of them yet; we will keep you posted.
…I know who is eating a lot of carrot tops and is doing fine but do not follow her, she is special 🙂
- Different shapes of carrots are natural and are edible! As we humans differ from each other a bit and sometimes a lot thus the carrots too. Different Shapes of Carrots:
All of this is so interesting but why we eat a lot of carrots?
Main benefits of eating carrots
Carrots are good for eye health, thanks to rich content of carotenoids, a group of pigments that are responsible for the rich colors of carrots.
Carotenoids are a class of more than 750 naturally occurring pigments – yellow, orange, and red pigments- synthesized by plants.
One of the powerful carotenoid is beta-carotene which gets converted by our body intro vitamin A. And vitamin A is essential for normal growth and development, immune system function, and vision.
Carrots help the skin to protect itself from the sun damage thanks to beta carotene, powerful carotenoid.
Carrots help prevent cancer – thanks to– alpha-carotene another carotenoid. Alpha-carotene shows to suppress the growth of tumor, and beta-carotene- may reduce risk of both cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Keep in mind that the study by Linus Pauling Institute at the Oregon State University confirmed the above benefits; however, beta-carotene did not work when the test group were eating beta carotene in the form of synthesized supplements. Therefore, for the health benefits we eat real food; we do not rely on supplements!!!
Carrots help lower cholesterol; they contain “calcium pectate’’ a type of soluble fiber shown to reduce blood-cholesterol level by as much as 20 % in people with high cholesterol level.
Carrots have cleansing effect on the liver and digestive system, help prevent the formation of kidney stones and relieve arthritis and gout.
Carrots enhance mental function and decrease the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
The types of carrots we grew this 2017 season:
Here are the carrot seeds. There is some minor variation in the color of the seeds.
Imagine that from such a tiny particle planted in the loose soil then frequently watered (twice a day if it is hot) 60-90 later grows a beautiful beneficial to our health carrot(s) such as:
- Cosmic Purple – sweet, stays purple after cooking, 38-cm (16″) tall with strong stems, open-pollinated seeds.
- Yellowstone – wonderful flavour raw or cooked, great soup carrot, tapered, pale yellow, open-pollinated seeds.
- Scarett Nantes – roots color up early for harvesting as baby carrots 8cm (7″) roots with heirloom flavour, open-pollinated seeds.
- Ya Ya – performs all season long, Nantes type, 17cm (7″) carrots
- Dragon – spicy and sweet flesh, high in lycopene, dark red on outside with bright orange interior.
- Chatney Red Cored – Delicious, large carrots are 5-7″ long with wide shoulders and are red-orange in color. Crisp and sweet, they are good for growing in heavy soils and sweeten even more in storage.
- Danvers – The root is a rich, dark orange.
The great benefit of eating organic carrots is the fact that they are pesticide free and you can taste the difference!
How to Eat Carrots
Carrots are so easy to implement in our menu:
– eat raw in salads
– eat raw as a snack on the go (preparation is the key)
– steam it and eat it with coconut oil
– juice it (solo or with other fruits and veggies).
Below is our favourite juice recipe that includes carrots:
– 2 organic grapefruits,
– 1 organic orange,
– 4 organic carrot sticks,
– 2 -3 inch piece of organic ginger root
– 1.5 – 2 inch piece of organic turmeric root
Hmm so good, anti-inflammatory, anti-cellulite, anti-cancerous and fantastic for glowing healthy skin, eyes, cardiovascular system and cleansing.
We eat or juice carrots every day for health. How about you???
Oregon State University – Linus Pauling Institute » Micronutrient Information Center
Barton Weaver, P.K. New by, Sc.D., M.P.H., National Geographic, Foods For Health
Earl Mindell, R.PH., PH.D., New Herb Bible
Pat Crocker, The Juicing Bible, Second Edition
The Cottage Gardener Seeds