You can “play” carrots in many styles you want. Since their texture is soft but firm, you can form them into any shapes you like. You can slice, dice, and cut up carrots. You can even cut them in shoe string pieces or small cubes if you want to add them to cakes.
On markets, carrots are sold in bunches, canned, frozen, and dehydrated. Carrots can be baked, pickled, sautéed, glazed, or mixed with meats, soups, roasts, and curries. Actually, you do not need to peel the skins before adding them to your dishes. It is because the mineral contents in carrots are located very close to the skin.
Carrots have a wide variety colors spread in all over the world. Orange carrots are the most common that we can find. But actually you can find the other colors, like purple, yellow, white, red, and even black. In stores, they are often called “Rainbow Packs.”According to a research done at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the pigments found in those rainbow carrots help reduce cholesterol and prevent heart disease and cancer.
The colors of carrots are influenced by some factors. The carrots grow in a country may differ from those which grow in other countries. The first factor is temperature. If it is above 70º F and below 60º F, it can reduce the colors.
Seasons are the second factor. The carrots grow in spring and summer have better colors than those which grow in autumn and winter. The third factor is soil substances. Sandy soils and soils with high content of organic will make dark colored-carrots.
Another factor is water. Excessive water makes carrots have bright colors. The last factor is sunlight. The longer carrots get daylight hours, the brighter the colors will be.
Here are some colors of carrots available on markets:
ORANGE – Orange carrots contain high beta carotene and alpha carotene. They contain high vitamin A which is vital for eye health. This color is the most common, but orange carrots originally come from Europe and Middle East.
RED – the red color is formed by lycopene. This is a similar lycopene found in watermelon and tomatoes. Red carrots come from India and China.
YELLOW – This kind of carrot comes from Middle East. Consuming this will help you prevent cancers.
WHITE – Carrots with this color contain high fiber. They originally come from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.
PURPLE – Purple carrots contain higher beta-carotene than the orange ones. The pigment comes from anthocyanins that can be powerful antioxidants. It is helpful to prevent heart disease. These purple carrots originate from Middle East, Far East, and Turkey.
BLACK – Can you imagine vegetable colored black? You must see these black carrots to assure you. They contain anti-bacterial and anti fungicidal properties. Their seeds can be changed into oil, and the oil can control scalp itchiness and provide essential nutrients for hair growth.
After reading that information, try to always put carrots in your dishes. Create some recipes, or find ones from online websites. You can make carrot salad, curried carrot dip, carrot cake, carrot muffin, or carrot pie. They are delicious!
Blaine F. Johnston
Photo. Max Straeten