Carrots are a great vegetable to always have on hand. Whether it’s to top a salad, add some crunch to a stir fry, or make hearty carrot soup, these yummy guys add a sweet flavour base to a variety of dishes – raw or cooked! It also doesn’t hurt that they are high in Vitamin A as well as calcium and pectin fibre, which helps lower cholesterol.
How to Pick Carrots:
Look for deep colour and check out the tops for any signs of spoilage. They should always be firm and never cracked or green in colour – these ones tend to be bitter.
How to Store Carrots:
Green carrot tops add great flavour to soups and stocks. However, they should be removed from the carrots before storing them in the fridge, so they don’t wick moisture away from the carrots.
It’s best to store your carrots in an open or perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator, where they can last for up to two weeks. If you happen to buy in bulk and don’t use them within this time, you can blanch them whole and store in the freezer for a later date.
Here’s an interesting tidbit: Have you every wondered why your carrots are sometimes bitter? Do you notice them hanging out beside apples? If so, that’s exactly why! When carrots are stored close to apples they will take on a bitter taste. It’s a good idea to keep your fruits in one crisper and your veggies in another!
How to Prepare Carrots:
Mature carrots should be washed and peeled. Younger carrots have a thin and tender skin and only need to be washed – a vegetable scrubber is great at getting all the dirt off.
Carrots are very versatile and can be grated, peeled, sliced, and diced! Just remember, when cooking carrots the smaller the carrot is cut, the faster it will cook.
Cooking methods include: boiling, steaming, microwaving, roasting, grilling, simmering, and braising. You can tell they are done when they are tender, but not soft and mushy. Tasting them as they cook is the best way to decide when they are done.
Kary’s Carrot Tips:
• Since carrots get sweeter as they cook, not only are they stellar for soups and stews, but are awesome in curries, sauces, and braising.
• It’s easier to slice a carrot that’s smaller in size. If you don’t like mincing a carrot, grate it instead.
• Try adding grated carrots to your favourite sandwich for a yummy sweet taste with crunch!
What Goes Well With Carrots?
Carrots go well with: ginger (considered the ultimate best friend to carrots), dill, thyme, peas, potatoes, beef, brown sugar, raisins, lemon, orange, mint, parsley, chervil (a milder version of parsley), and nutmeg.