Ingredient of the week: Carrots
All about carrots
- The carrot(Daucus carota sativus) is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, black, red, white, and yellow also exist.
- Carrots may have originated in Persia (now Iran) and seeds have been found in various countries that have been dated back to 3000 – 2000 BC.
- Carrots are a versatile ingredient that can be eaten raw or cooked. Frozen carrots have as much nutrition in them as fresh.
- Carrots are known for being a good source of beta carotene which can be converted into vitamin A.
- The myth that carrots help you see in the dark was started in the war as a propaganda message to scare the enemy. Although if you are deficient in Vitamin A this can affect your eyesight and eating carrots will help to correct the deficiency.
- The carrot gets its characteristic bright orange colour from β-carotene and other compounds such as α-carotene, γ-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These colours are all antioxidants and are essential for good health. They support a healthy immune system and may help reduce age-related macular degeneration. They also help to mop up free radicals. It is thought that free radicals contribute to many cancers, the ageing process and inflammation. Specifically, carrots may reduce the risk of lung, prostate and colon cancer.
- Carrots contain potassium which can help reduce blood pressure.
- Carrots contain vitamin C which can help with the immune system and iron absorption.
- Carrots are a good source of fibre for good bowel health.
How can you use carrots?
- Roast, steam, microwave or boil in a little water. Cooking in lots of water does reduce the vitamin content so steaming is really good.
- Use in a salad (see next newsletters yummy salad recipe).
- Cut into batons and munch when you need a snack. Or dip in a little hummus.
- Try carrot and orange soup – this is a link to an easy recipe from Olive magazine https://www.olivemagazine.com/recipes/family/carrot-and-orange-soup/
- Put them in a cake this is a scrummy good food recipe (you don’t have to put the cheese frosting on the top) https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/user/763423/recipe/low-fat-carrot-cake
Do you have a favourite carrot recipe? Share your ideas on the Centre’s Members Group on Facebook.
- Get a spiralizer – it makes carrots look really pretty and will encourage those in your family who are less keen on vegetables and salads to try them.
- Grow your own – one of the easiest vegetables to grow in beds or containers.
- Frozen carrot and swede is available from many supermarkets. It’s always on my shopping list. Then add a little nutmeg if wanted.
Produced by Claire Fenlon and Fiona Wilcock 2020