Carrots are a powerhouse of nutrition, and can be added to many dishes, either cooked or raw. They make great juice, adding flavor to other veggie juices, but drink up right away for maximum nutrition.
Carrots have an interesting history. Related to parsley, they come in many sizes and even colors such as purple and white. They are high in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, including Beta Carotene. They contain high amounts of Vitamin A, as well as other vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Dark yellow produce such as carrots contain carotenoids, a nutrient that many researchers believe protect against cell damage that can lead to cancer and ageing.
Buy carrots that are crisp, not limp, and if they still have the tops on, cut them off immediately. Leafy tops suck liquid and nutrition from the carrot. Check for quality - smooth ones with little or no blemishes are best. If the tip is mushy brown, they've been around too long. Avoid green "shoulders" as they tend to be bitter. Small ones are better for most dishes, as large ones may be tough and have a different flavor, although they hold up better is some dishes, such as long-simmered chicken soup or crock pot roast with veggies.
Always scrub well with a stiff veggie brush; if you lay them on the edge or center of the sink and scrub vigorously, they don't even need to be scraped. Use promptly, though, or they will turn a harmless but unappetizing brown.
World's Healthiest Foods - About Carrots
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