One medium carrot has only 25 sweet, nutrient packed calories and meets 200% of our Vitamin A requirement. With 88% water carrots are a satisfying snack at any time. Moreover, used as an ingredient for soups or stews and as a colorful addition to other vegetables, they add color, nutrition and flavor. Its bright orange color is indicative of its major vitamin, Vitamin A, an essential fat soluble vitamin needed for vision and eye health, smooth healthy skin, hair. Whenever you want a crunchy flavorful snack, try a carrot instead. Although no dip or dressing is needed since it’s so juicy, a low fat fruit, yogurt or vegetable dip or dressing is a perfect accompaniment to a snack of raw carrots.
Many countries take advantage of this inexpensive, colorful and nutrition packed snack, with Indian cuisine making abundant use of carrots. Did you ever think of using carrots in a dessert? The North India Gajar Ka Halwa is such a dessert, composed of grated carrots cooked in milk with nuts and butter. Carrots are also roasted, diced or grated into chutneys. They’re easy to make at home, or you can purchase them in some markets. Everyone in this country is familiar with carrot cake, but have you tried carrot pudding, juice or preserves? If you’re a gardener, plant carrots together with lettuce, tomatoes and radishes or in your herb garden next to rosemary, sage, coriander, chamomile, marigolds or daisies. Do you have garden pests? Allow your carrot plant to flower; carrot flowers attract predatory wasps that kill a long list of garden pests.
Holtville, California is the Carrot Capital of the World and has an annual festival for the vegetable? I’ve always wanted to visit Holtville and enjoy the festival which of course, as festivals do, includes a variety of foods made with carrots.
The many benefits of carrots include improved vision, help prevent cancer, a slow down of the aging process, promote healthier skin, help prevent infection, prevent heart disease, help cleanse the body through good intestinal health, protect teeth and gums, and prevent stroke. An impressive list for a humble vegetable often taken for granted.
1 1/2 quarts water, simmering
1 pound carrots, cut in 1" slices
1 tablespoon olive oil, extra virgin preferred
1 each onion, chpped
2 each cloves garlic, peeled, diced or crushed
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup potatoes, diced - or may substitute another favorite root vegetable
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, black or white
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup half and half, or 2% milk or non-dairy creamer or milk substitute
1/4 teaspoon salf, save for last and use only if needed
- In a large soup pot heat olive oil, add diced onions & garlic and saute stirring constantly to avoid burning garlic until onions and garlic are clear
- Add diced celery and carrots, saute to mix with aromatics
- Add hot water, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender and mashable
- Remove cover and allow to cool for 1/2 hour or until cool enough to puree safely
- Using an immersion blender, puree all ingredients - it's your choice whether to puree them smooth or leave chunk
- Add Worscestershire sauce and pepper. Taste and adjus seasonings as needed.
- Add half and half, stir, taste and adjust seasonings again as needed
- Serve with grated carrots or any other preferred vegetable as garnish