Carrots have been a staple in many countries for thousands of years although it is only since the 16th century that they have been orange.
Earliest records show carrots were purple; later records show red, yellow and white carrots were grown. Orange is the main type found in New Zealand.
What to look for
Choose carrots that are firm, well formed, with a good orange colour. Smaller carrots tend to be sweeter and more tender. If spring carrots are sold with leaves attached, they should be fresh and bright green.
All year. Spring carrots October to January.
Refrigerate in plastic bags.
Baby peeled carrots are actually larger carrots that are trimmed down to ‘baby size’. They will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator. As they’re already peeled, a light frosting may appear on the surface; place in cold water for a few minutes and they will return to their brilliant orange colour.
How to prepare
Trim ends and peel. Cut as required. Popular grated, finely sliced or diced for salads and juiced. Leave baby carrots whole and young carrots don’t need peeling. Wash well or lightly scrape to ensure all soil is removed. Old and large carrots need to be peeled. Carrots are versatile in both preparation and cooking methods. Cut into rings, cubes, strips, or chunks. Carrots are often grated for salads; vary the size of grater and experiment with the more interesting coarse graters or peelers.
Ways to eat
They can be eaten raw as snacks, or cooked and used in savoury and some sweet dishes, such as carrot cake or muffins. Carrots should be cooked until they are tender and depending on preference, still slightly crunchy. Cooked, tender carrots may be mashed or puréed. Click here for recipes.
Bake, barbecue, boil, braise, microwave, roast, steam, stew, stir fry.
Carrots are a good source of vitamin A, from carotenoids, in particular beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A by the body. One medium carrot supplies more than the recommended dietary intake for a day. Carrots are also a source of dietary fibre, folate and vitamin B6 and contain a dietary significant amount of potassium. The main phytonutrients in carrots are the carotenoids and falcarinol which are being studied for their protection against some cancers.
|Serving size: 1 cup slices = 128g|
|Average Quantity||% Daily Intake per serve||Average Quantity|
|per serving||per 100g|
|Fat, total (g)||0.3||0%||0.2|
|– saturated (g)||0.03||0%||0.03|
|Available carbohydrate (g)||8.7||3%||6.8|
|– sugars (g)||8.4||9%||6.6|
|Dietary Fibre (g)||3.6||2.8||A source of dietary fibre|
|Vitamin A Equiv. (µg)||1116||149% RDI*||872||A good source of vitamin A|
|Folate (µg)||27||13% RDI*||21||A source of folate|
|Vitamin B6 (mg)||0.15||10% RDI*||0.12||A source of vitamin B6|
|Potassium (mg)||223||174||Contains potassium|
|Niacin (mg)||0.6||6% RDI*||0.5|
|Vitamin C (mg)||2||5% RDI*||2|
|Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ|
|Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs.|
|*Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)|
|Source: FOODfiles 2018|
Offer both loose and bagged carrots. Spring carrots should be displayed on bunches with all tops running in the same direction. Keep stems well misted to retain freshness. Use QR code on labels.
Store at 0ºC with a relative humidity of 90-100%. Carrots are ethylene sensitive so store separately from ethylene producing fruits and vegetables.
Purchase carrots with the New Zealand GAP logo.
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