For many of us, carrots were a baby step towards eating vegetables, easy to love for their crisp sweetness. They bring out the natural sugars of other vegetables, add warmth to soups, give crunch to a salad, and complement hearty meats. Plus, studies keep finding new health benefits of regular carrot consumption, ranging from reduced cardiovascular disease and glaucoma to cancer-fighting properties.
Carrots originated in the Middle East and were probably brought from Europe to North America during the colonial period. Carrots have been bred for year–round cultivation, though peak season varies slightly with climate. Most American farmers will be seeding in spring for the coming summer and fall. Carrots come in many colors, so look around for the prized Scarlet Nantes, Purple Dragon, or Chantenay. The freshest carrots will have firm roots, vivid coloring, and spritely greenery. All parts are technically edible, so save scraps and extras for stock or tomato sauce! They last months in an airtight container in the refrigerator (you may wrap any greens in damp paper towels). For conventional carrots, we recommend washing and peeling to remove debris and pesticides.
Here are some of our favorite ways to eat carrots…
Fresh carrots don’t need much other flavoring, so steaming, boiling, or glazing make great options. Steaming is a simple, healthy cooking method that generally retains nutrients, requires no cooking fat, and results in firmer texture (though most people won’t complain about a little seasoning, honey, bacon bits, or butter to finish).
Salads & Slaws
Raw carrots are delicious in salads with mixed vegetables and other tasty ingredients like apples, nuts, and chicken. Grate them, slice them on the mandoline, make ribbons with a vegetable peeler, or shortcut your prep by pulsing your vegetables in the food processor! Or try pickling them for an antipasto platter or mixed grill.
Soups & Stews
Carrots make for excellent soups. Use them as part of the mirepoix base, simmered in chunky beef, potato, and onion medleys, or in the starring role, like Carrot Soup with Bleu Cheese.
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Join Paula and family for a Party at Sea to the Eastern Caribbean (San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten - roundtrip from Miami) aboard the Celebrity Reflection presented by Alice Travel. Click here for more information, and please note that the Paula Deen cruise is only available by booking directly with Alice Travel. We are running out of space, so book as soon as possible!
Paula Deen is coming to Buffalo, NY to perform a live cooking show and let VIP ticket holders enjoy a delicious Southern feast with a menu created by Paula herself! Both events will be held at Samuel’s Grand Manner in Williamsville, NY which offers a refined elegance in a classically modern setting. The VIP lunch will be held at 12:00pm on February 8th and will go until approximately 2:00pm (doors will open at 11:30am). The lunch will include a hearty helping of Southern style cuisine which is personally selected by Paula, a Southern Cooking Bible cookbook, a photo op with Paula where she will also be signing autographs, a gift package, and preferred seating at that evenings cooking show! The cooking show will begin at 3:00pm on February 8th and run about 60 minutes long (doors will open at 2:15pm). Paula will be cooking up some of her favorite meals live for you at Samuel’s Grand Manor! Seating is unreserved and is “first come, first served”.
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Join Paula and family for a Party at Sea aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas to Labadee, Jamaica, and Cozumel (roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale) presented by Alice Travel. We will be having special, separate events for kids on this one with Jack Deen hosting the kids program! Click here for more information, and please note that the Paula Deen cruise is only available by booking directly with Alice Travel Book now before the prices start going up on the cruise and air!