What’s In Season: Carrots

  • Pin It
  • print
  • email to a friend
By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

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…

Side Dishes
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).

Carrot Soufflé
Green Been Bundles
Tugboat Turnips

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.

Summer Vegetable Salad
Peanut Spiced Slaw

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.

Old Time Beef Stew
Shaggy Man’s Split Pea Soup

Even in Desserts!
Try our decadent, pecan-laden Grandma Heirs Carrot Cake, the final course of a proposed Easter menu that also features easy Honey Lemon Carrots!

Read More From What's in Season.

You May Also Like These Blogs:

You May Also Like These Recipes:

  • The Deen Bros. Lighter Cheesy Bacon and Egg Casserole The Deen Bros. Lighter Cheesy Bacon and Egg Casserole
    View Now
  • Southern Collards with Cornmeal Dumplings Southern Collards with Cornmeal Dumplings
    54321
    View Now
  • Turkey Pot Pie Turkey Pot Pie
    43211
    View Now
  • Bobby’s Lighter Crab Soup Bobby’s Lighter Crab Soup
    54321
    View Now

Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:

54321

hi paula can i ask u what is the name of medince for diebetics i like to read more about it . i seen u have pages but i take metformin and i would like to know where u get the one u take. ty regards nancy

By nancy reed on April 01, 2013

54321

Hi Paula, We have never met but, I was wondering if you had the old recipe from your grandmother for carrot cookies. My grandmother Mary Robbins, your grandmothers sister, made them for us when I was young. We loved them and they were super moist. I had written it down and tried to make and they came out awful. I must have left some of the ingredients off. I've tried a couple of times. Anyway just thought I would ask. Thanks, Laura

By Laura Robbins Hasty on March 29, 2013

image
Paula Deen
Paula Deen
The Lady's Blog
The Queen of Southern Cuisine muses about her recipes, life and family. See Posts

Brooke Deen
Brooke Deen
Deen Mother
Advice on raising two boys (three counting Jamie). See Posts

Brandon Branch
Brandon Branch
Southern Style
Decorating Inspiration from Paula's Design Director. See Posts

Julia Sayers
Julia Sayers
Hot off the Press
Step behind the pages and let the Associate Editor of Cooking with Paula Deen fill you in on what goes into creating every issue. See Posts

Lisa Scarbrough
Lisa Scarbrough
Thrift Store Mommy
Mom on a dime advice from Paula's Digital Properties Manager. See Posts

Andrea Goto
Andrea Goto
Mom 2.0
Tips from a real-world mom with comedic tendencies. See Posts

Martha Lee
Martha Lee
Earth Mother
Practical, earth-conscious ways to live and parent in the 21st century. See Posts

Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
Bubbles' Corner
Ideas and advice from a 21st Century young at heart Grandmother. See Posts

Cindy Edwards
Cindy Edwards
Southern Proper
Etiquette advice from a true Southern belle. See Posts

image

love the table paula would look good on my new patio. so glad you are back. I hope to get there to see you in person one day.i will start tomorrow to find the patern form the tablecloth.
Gladys Rainesl in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I just want to say this I don't even know if is the right page all I ever wanted to say to Paula Deen welcome back I have missed you. You are my favorite home down girls keep your head up and hang on and feel the love. P.S. from a woman of color.
in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I just love love love the table and flowers and am so glad that I can still access all of Paula's recipes, her family life, Bobby's lighter versions and Brandon's beautiful work. Truly thankful to see such beautiful tablescapes. You guys are my heros.
Patricia in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 9:14 am