The carrot is a long, narrow root vegetable. It is usually deep orange in color, but you may also see carrots that are yellow, pale orange, red, or purple. The greens are also edible. Carrots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. The greens are also rich in nutrients, including vitamins C and K, potassium, and calcium.
If you get carrots with greens, separate the greens from the roots. The roots will keep for a month or more stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Baby carrots in bags should be used within a week. To extend the life of those bagged carrots, take them out of the bag and store them in a container covered with water. Replace the water every 2 days.The greens, stored separately in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, will keep for 3–5 days.
Wash the carrots in cold water and scrub them with a vegetable brush if you have one. Peel older carrots as needed. Cut off and discard the stem end, then slice, dice, or cut into sticks as desired.
- Roast: Toss prepared carrots with oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a greased baking sheet and roast at 400° until tender, about 25–35 minutes.
- Steam: Place prepared carrots in a pot with 1–2 inches of simmering water (you can use a steamer basket if you have one). Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Microwave: Place prepared carrots in a microwave dish with 3 tablespoons of water. Cover with a lid or a plate and microwave on high until tender, about 3 minutes for 3 cups of carrots.
- Carrot greens: To prepare carrot greens for use in recipes, first rinse the greens in water, then pat dry with a towel or spin dry with a salad spinner. Chop the greens with a sharp knife.
How to Use Carrots
Eat raw carrots plain or with dip as a snack.
Add a grated carrot to a green salad or a slaw.
Add a grated carrot to a sandwich.
Add a grated carrot to the pot when cooking rice.
Serve steamed or roasted carrots as a side dish.
Add to soups, stews, casseroles, and stir-fries.
Make carrot cake, carrot cookies, or carrot muffins.
Mix the greens with other greens to make a salad.
Add the greens to stir-fries and soups.