Using Herbs and Spices

About Carrots

About Carrots

Carrot Nutritional Profile

 

Energy value (calories per serving): Low

Protein: Moderate

Fat: Low

Saturated fat: Low

Cholesterol: None

Carbohydrates: High

Fiber: High

Sodium: Moderate

Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A

Major mineral contribution: Potassium

 

About the Nutrients in Carrots

 

Carrots are high-fiber food, roots whose crispness comes from cell walls stiffened with the insoluble dietary fibers cellulose and lignin. Carrots also contain soluble pectins, plus appreciable amounts of sugar (mostly sucrose) and a little starch. They are an extraordinary source of vitamin A derived from deep yellow carotenoids (including beta-carotene).

 

One raw carrot, about 7 inches long, has 2 g dietary fiber and 20,250 IU vitamin A (four times the RDA for a man, five times the RDA for a woman).

 

The Most Nutritious Way to Serve Carrots

 

Cooked, so that the cellulose and hemicellulose stiffened cell walls of the carrot have partially dissolved and the nutrients inside are more readily available.

 

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude Carrots

 

Disaccharide-intolerance diet (for people who are sucrase and/or invertase deficient)

Low-fiber diet

Low-sodium diet (fresh and canned carrots)

 

Buying Carrots

 

Look for: Firm, bright orange yellow carrots with fresh, crisp green tops.

Avoid: Wilted or shriveled carrots, pale carrots, or carrots with brown spots on the skin.

 

Storing Carrots

 

Trim off the green tops before you store carrots. The leafy tops will wilt and rot long before the sturdy root.

 

Keep carrots cool. They will actually gain vitamin A during their first five months in storage. Protected from heat and light, they can hold to their vitamins at least another two and a half months.

 

Store carrots in perforated plastic bags or containers. Circulating air prevents the formation of the terpenoids that make the carrots taste bitter. Do not store carrots near apples or other fruits that manufacture ethylene gas as they continue to ripen; this gas encourages the development of terpenoids.

 

Store peeled carrots in ice water in the refrigerator to keep them crisp for as long as 48 hours.


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