Scrape the carrots.
Very young, tender carrots can be cleaned by scrubbing with a vegetable
brush. Soak carrots that are slightly limp in ice water to firm them up.
Don't discard slightly wilted intact carrots; use them in soups or stews
where texture doesn't matter.
Happens When You Cook Carrots
Since carotenes do not dissolve in water and are not affected by the
normal heat of cooking, carrots stay yellow and retain their vitamin A
when you heat them. But cooking will dissolve some of the hemicellulose in
the carrot's stiff cell walls, changing the vegetable's texture and making
it easier for digestive juices to penetrate the cells and reach the
Kinds of Processing Affect Carrots
Freezing. The characteristic crunchy texture of fresh carrots depends
on the integrity of its cellulose- and hemicellulose-stiffened cell walls.
Freezing cooked carrots creates ice crystals that rupture these membranes
so that the carrots usually seem mushy when defrosted. If possible, remove
the carrots before freezing a soup or stew and add fresh or canned carrots
when you defrost the dish.
Medical Uses and/or Benefits
A reduced risk of some kinds of cancer. According to the American
Cancer Society, carrots and other foods rich in beta-carotene, a deep
yellow pigment that your body converts to a form of vitamin A, may lower
the risk of cancers of the larynx, esophagus and lungs. There is no such
benefit from beta-carotene supplements; indeed, one controversial study
actually showed a higher rate of lung cancer among smokers taking the
Protection against vitamin A-deficiency blindness. In the body, the
vitamin A from carrots becomes 11-cis retinol, the essential element in
rhodopsin, a protein found in the rods (the cells inside your eyes that
let you see in dim light). Rhodopsin absorbs light, triggering the chain
of chemical reactions known as vision. One raw carrot a day provides more
than enough vitamin A to maintain vision in a normal healthy adult.
Effects Associated with Carrots
Oddly pigmented skin. The carotenoids in carrots are Eat-soluble. If
you eat large amounts of carrots day after day, these carotenoids will be
stored in your fatty tissues, including the Eat just under your skin, and
eventually your skin will look yellow. IE you eat large amounts of carrots
and large amounts of tomatoes (which contain the red pigment lycopene),
your skin may be tinted orange. This effect has been seen in people who
ate two cups of carrots and two tomatoes a day Eor several months; when
the excessive amounts of these vegetables were eliminated from the diet,
skin color returned to normal.
False-positive test for occult blood in the stool. The active
ingredient in the guiac slide test for hidden blood in feces is
alphaguaiaconic acid, a chemical that turns blue in the presence of blood.
Carrots contain peroxidase, a natural chemical that also turns
alphaguaiaconic acid blue and may produce a positive test in people who do
not actually have blood in the stool.