Here’s a few things you probably didn’t know about carrots.

1. Carrots were first grown in Afghanistan
While carrots are a common vegetable throughout the world, the first cultivated carrot in recorded history is thought to have come from the area around Afghanistan around 900 AD. Soon, this tasty veg spread to the surrounding areas and by the 1000s, it was in the Middle East and North Africa. From there it traveled to Spain, and by the 1300s it was popping up in Northern European gardens and in various dishes in China.

2. Cooking carrots is better for you than eating raw carrots
As the most popular and widely grown member of the apiaceae family, you want to respect the vegetable. This is why you should get the most out of each bite by cooking them. This releases the hidden pockets of good-for-you beta-carotene. In fact, eating carrots raw only gives you three percent of this substance, but when you heat them up they release closer to 40 percent.

3. Carrot Colors

We think of carrots as orange, but they can also be white, yellow, red, and purple.

4. Carrots have seeds
Bet you never thought about that one as you chomp on a smooth stalk of this sweet-orange vegetable. But it’s true. How else did you think they grew? You harvest the seeds from the tiny white flowers that grow out of the ground. Funnily enough, the carrot doesn’t produce a traditional seed, but instead it’s classified as a schizocarp, a dry fruit composed of multiple carpels that separate to release the seed inside. Researchers have even found that wild carrot seeds dating back about 5,000 years were discovered in Europe. Also, due to their aromatic qualities, the seeds have been used as a spice and in herbal medicine.

 

5. Carrots contain the richest sources of beta-carotene
You may wonder why you care about beta-carotene. Well, here’s the deal: This chemical is what gives fruits and vegetables a yellow-orange pigment that turns into vitamin A in our systems. While it won’t make you see in the dark, beta-carotene does help with eyesight, as well as boost the immune system and promote healthy skin.

6. Carrots have sugar in them
Ha, and here you thought you were eating something healthy. Okay, well yes, you are, but carrots do contain four types of sugars  — sucrose, glucose, xylose and fructose. Luckily for you carb-a-phobes, despite the sugar they contain very little starch, so you can have your sweet vegetable without the carbs. Plus, even though they are on the saccharin side, you also get a whopping bunch of good-for-you nutrients including vitamins A, C, K and B6, manganese, calcium, lots of dietary fiber and potassium.

7. Baby carrots aren’t a type of carrot
With all that talk about carrot varietals, we had to address the phenomenon of baby carrots. Turns out they are either immature carrots, hence their small size, or pieces of larger, thin carrots that are cut into pieces. The latter idea came from Mike Yurosek, a California farmer who got tired of chucking blemished carrots away and started cutting and peeling the vegetables into tiny perfection. In 2010, carrot farmers got together and started promoting baby carrots as an alternative snack food — a successful campaign that has plenty of people snacking on carrots instead of chips.


8. You can leave them in the ground all winter
While so many wimpy vegetables need to be plucked and dug up, the mighty carrot can freeze itself happily in the ground. “After the carrots have had a light frost you cover them with about a foot of leaf mulch, which acts like insulation to prevent the ground and the carrots from freezing solid.You can either over-winter carrots and harvest them in the spring, or continuously harvest them throughout the winter months.” And when you do this, the carrot’s sugars get more concentrated and the result is a super tasty, sweet vegetable that anybody who loves dessert will be excited to eat.

Information Source :  Here

 

Carrots are one of those vegetables that are always around the kitchen. Usually added to some salad or stew but not too often enjoyed just by itself. Here’s a super simple and very delicious way to prepare carrots and they make such a great accompaniment to your meat dishes or even when added to dips or salad platters or just eaten by itself. I would recommend using slim fresh carrots for this recipe. Since this was a tiny bunch I used, I’ve proportioned the ingredients accordingly. You can scale up as per your requirements.

 

Ingredients

  • I bunch of fresh Carrots with stems
  • 2 tsp Mustard seeds ground semi coarse, in a coffee grinder
  • Olive Oil to drizzle
  • 2 cloves of Garlic grated
  • 1 tbsp light floral Honey
  • 1 tbsp French Mustard
  • Sea Salt to taste

 

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pre heat the oven to 180 C

In a bowl mix all the ingredients except the oil and set aside. Save just a tiny bit of it to brush on the carrots when they’re out of the oven.

Trip the carrots and peel the skin. Pour the marinade over and massage gently to coat evenly. Spread the carrots on the baking sheet and drizzle over the olive oil.

Bake for 15 to 20 mins or Carrots have softened and began to colour. The tips may begin to burn faster than the rest. You can cover the bottom side with a strip of foil. If they burn too much before the rest of the carrots cook, don’t worry, you can simply trim off the ends later. Brush with the saved marinade and serve.

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