Why do carrots improve your sight? They contain vitamin see! LOL
What are carrots?
Carrots are colorful and nutritious root vegetables that were first grown in Afghanistan around 900 AD; however, cultivation spread. They are also considered native to Europe and Southwestern Asia. Today, two-thirds of the US crop is produced for the fresh market, and nearly 94 percent of American carrot production is grown in seven states: California, Texas, Washington, Michigan, Florida, Colorado, and Wisconsin. California is the largest producer, growing a whopping 85% of US carrots. Today, carrots are the second most popular vegetable in the world after potatoes.
Why are they different colors?
This tasty vegetable comes in many colors, including orange, purple, red, yellow, and white, and they can vary slightly in taste. The orange color is due to carotenes and yellow due to anthocyanin. Color variations also depend on how the vegetable is grown, the time of the year the seed is planted, weather and soil conditions, and amounts of sun and water. Per Dishably, farmers know how to plant and cultivate them and abide by those conditions to get the desired results.
Are carrots healthy?
Yes, yes, yes! Nutritiously speaking, this vegetable is a great source of vitamins and minerals. WebMD states that a half-cup can give you:
- 73% of daily requirements of vitamin A
- 9% of your daily vitamin K
- 8% of your daily potassium and fiber
- 5% of your daily vitamin C
- 2% of your daily calcium and iron
How to prepare them:
Carrots can be washed, peeled, and eaten raw. Or they can be cooked. Steaming is among the healthiest ways to cook carrots as this process does not require the use of oils or butter. Steaming, using steam from boiling water, also allows for concentrated nutrient retention, per WHfoods.org.
Prepare carrots by washing them, removing the tops and ends, peeling, and slicing them into equal-sized pieces. Place cut carrots in a steamer basket and steam over boiling water for approximately 8 to 12 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the carrots. Obviously, the larger the pieces, the more cooking time required. With the steaming method, the carrots sit above the water line and do not touch the water. Watch them carefully as they cook. They are done when they just become fork tender. While some people add melted butter and salt to their carrots, for health reasons or flavor preference, they can be served plain, or you can drizzle a little olive oil over the cooked carrots and sprinkle them with your favorite spices such as dillweed, Italian seasoning, Parsley, or garlic.
Uncovering two carrot myths:
Myth One: Carrot tops are poisonous. Carrot tops are NOT poisonous. That is a silly myth. In fact, the leaves are edible and can be minced and added to soups for color and flavor.
Myth two: Rabbits love to eat carrots, and it’s their favorite vegetable. No, no, no! Rabbits don’t naturally eat root vegetables or fruit. In fact, they are high in sugar. Thus, hay and grass and some leafy greens are safer choices for bunnies.
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Thanks for the article. A few more carrot facts:
The original carrots were purple in color. Agriculture came up with the orange carrot, which has been the standard in the U.S. But as information on pigments and antioxidants becomes more widespread, we’re realizing the benefits of deep orange carrots, and red and purple ones as well.
Cooked carrots (not high heat, but steamed or added to soups) make more of the carotenes available to us than raw carrots. Incidentally, orange bell peppers (sweet green varieties that ripen orange) have an extremely high zeaxanthin content. This pigment promotes eye health.
Vegetable and fruit skins contain more fiber and often more antioxidants than the flesh inside. Peeling carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, eggplants, apples, etc., sends all those nutrients to the trash or to the compost pile. I simply use the scrubbie side of the sponge to clean vegetables, and eat the skins.
The skin is the largest organ in the human body so it makes sense it holds all those nutrients in a Vegetable.