+44(0)7895 419 138

The benefits of carrots and why I love them!

Did you know that orange carrots as the most popular variety were originally purple? You can still find them around as well other varieties such as yellow, white and golden carrots. Carrots are harvested from late June to October and then barn-stored.

The best carrots are those grown in a dry year with the sunshine and slow growth, leading to a great intense flavour. Due to not having enough moisture in the soil, carrots can occasionally get to their customers a little floppy but don’t reject these as they are often the sweetest.

Carrots have a reputation for improving your eyes due to a large amount of beta-carotene they contain. They also contain vitamin C – excellent for the skin and immune system. Also, alpha-carotene, protecting us against heart disease and cancer.

Yes, they also contain sugar, fructose, which makes them sweet and ideal for cakes, carrot cake, and often used in soups, stocks, stews…

How to store carrots?

Don’t worry too much about a little softening, this means in most cases that they have been grown slowly and without irrigation.  Washing carrots can damage their protective skin so therefore they are best stored muddy, in a paper bag in a cool place for several weeks. If they are washed, they are more likely to deteriorate faster and are best kept in the fridge up to a week.

Storing bunched carrots with their tops on, twisting them off to avoid water being sucked from the roots, keeping the tops fresh in a glass of water, just like cut flowers, and using them sparingly in a garnish or in your salads, are some of the best methods to retain the nutrients

Before preparing my carrots I always scrub them with a small brush, I never peel them as the skins contain lots of nutrients.

The best cooking methods

The best way to maintain carrots’ natural sweetness is to keep them away from water.

  • Steaming carrots is one of the healthiest options and takes just about 10 minutes to steam, depending on how soft/hard you like them. We enjoy eating them crunchy.
  • Stir-frying is my other preferred cooking method. I like to mix them along with other vegetables such as green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, peas, corn, broccoli, courgette, mushrooms and of course onion and garlic. Don’t forget dried herbs and spices – they are never missed in my food preps. Before serving add some fresh herbs and voila, a nutritious and delicious dish is created.

Other cooking methods are roasting, braising and boiling (for example soups).

Raw preparation is the best option to preserve its nutritional value and original texture. I often cut them into matchsticks and give them to my son to put in his lunch box or add to my raw salad along with other veg such as cabbage, beetroots or even an apple with raisins…

 

Raw carrots are ideal for juicing. I usually buy a 5 kg bag/box from organic farmers (Riverford or Abel & Cole) and use it up in a week. I love fresh vegetable juice! 😉

Carrots are the main vegetables in the juice I have, almost every day. It is the base of all vegetable juices. Carrots contain vitamins A (beta-carotene), D, E, K, C and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and other minerals and trace elements.

Carrot juice acts as a liver cleanser and therefore you may experience your skin turning a slight tint of orange in the palms of your hands when you first start drinking fresh carrot juice daily. It’s nothing to worry about, it doesn’t last long and there is no permanent skin discolouration! I too experienced this discolouration on my skin as I drank a lot of pure fresh carrot juice every day. If you turn too orange, just lower the volume of carrots and juice them along with other vegetables such as kale, spinach, celery or apples. 😉

Why does such discolouration happen? Well, it is a good sign. It means your body is getting rid of accumulated toxins from your liver – it’s simply detoxing. 😉

 

Lenka’s Favourite Juice 1 (from my book Healing Beverages page 21)

It makes about three glasses of juice. This is a very nutritious, alkaline and energetic juice! 

1kg of carrots

1 cucumber

1 pack of celery

1 apple peeled if not organic

1 handful of kale and/or spinach

  ½ lemon, peeled                                                                                                                                                                

2 cm of ginger root

A few leaves of mint

A few leaves of parsley

Put all ingredients through a juicer and strain. Drink immediately.

 

I hope I inspired you about carrots a little bit.😉 If you like to find more nutritious recipes with or without carrots, check my ebooks: Healing Beverages https://lenkapagan.com/product/healing-beverages-book/ and Plant-Based Recipes for Healthy Living https://lenkapagan.com/product/plant-based-recipes-for-healthy-living/

Happy Autumn!

Lenka x

Lenka Pagan
Helping those who are ready to lose weight and re-balance their lives by creating healthy habits through can-do attitude, healthy eating and yoga. Read more about Lenka here: https://lenkapagan.com/about-lenka/

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.