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November's Produce Report: Carrots!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Check out our final Produce Report of the season to learn about carrots, including: how to select, store, prepare, and cook them properly.

From The Garden - Carrots

Carrots are a very common root vegetable that are crunchy, tasty and highly nutritious. Although they are most commonly found in bright orange, they also come in an amazing variety of colors including purple, red, white, and yellow. They are best known for their rich supply of the antioxidant beta-carotene, as well as a good source of fiber and vitamins A, C & K. They are widely known to improve your eye health and vision. You can find them year round but their peak season is in the fall from August to November (varies by region). 

Selecting, Storing and Preparing Carrots

Selecting The Perfect Ones
- Carrots should be firm, smooth, relatively straight, and bright in color
- Avoid excessively cracked, limp or rubbery ones
- If carrots have green tops attached, make sure they are brightly colored, feathery & not wilted

Properly Storing Them 
- Always remove the attached green tops before storing in the refrigerator
- Preserve carrots by minimizing the amount of moisture they lose. Store in the coolest part of the refrigerator in a plastic bag or wrapped in a paper towel.
- Store away from fruits & vegetables that produce ethylene gas (like apples, pears, potatoes, etc.) so they don't become more bitter
- If properly stored, they should keep fresh for about 2 weeks

Preparing Carrots to Eat
- Wash the roots and gently scrub to remove dirt 
- Depending on the recipe, they can be eaten whole, julienned, grated, shredded, or sliced into sticks or rounds
- They can be eaten raw or cooked

How to Cook Carrots

Boil - Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add carrot slices, reduce heat and cover the pot. Cook until just tender, but not soft, about 10-15 minutes. 

Roast - Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush carrot halves or slices with oil. Place on an oiled baking sheet. Roast, turning once, until tender, about 20-40 minutes. 

Steam - Put steam basket into a sauce pot and fill water below base of steamer basket. Bring water to a boil. Add carrots and cover with lid. Steam until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Check regularly for doneness after 8 minutes.

Stir-Fry - Cut carrots into julienned sticks. Add oil to wok or large frying pan. Add carrots and stir fry until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve. 

Our Featured Recipe Using Carrots: Spanish Saffron Trenette Paella

Simple Serving & Pairing Suggestions:
- Roasted Carrots with Peas, Onions and Blackberry Ginger Balsamic
- Carrots with Capers, Dill, Shallots, and Slow-Roasted Garlic Infused Oil
- Roasted Carrots with Parsnips and Pear, Lime & Cinnamon White Balsamic