All you need to know about carrots! Nutrition info, storage, and recipes for the best ways to eat this nutritious orange vegetable.
Carrots are one of the most popular vegetables in the world (really!). And there are lots of reasons to eat this root vegetable! It’s full of nutrients, has a beautiful flavor and a bright, vibrant color. Carrots are great for eating raw or cooked: try them with dips, in soups and stews, and to add crunch to salads. Here at A Couple Cooks, we use carrots quite a bit in our recipes! Consider us big fans. Here are the essential things you need to know about this super nutritious vegetable.
Carrots: overview and types
Carrots are a root vegetable that comes in a variety of different colors: orange, purple, yellow, white, and even black. The carrot belongs to the same vegetable family as celery, parsley and dill. (It’s called Apiaceae, for the science nerds among us.) This vegetable is easy to grow at home, and of course they’re inexpensive and easy to find at the grocery store. Here are the types you can find at the store:
- Large carrots: The workhorse! These come in bags at the grocery, and they range in size from small and thin to very large and thick.
- Bunches: You can also find bunches of long, slender carrots sold at the grocery or your local farmer’s market. Because they’re so thin, you can cook them whole when roasting or grilling them.
- Rainbow carrots: Beautiful hues of orange, purple and yellow! These are often sold in bunches as well.
- Baby carrots: The stick shape with rounded edges is cut from a larger carrot! It’s a special variety that’s bred to be sweeter and crunchier. This type are for snacking, so avoid using them in recipes.
- Low in calories, high in fiber: One cup of chopped carrots has only 52 calories and 3.6 grams of fiber. (source)
- Packed with Vitamin A (beta carotene): This root veggie has 428% of your daily vitamin A in 1 cup! It’s present as beta-carotene, an antioxidant that could help in cancer prevention. Your body converts beta carotene into Vitamin A.
- High in Vitamins C, K and potassium: They’re also are high in these vitamins.
- Potential benefits include lower blood cholesterol, weight loss, and eye health. Read more here.
Ready to get eating? There are so many delicious ways to eat this healthy vegetable. Here are some of the best carrot recipes to try:
How to store carrots
One great thing about this root vegetable: they last a long time! You may notice that they seem to stay good indefinitely in your produce drawer. Here’s the best way to store carrots:
- Refrigerate: Store in the produce drawer in your refrigerator for 2 to 3 months.
- Remove the greens: The greens remove moisture from the root. Remove the greens and store them separately: they’re best within a few days. (How to cook carrot greens? Try them in an omelette like this one, or substitute them for basil in pesto.)
More tasty vegetables
Love eating your vegetables? There are so many ways to eat lots of veggies. Here are more recipes and resources to peruse:
- Recipe Roundups by Vegetable: Try all our recipes for Broccoli, Zucchini, Peppers, Mushrooms, Asparagus, Spinach, Eggplant and Cabbage.
- Meal Plans: Ideas for every meal, with a downloadable meal planning calendar! Try this Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan, Plant Based Diet Meal Plan, or Healthy Meal Plan.
- Top 20 Vegetables: Check out our 20 Best Vegetables to Eat Today with lots of recipe ideas.
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.