The carrot is a root vegetable, most commonly orange, but there are also purple, red and white varieties. Carrots are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. They are full of beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant that converts into vitamin A. Just 100g of carrot can supply 11 000 milligrams of vitamin A, the vitamin that helps you see better in the dark!
When selecting carrots, you should choose those which are firm, smooth, relatively straight and bright in colour. The deeper the colour, the more beta-carotene present. Avoid carrots that are excessively cracked or forked and are not limp or rubbery. If the carrot still has the green top attached, they should be brightly coloured and feathered, not wilted. If the top is not attached, the stem should be visually inspected for any signs of darkness, as this can indicate age. The larger the diameter of the carrot, the sweeter it should be.
Carrots are very hardy vegetables that if stored properly, should last longer than other vegetables. The trick to preserving the freshness is to store the carrots in the coolest part of the refrigerator in a plastic bag or wrapped in a paper towel. This will reduce condensation and minimise the amount of moisture carrots lose. Carrots can be steamed, boiled, shredded, stir-fried, pureed, roasted or even juiced.
You can find carrots at Patlin Gardens, Alnda Farms, W&B Hart and Virgara's Garden, as well as N&M Tsimiklis and Salad Greens and Kitchen Herbs at the Showground Farmers' Market.