How to Select Carrots

  • Choose carrots with deep coloring that is uniform from top to bottom. Fresh carrots have a more intense color. While most are familiar with the classic orange carrot, these vegetables come in a range of colors including red, white, yellow, and purple.
  • Larger carrots will be sweeter than smaller ones, as carrots develop more sugar the longer they grow. Fresher carrots will also be sweeter than older ones. Look for carrots that are firm and free of cracks or splits.
  • A carrot’s leaves can indicate freshness. Fresher carrots have brighter leaves. Avoid carrots with wilted leaves, as they have likely been sitting on the shelf for a while.

When are Carrots in Season?

While you can buy carrots year-round, this delicious orange vegetable has two growing seasons that make them particularly tasty in the late spring and again from late summer to early fall. This versatile veggie is a family favorite that most kids enjoy raw.

Varieties of Carrots

Carrots are a common vegetable grown around the world. You can find wide varieties of carrots that come in a wild variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. The four main orange varieties of carrots that you’ll find at the grocery store or farmer’s market include:

  • Danvers: The Danvers carrots are a common carrot that you find at the grocery store. These carrots are medium-length and have pointed ends. A deep orange color, the Danvers carrot is very hearty and stores well. 
  • Imperator: The Imperator carrot is a long carrot with high sugar content for superior flavor. These delicious carrots can grow up to ten inches long and are your classic orange color. If grown in poor soil quality, these carrots can be stumpy and twisted but still taste great.
  • Nantes: A French carrot, Nantes carrots are smooth, beautifully shaped, and very cylindrical. These carrots have a fine grain and sweet flavor, making them an excellent choice for juicing.
  • Chantenay: The chantenay carrot is short, conical, and taper to a blunt point. These stubby light orange carrots have a rich flavor and store well.

Carrots Nutrition Facts & Benefits

A nutrient-rich vegetable, carrots have many health benefits:

Nutritional Facts

Serving size: 1/2 melon1 medium carrot

Approximate 25 calories

  • 0.1 grams of fat
  • 0.6 grams of protein
  • 6 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2.9 grams of natural sugar
  • 1.7 grams of fiber

Health Benefits

A few main health benefits of a carrots:

  1. Carrots are rich in B vitamins that contain Biotin, which is vital to your fat and protein metabolism and skin health.
  2. Carrots are a super vegetable that has a significant amount of beta-carotene and Vitamin A, which promotes eye health, the immune system, and red blood cells.

Carrots contain a significant amount of polyacetylenes, which are bioactive compounds that can protect against leukemia and other cancers.

How to Store Carrots

  • Carrots can be stored for about 2 weeks. As soon as possible, cut the tops off the carrots to remove the leaves. Carrots lose moisture through their leaves, causing them to dry out and crack. The leaves will keep for a couple of days and can be used for seasoning.
  • Place the carrots in a plastic bag, such as a grocery store bag. Be sure not to store them in a sealed bag, as this can cause them to rot. Keep the carrots dry by wrapping them in a paper towel before storing them in the plastic bag.
  • Store carrots in the coldest part of your refrigerator, such as the crisper drawer. Be sure to keep carrots away from fruits like bananas, as the gases these foods produce causes carrots to age.
  • Carrots can be frozen for up to 8 months. Blanch the carrots before freezing them for best results.

How to Prepare Carrots

Carrots are a very versatile vegetable that can be prepared in a number of ways. You can eat it:

  • Raw: Peel the outer layer of the skin and cut it into sticks or slices, or just gnaw on the carrot whole.
  • Roasted: Peel and cut your carrots into half-inch to three-quarter-inch slices. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the slices in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then place the carrot sticks on a cooking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. 
  • Sautéed: Rinse the carrots, peel them, and then chop them into desired slices. Add olive oil to your pan, and toss the carrots into the pan. Season with salt and pepper for enhanced flavor. Cook over medium heat until desired tenderness.
  • Baked: Follow your favorite carrot recipe and bake those delicious sweet orange veggies to perfection.

How to Serve Carrots