Bugs Bunny knew what he was talking about! Carrots are good for your health. Packed with beta-carotene, a pigment that gives carrots their bright orange color, carrots help maintain healthy eyes, skin, teeth, and muscles.
- Queen Anne’s lace, a plant that often grows along roadsides, is a type of wild carrot related to the carrots we eat today. Native Americans and pioneer settlers often ate this plant. Be careful, though. Queen Anne’s lace looks a lot like poison hemlock, a deadly plant that grows in similar conditions.
- Carrot breeders continue to improve carrots to make them sweeter and more colorful. Carrot varieties come in all sizes – long and tapered or short and nubby.
- The baby carrots sold in grocery stores started out as long carrots that were sliced and tumbled into smaller pieces.
- Carrots are a root crop. They grow best in cool weather.
- A medium-sized carrot or a handful of baby carrots counts as one vegetable serving. Carrots are among the most popular vegetables in America. Most Americans eat almost 11 pounds of carrots every year.
- Carrots can be eaten raw, roasted, steamed, or boiled. They’re often used in soups and stews.
- New varieties of carrots come in white, yellow, and purple.
- Cut the greens off when you harvest carrots. If you don’t, the tops will continue to grow, leaching water and nutrients out of the carrots.
- Root crop: a vegetable that grows beneath the ground, such as potatoes, carrots, and beets.
- Roast: to cook a food in the oven, usually at high heat. Roasting makes carrots sweet.
Questions and Answers
Question: Why are carrots so sweet?
Answer: Carrots have more sugar than any other vegetable. Beets come in second place. Have you ever tasted candied carrots, made by steaming carrots and serving them with a sauce of melted butter and brown sugar? These carrots are even sweeter.
Visit Hobby Farms to learn how to grow carrots at home.