NH April Harvest of the Month: Carrots

Did you know that carrots come in different varieties like orange, white, red, yellow, purple and even black?

Activity: try the different varieties to see if there are any differences in the flavors or textures!

Selection

Always choose carrots that are brightly colored and feel firm. Avoid carrots that feel limp or are sprouting.

Storage

  • Trim off greens before storing carrots. 
  • Carrots store well in the fridge and can last for about one to three weeks. To keep them even longer, wrap the carrots in a paper towel to protect them from condensation. 
  • Don’t store carrots near fruits or vegetables such as apples, pears, or potatoes. The ethylene gas that these foods give off will cause carrots to go bad quickly and become bitter. 
  • Carrots can be blanched and frozen for up to one year.

Cooking Tips

  • Before use, be sure to wash carrots well. There is no need to peel unless the skin looks aged.
  • If you choose to peel your carrots, save the peels to simmer in stock.
  • Avoid overcooking carrots in order to preserve the flavor and nutritional value.
  • The taproot of the carrot is the part we commonly eat, however, the leafy green tops are also edible. Sauté them in olive oil or add to a soup or stock.

Kid-Friendly Eating Tips

  • Add shredded carrots to any salad.
  • Bake with carrots! They can be used as a main ingredient in cakes, muffins, and cookies.
  • Slice and roast carrots with beets, potatoes, and parsnips and serve as root veggie fries.

Recipes

Carrot Muffins
Yield: 30 servings
Ingredients:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
3 whole eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
1½ cups brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
13/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2½ cups shredded carrots
Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. In a second bowl, lightly beat eggs, then stir in oil, sugar and vanilla. Add applesauce and carrots. Mix well.
  3. Add wet ingredients into flour mixture, stirring just to blend.
  4. Pour into prepared muffin tins.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 45-50 minutes or until just done.

Carrot Salad
Ingredients
3 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled
juice of one lime and grated zest of half a lime
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Grate the carrots on the large holes of a box grater.
  2. Stir in the lime juice and zest, honey, salt, mint, and sunflower seeds.
  3. Serve right away or store, covered in the refrigerator, up to 3 days.

Information from NH Harvest of the Month