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Seasonal Produce: Carrots

Carrots, a versatile root vegetable, is available year-round. It’s a welcome addition to soups, stews, salads and stir-fries. Carrots also perk up any meal when served as a savory side dish.

Purchasing

  • Pick a bunch of bright-orange carrots that are straight and firm, not wilted or cracked. If the tops are attached, the leaves should be bright green and fresh.
  • Cut off the tops before storing. Refrigerate unwashed carrots in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer for up to 2 weeks.

Preparing

  • Before using carrots, trim both ends, peel and rinse with water. Young, tender carrots need no peeling. Rinse and scrub gently with a vegetable brush to remove any surface dirt.
  • Cutting carrots diagonally into slices or chunks exposes more surface area to the heat and makes them cook more quickly.
  • Shred raw carrots on the large holes of a grater or in a food processor.
  • Cooking enhances the natural sweetness of carrots. Steam, boil or microwave in a small amount of water. For the best flavor and texture, cook carrots just until crisp-tender.
  • Roast carrots by cutting them lengthwise into halves and then into 1-inch chunks. Coat the chunks lightly with oil and roast on a baking pan in a 400°F oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Dill, tarragon, orange, mustard, brown sugar, honey and nutmeg are flavors that go well with carrots.

Nutrition

  • Fat and cholesterol free.
  • Low in sodium and calories.
  • Good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.

Serving

  • Toss shredded carrots into salads and sandwiches or stir into cake, muffin and quick bread batter.
  • Add sliced or diced carrots to soups, stews and casseroles.
  • Serve raw ready-to-use baby carrots or carrot sticks with your favorite Kraft Dressing as a dip.
Carrots
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