Carrots

Carrots have been a staple in many countries for thousands of years although it is only since the 16th century that they have been orange.

Earliest records show carrots were purple; later records show red, yellow and white carrots
were grown. Orange is the main type found in New Zealand.

What to look for

Choose carrots that are firm, well formed, with a good orange colour. Smaller carrots tend to be sweeter and more tender. If spring carrots are sold with leaves attached, they should be fresh and bright green.

Availability

All year. Spring carrots October - January.

Store

Refrigerate in plastic bags.

Baby peeled carrots are actually larger carrots that are trimmed down to ‘baby size’. They will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator. As they’re already peeled, a light frosting may appear on the surface; place in cold water for a few minutes and they will return to their brilliant orange colour.

How to prepare

Trim ends and peel. Cut as required. Popular grated, finely sliced or diced for salads and juiced. Leave baby carrots whole and young carrots don't need peeling. Wash well or lightly scrape to ensure all soil is removed. Old and large carrots need to be peeled. Carrots are versatile in both preparation and cooking methods. Cut into rings, cubes, strips, or chunks. Carrots are often grated for salads; vary the size of grater and experiment with the more interesting coarse graters or peelers.

Ways to eat

They can be eaten raw as snacks, or cooked and used in savoury and some sweet dishes, such as carrot cake or muffins. Carrots should be cooked until they are tender and depending on preference, still slightly crunchy. Cooked, tender carrots may be mashed or puréed.

Cooking methods

Bake, barbecue, boil, braise, microwave, roast, steam, stew, stir fry.

Nutrition

Carrots are a good vegetable source of vitamin A, from carotenoids, in particular beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A by the body. One medium carrot supplies more than the recommended dietary intake for a day. Carrots are also a source of dietary fibre, folate and vitamin B6 and contain a dietary significant amount of potassium. The main phytonutrients in carrots are the carotenoids and falcarinol which are being studied for their protection against some cancers.

CARROTS Raw      
Nutrition Information        
Serving size: 1 cup slices = 128g      
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100g  
Energy (kJ/Cal) 200/48 2% 156/37  
Protein (g) 0.8 2% 0.6  
Fat, total (g) 0.3 0% 0.2  
 - saturated (g) 0.03 0% 0.03  
Available carbohydrate (g) 8.7 3% 6.8  
 - sugars (g) 8.4 9% 6.6  
Dietary Fibre (g) 3.6 12% 2.8 A source of dietary fibre
Sodium (mg) 52 2% 41  
Vitamin A Equiv. (µg) 1116 149% RDI* 872 A good source of vitamin A
Folate (µg) 27 13% RDI* 21 A source of folate
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.15 10% RDI* 0.12 A source of vitamin B6
Potassium (mg) 223   174 Contains potassium
Niacin (mg) 0.6 6% RDI* 0.5  
Vitamin C (mg) 2 5% RDI* 2  
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ 
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. 
 *Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)  
Source: FOODfiles 2016        

Retailing

Offer both loose and bagged carrots. Spring carrots should be displayed on bunches with all tops running in the same direction. Keep stems well misted to retain freshness. Use QR code on labels.

Store at 0ºC with a relative humidity of 90-100%. Carrots are ethylene sensitive so store separately from ethylene producing fruits and vegetables.

Purchase carrots with the New Zealand GAP logo.

Recipes

Vegetable slice
Vegetable slice

Many vegetables can be used in this delicious vegetable slice - choose from the suggestions below. View Recipe

Potato portraits
Potato portraits

The whole family will enjoy making these self-portraits. It's also a great idea for a birthday party game. View Recipe

Spring vegetable soup
Spring vegetable soup

The vegetables in this soup are very lightly cooked and taste juicy and succulent. View Recipe

View more Recipes

Images

For these images and many more please visit our image library.