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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
Carrots arrived in America with the Pilgrims and soon became part of the staple diet
by the native Indians who adopted it as a food source. Where would we be without this
crunchy, sweet, nutritious vegetable?
Carrots are healthy additions to your diet. They are an excellent source of vitamin
A, an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers,
as well as maintain eye health.
Carrots also provide potassium, vitamin K and fiber. Potassium helps maintain healthy
blood pressure; vitamin K helps build and maintain strong bones; and fiber helps control
cholesterol and keeps you regular. Carrots also are loaded with beta-carotene, a compound
naturally converted to vitamin A in the liver when consumed. The deeper orange the
carrot, the more beta-carotene.
Farm fresh carrots are available at local farmers markets from May to June and November
to December in our area. You might be lucky enough to find them in a range of colors
including purple, scarlet, deep orange, as well as white.
You have the choice of fresh carrots with green tops, bagged carrots and baby carrots.
You might be curious to learn that baby carrots are not a variety. They were created
in the late 1980’s as a way of making use of carrots that are too twisted or knobby
for sale as full-size. You can find them in the supermarket, in school vending machines,
even as seasonal promotions at Halloween!
When selecting carrots, choose those with a deep orange color that are firm and without
splits. Select young, slim carrots for the most sweetness. Although baby carrots may
be more convenient, they are not as sweet as the slimmer young carrots. If the carrots
have blemishes, cracks, wilting greens, flabby, rubbery or soft texture or “sunburned”
green area at the top, avoid those.
If buying carrots with the green tops still attached, remove the tops by twisting
or cutting them off before storing. Leaving the green tops will deplete the carrot
of both moisture and nutrients leaving you with a limp carrot.
Carrots may be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where they will keep up
to 2 weeks. Do not store carrots near apples, bananas or melons; the gasses in these
fruits tend to increase the bitter compounds present in carrots. If processed properly,
they will keep for 10 to 12 months in the freezer.
Before consuming carrots, wash under cool, running water. Once they are cut, chopped
or cooked, they should be placed in the refrigerator within two hours, or frozen in
plastic freezer containers.
Carrots can be cooked almost any way. Sauté, roast, grill, stew, or simply eat them
raw. If you have thicker, older carrots they will need to be peeled before using,
but tender young carrots can be lightly scrubbed before being added to a dish.
For more information, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or
visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at firstname.lastname@example.org,
on Facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or on the web at uaex.uada.edu/Miller.
This recipe for Cinnamon Glazed Baby Carrots are from our Living Well with Diabetes
curriculum and are always a favorite. I love to serve them with grilled chicken. This
recipe makes four, 1-cup servings. Each serving provides: 67 calories; 3 g total fat;
0 mg saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 149 mg sodium; 2 g total fiber; 10 g carbohydrates
and 260 mg potassium.
Cinnamon-Glazed Baby Carrots
4 cup baby carrots, rinsed and split lengthwise if very thick
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
Place the carrots in a small saucepan. Add just enough water to barely cover the carrots.
Cover with lid. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until
the carrots are easily pierced with a sharp knife. While cooking, combine margarine,
brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan, and melt together over low heat.
Stir well to combine ingredients. Drain carrots, leaving them in the saucepan. Pour
cinnamon mixture over carrots. Cook and stir over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes,
until the carrots are thoroughly coated and the glaze thickens slightly. Serve warm.
By Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 email@example.com
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.