Season for Carrots Available Year Round

Carrots Described

While we conceive of carrots mostly in their orange form – as Bugs Bunny would have it – carrots were originally a lot of colors excepting orange and only arrived there after mutations and human selection. They grow in a host of colors including white, yellow, red, purple and even black. The carrot is a thick, fleshy, deep-colored root that grows underground with feathery green leaves that emerge above ground – and yes, those are edible too (albeit a little bitter). They can be as short as two inches or as long as three feet, with diameters ranging from one-half of an inch to over two inches – a sweet, succulent and crispy treat.

How to Buy and Store Carrots

Choose carrots that are firm, smooth and bright in color, for the deeper the pigment, the richer your carrot will be in phytonutrients. Avoid carrots that are excessively cracked, dry, limp or rubbery. If the tops are attached choose ones that are vibrantly green and crisp, removing them soon after, as they leach moisture from this root we all love so sweet and juicy. Larger carrots tend to be sweeter and more fully-flavored as they are more mature. Carrots will keep for a good amount of time in the coldest section of your refrigerator wrapped up and away from other fruits and veggies that produce ethylene gas, like apples and pears, that will warp their flavor. Try to use within two weeks.

How to Cook Carrots

Carrots can be left whole or julienned, grated, shredded or sliced into sticks or rounds and used in infinite culinary endeavors. Many of carrots phytonutrients are contained within or just below the skin – so we recommend saving the time and energy it takes to peel carrots, unless they aren’t organic. Carrots make the easiest healthy quick-time snack. But you’ll be happy to hear that cooking your carrots will not destroy their nutrients, unless you overcook ’em. In fact, the nutrients are easier absorbed after carrots have been slightly cooked (even better, juiced!), also becoming sweeter. Carrots also make the healthiest (and cheapest) dog treat on earth – that your dog will actually eat.

Our faves: We think shredded carrots make a great farm-to-table cupcake topping and check out our Organic Heirloom Carrot Salad Recipe.

Health Benefits of Carrots

Owing to their brilliant oracnge hue, no other vegetable or fruit contains as much carotene as carrots – hence the name – which converts into vitamin A in the body. Aside from alpha- and beta- carotene, carrots are chock full of many other phytonutrients as well as vital vitamins and minerals, most notably glutathione, calcium, potassium, and vitamins B1, B2, C, and E. All this goodness combines to protect and nourish the skin, safeguard your cardiovascular health, staving off cancer and also promoting good vision with a special emphasis on night vision. Different color carrots contain their own set of phytonutrients – so it’s best to include all of them in your diet if they’re available (two words: farmers market). 

Why Buy Natural and Organic Carrots

When carrots are grown conventionally, it’s done so with a myriad of chemicals and pesticides and we strongly recommend peeling their skin off to avoid ingesting said toxins. And even if you do peel the carrot there’s no guarantee pesticides won’t be found on the inside. The roots can absorb the chemicals, along with the nutrients, from the soil and become part of the plant.  That said, you lose much of the health benefits associated with this deliciously sweet root when you consume them sans skin. So, the healthiest route for you and your family – as well as your planet – is to buy carrots organically and locally, leaving the skins in tact.