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Bulletin #4175, Vegetables and Fruits for Health: Carrots

Vegetables and Fruits for Health

Carrots

Revised and updated by Extension Professor Kathleen Savoie
Originally developed by Extension Nutrition Specialist Nellie Hedstrom

For information about UMaine Extension programs and resources, visit extension.umaine.edu.
Find more of our publications and books at extensionpubs.umext.maine.edu.

Carrots, which are a member of the parsley family, were grown in New England as early as the middle 1600s. In addition to the orange ones we normally eat, carrots are also available in red, purple, yellow, black, and white varieties. About two billion pounds of carrots are grown in the United States each year, mainly in Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Maine-grown carrots are available from July through February.

Nutrition Information

The deep yellow to deep orange color of carrots indicates that they are an excellent source of carotene, which your body converts to the antioxidant, vitamin A. They are also a good source of vitamin C (also an antioxidant) and fiber. Carrot juice is a good source of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Selection

Choose smooth, well-colored, firm carrots. Avoid carrots that are wilted, flabby, or cracked, or that have large green areas at the top. Small carrots are more tender than large ones. If you buy carrots with the tops still on, make sure that they are bright green and fresh looking.

Storage

Store carrots in a closed plastic bag or container in the refrigerator. Carrots will keep well in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Remove the leafy green tops before storing, because they absorb moisture from the carrots and cause them to shrivel. If carrots do become wilted, they can be re-crisped in cold water.

Preparation

Raw: Carrot sticks are a colorful addition to a vegetable platter. Shred or slice carrots to add to a salad. To make raw carrots easier to chew, briefly steam or microwave them until they are crisp-tender.

Steaming: Peel and cut carrots into quarter-inch slices. Steam until crisp-tender (8 to 10 minutes for 2 cups). To steam, bring an inch of water to a boil and place a colander or a collapsible steaming basket in the pot. Put the vegetables in the colander or steamer and cover it tightly. Reduce heat to medium-low, but make sure that the temperature is high enough to keep the water bubbling.

Microwaving: Peel and cut carrots into quarter-inch slices and place in a 1-quart covered dish. Add 2 tablespoons of water and microwave. Microwave 2 cups of cut carrots at high power for 3 to 7 minutes. Make sure to stir once during cooking.

Flavor Enhancers: Dill, coriander, tarragon


Glazed Dijon Carrots

Serves 4

16 ounces baby carrots
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a saucepan, bring carrots to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. Drain. Place carrots in a serving dish and keep warm. In the same pan, melt butter. Add brown sugar, mustard, ginger, and salt; cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour over carrots and toss to coat.

Glazed Dijon Carrots Nutrition Facts Label (text)


Crunchy Carrot Salad

Serves 6

3 cups fresh grated carrots
2 unpeeled red apples, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds (optional)
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine carrots, apples, raisins, and almonds in a salad bowl. Blend together remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and add to carrot mixture. Serve on salad greens.

Some content adapted with permission from University of Massachusetts Cooperative Extension.

Crunchy Carrot Salad Nutrition Facts Label (text)


Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

© 2008
Published and distributed in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914, by the University of Maine and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Cooperative Extension and other agencies of the USDA provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.

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Image Description: Print Friendly

Image Description: carrots; photo by Edwin Remsberg, USDA

Image Description: Glazed Dijon Carrots Nutrition Facts Label

Image Description: Crunchy Carrot Salad Nutrition Facts Label


Contact Information

Cooperative Extension Publications
University of Maine, 5741 Libby Hall, Room 114
Orono, ME 04469-5741
Phone: 207.581.3792 | Fax: 207.581.1387
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System