Scientifically checked

Carrots

By EAT-SMARTER
Updated on 14. May. 2020

Even babies love carrots because they taste so mild and pleasantly sweet. Learn all about what the root vegetable has to offer.

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carrots

Carrot

  • ...strengthen eyesight. Carrots contain more beta-carotene than any other vegetable. The body converts this bioactive plant substance into vitamin A, which is important for the eyesight.
  • ...contains pectin. A part of the dietary fiber in carrots consists of pectin. This soluble fiber is particularly good for digestion and also ensures a longer lasting feeling of fullness.
  • ...make skin beautiful. The beta-carotene content in carrots is so high that it can even prevent sunburn and soothe reddened skin. The natural dye also gives the skin a fresh color and makes it easier to tan in the sun.
  • ...can help you lose weight. Carrots owe their sweet taste to a relatively high-sugar content. Nevertheless, figure-conscious people can enjoy these vegetables without regret because they are low in calories and almost fat-free.
  • ...easy on the stomach. Anyone with a sensitive stomach should eat carrots often: they are particularly easy to digest and have therefore been an integral part of meals for sick people for centuries.
  • ...need grease. In order for the body to make the best possible use of the rich, fat-soluble beta-carotene, carrots must always be prepared with some fat. However, a few drops of vegetable oil or a small blob of butter or margarine are sufficient.
  • ...are healthier cooked. Of course raw carrots are healthy, but vegetables are even healthier if they are at least briefly steamed. In order to make beta-carotene available to the body, the cell walls have to be broken up by heat.

What You Should Know About Carrots

Carrots taste great, are very low in calories, cost little and have a high health value. There are a large number of different names for carrots: Depending on the region, it is also called yellow beet, carrot, root, carrot, yellow root, yellow beet, turnip, carrot or field carrot.

The many advantages of the carrot were apparently appreciated even in prehistoric times: researchers have found the oldest carrot seeds in Swiss lake dwellings dating from around 2,000 BC, and even in ancient times the vegetable had a reputation as a medicinal plant. While carrots grew wild in ancient times, they have long since been "tamed" and cultivated in crops. However, the carrot cannot completely deny its pedigree: our current varieties have evolved over thousands of years through various forms.

More and more often now you see carrots that are not only orange, but also light yellow, yellow, dark orange, light red, red and even dark purple to black. Black are carrots that grow in deep black moor soil. They are considered particularly aromatic.

Origin

Botanists suspect the original home of carrots is in southern Europe and Asia.

Season

Carrots are available all year round from local growers; between October and December there is a particularly large selection. 

Taste

The fact that even babies love carrots is probably due to their wonderfully mild taste and light sweetness.

Here you will find all carrot recipes.

How Healthy are Carrots?

Carrots are low in calories, free of cholesterol and rich in nutrients and fiber. The dietary fibers are particularly favorable because they consist of pectin. This soluble fiber regulates the intestinal functions, "feeds" useful bacteria of the intestinal flora and is easily digestible even for sensitive people.

Carrots are also famous for their high beta-carotene (provitamin A) content, which is important for our immune system. However, it can only be partially utilized by the body. Raw carrots have a zero intake; cooked and served with a little fat, the body can get the vitamin more easily.

Carrots are an anti-aging vegetable for the skin. But if you drink too much juice from carrots, the yellow dye is deposited in the skin and fatty tissue. We know this to be true for babies who get a lot of carrot pulp and juice. Luckily, the yellowish skin discoloration is harmless and can even be useful: If you want to prepare your skin for a holiday in the sun, studies have shown that the deposition of beta-carotene and dyes prevents the risk of sunburn. The natural dye also helps to give the skin a fresher color and makes it tan more easily in the sun.

Nutritional values of carrots per 100 grams  
Calories 31
Protein 0.9 grams
Fat 0.18 grams
Carbohydrates 4.7 grams
Dietary Fibers 4 grams

Shopping and Kitchen Tips

Shopping

Carrots should be plump and juicy; if they are offered together with green, the green should also look fresh.

Pesticide residues are rarely an issue with carrots. Nevertheless, about five percent of samples do contain some. The amounts are not threatening, but they are undesirable for children. If you want to avoid residues completely, buy only organic carrots.

Storage

Another advantage of carrots is that they keep for a long time (about two weeks) in a cool cellar or in the vegetable compartment of a fridge. With carrots in bunches, it is important to cut off the green if you want to keep the vegetables for a long time, otherwise they will wilt quickly. 

Preparation

Whether carrots should be peeled or not is up for debate among many. Ultimately, it's a matter of taste: Some people like them with, others prefer them without the skin. In any case, one thing is certain: Before preparing carrots, they need to be washed under running water after the tip and base of the greenery is removed. If you like to eat your carrots with the skin, you must wash them thoroughly!

This is the quickest and easiest way to remove the skin is by using a normal economy peeler. You can also do it the old-fashioned way by scraping the carrot skin with a small kitchen knife. Usually you cut the carrots into slices at the end. However, depending on the recipe, you may need to grate, dice or cut them into sticks.

What to Make With Carrots

Not every vegetable is as versatile as the carrot. With carrots you can do just about anything that comes to mind in a culinary sense — from enjoying the vegetable raw to incorporating it in soup. It can be cooked, steamed, and even baked into muffins or cakes.

With few exceptions, carrots are compatible with other vegetables like peas, green beans, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, and many more.

Scientifically checked by our EAT SMARTER experts
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