Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ode to Carrots

When I was a kid, I didn't always eat very healthily.  I had my fair share of Lucky Charms, Girl Scout Cookies, and McDonald's, I will say.  But, I always had a strange carrot addiction.  I LOVED carrots!  Every afternoon after school, I would sit downstairs with a bag of baby carrots and some Italian dressing and watch the Magic School Bus (anyone??  90's kids?).  So, today's post is dedicated for my never-failing, guilt-free, one true love: The Carrot.

First of all, I must say that I have graduated to big-girl carrots now.  No, I don't eat those little babies in a bag anymore, and I'll tell you why:
  • Number one: they're manufactured parts of big carrots, and I don't want my vegetables manufactured.  It's hard to avoid, but it's one thing I can do.   
  • Number two: Big carrots totally taste better.  Peeled, that is.  But really, they're better.  Especially organic ones.
  • Number three:  THEY'RE CHEAPER!  Convenience costs money, and baby carrots can be $.50 - $1 more per pound than regular carrots.
  • Number four: Joe's mom once told me that baby carrots were washed in chemicals, gave me a bag of big carrots, and made me promise to never go back.  I'm a man of my word.
Seriously- if you haven't already, ditch the babies and go natural.  You won't regret it.

But if you're going to graduate in Carrot College, you need to get yourself one of these babies:

pretend there is a picture of my lovely carrot peeler right here

It'll make it much easier to peel the carrots (because the skin does not taste good), which will encourage you to "indulge" in them much more often.

So, what time of the year are carrots in season?  As you probably know, they are available year-round because they are readily shipped around the country, but locally, they are grown in summer and fall.  Therefore, you should get ready for some super great carrots because summer is just around the corner!

(We're thinking positive, here, folks)

Carrots are also good for you for a number of different reasons!  First of all, they are rich in many different nutrients, including vitamins K and C, potassium, and fiber.  In fact, carrots have 686.3% of
your daily value of vitamin A!  The abundance of these nutrients makes carrots good for lung health, vision protection, and heart health.  And who couldn't use a little boost in those?

Also, some believe that carrots are a negative calorie food.  This means that it takes more calories to digest a carrot than are actually contained in the carrot... resulting in negative calorie consumption!  While the truth to the "negative calorie" hypothesis is debatable, the fact remains that carrots are very low in calories.  Also, those calories are low-fat, good-for-you calories, as opposed to some of the things that we eat.

Finally, how should you go about selecting the absolute best carrots for your veggie enjoyment?  The best carrots are firm, mostly straight, smooth, and bright in color, according to the George Mateljan Foundation.  They should be crunchy rather than rubbery or limp, and thicker carrots will probably be sweeter than thinner ones.

There you have it: all about my silly, delicious obsession with carrots and why YOU should love them too!  Next time you're reaching for a "typical" undergrad snack (Easter candy, anyone?  It's coming soon), think twice and go for some veggies in your fridge.

No comments:

Post a Comment