Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Random and fun facts for all you frugal carrot eaters out there

Carrots are of the parsley family, so if you want to be super frugal, you can eat carrot tops the same way you would parsley, although the flavor is somewhat different. Use them in stews and soups, or chop them finely to give a unique, carrot-like flavor to salads.

If you buy carrots with the tops still on, cut them off before storing. Not only will the fresh tops go limp, they'll pull moisture from the roots and cause them to wilt, too.

Carrot puddings, carrot pies and carrot cookies, as well as the Jewish New Year traditional sweet carrot stew "tzimmes," were in use long before the carrot cake came into the limelight - mainly because of the carrot's natural sweetness.

There is such a thing as carrot syrup, but it won't crystallize, so no one has found a good commercial use for it.

Today, we eat more carrots than ever; almost 10 and a half pounds per person in the US. That's good news for a people of fast "food," sodas and ice cream.

Cooking breaks down a carrot's fiber, making the beta carotene and sugars easier to digest. A cooked carrot, contrary to most other vegetables, is more nutritious than its raw counterpart.

Carrots were the first vegetable to be canned commercially.

Fresh carrots soaked in hot water to which various flavors have been added (usually salt and spices) soak up the flavor along with the water, making an interesting snack.

If you eat too many carrots, you'll turn orange. That's a fact, not something to scare your kids with (or maybe it is, if you want them to eat carrots). It's called caratoderma, and, while it's not proven, it may tax the body's ability to convert high concentrations of beta carotene to Vitamin A.

Other nutrients that carrots provide in abundance are Vitamin C, Vitamin K, fiber and potassium.

Carrots have been shown to help in lowering blood pressure if eaten regularly.

Pound for pound, carrots are in the same cost versus nutrition category as cabbage, potatoes and pumpkins. That means you get a lot of food and a lot of nutrition for your money. That's frugal!

Almost forgot... more about carrots here: Carrots in the Frugal Food Plan. Purple carrots, baby carrots, how to buy the best carrots...

12 comments:

  1. You made me hungry for carrot cake! (giggle)

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  2. Pat-

    One of my cousins did actually take on an orange hue as a little girl. Carrots were her favorite snack and she ate tons of them. No one believes me when I tell this story!:):) Great post. I am trying to eat simpler foods in an effort to cut back on fats and in an effort to save money. Carrots are delicious and cheap, but I didn't know they were better for you cooked. Have a blessed day!

    Jayne

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  3. I didn't know carrot tops were edible. Thank you for that information. Now the tops will go into my on-going frozen soup pot.

    Regards, Peg

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  4. Pat, do you happen to know the name of the type of carrot used for baby carrots?? We plant an extensive garden, but haven't been able to duplicate that sweet taste that baby carrots have. Is there any chance that the "baby carrots" have been rinsed with a sugar solution?? I know that these carrots are expensive, but my family and I do like them.

    Regards, Peg

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  5. Peg, as far as I can find out, the type usually used is "Imperator," but the growers have experimented quite a bit with getting the right taste with the right size, which is long and slender.

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  6. I didn't know there would be such interest in carrots, but they're a very frugal food! :)

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  7. What a great post with such great ideas for using this veggie.
    Another one I looove that is in the same family is a parsnip. Not everyone loves them like I do, but I enjoy roasting them with other fall vegetables at 450 for a half hour and serving the "carmelized" veggies over No-Yolk Extra Large noodles with pot roast. A real treat -- and a meal in and of itself if you don't include the pot roast!
    Thanks for all of the carrot tips!

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  8. Are baby carrot just as nourishing as regular carrots in the store?

    Wow.. I like cook carrots better; but sometimes eat raw figuring I was getting more vitamins and nutrition.. so cooked carrots don't lose their vitamins??

    thank you thank you thank you for this post.

    Betty Ann of NYC.

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  9. Parsnips are hard to find if you don't grow them yourself.

    Betty Ann, real baby carrots are specialty items and expensive. They are not as nutritious as mature carrots. The "baby" carrots you buy in the store are not truly baby carrots, so they are as nutritious as the mature carrots they're cut from.

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  10. Thank you Pat... they are having a sale on baby carrots (loss leader). I was about to leave and checked again to see if you were on line to answer my question. :)

    Yay..so the baby carrots I get are not real baby carrots.. and therefore not as expensive..so these are still nutritious.. Great.. :) !!!

    Thank you... I really appreciate this information. :)

    You have a great blog.. it is so kind that you take educating so many people.

    I'm very frugal (most of the time) but never feel deprived. I shop loss leaders...there is so much competition in city stores..that actually you can eat GREAT for LESS. I do not buy organic... wish I could.....but way too expensive. But I have a yard.. and going to start growing my own food next spring. :)

    (not to save money; but to eat healthier for the same as the un-organic in the store- but my own organic this way.

    NYC also give away free mulch .. which I did not take advantage of .. but will in the future.. I do bag all my leaves and stuff as required.. next time will get mulch; when they have it available.

    Betty Ann

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  11. Thank you, I enjoy sharing what I have learned and I'm glad it's helping others. Frugal does not equal deprived, it can be a fun challenge and in our world today, heaven knows we need challenges that are enjoyable.

    Growing your own is a cheap way to eat organic. Use lots of compost and weed by hand when you need to and that's all there is to it.

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