Seasonal Sunday: Carrots

After a full summer of growth, local carrots are finally ready for harvesting and eating in Colorado! Starting in mid August, carrot season runs through November. Taking a precious 3-4 months to reach maturing, carrots are first planted in early spring and are finally reaching their full potential in late summer.

A bunch of multicolored (orange, purple and yellow) carrots with green tops on a white table

About Carrots:

  • While the carrot is now famous for its bright orange color, the first carrots cultivated in Central Asia c. 900 CE were purple and yellow.
  • Wild carrots are present in many parts of the world, and are generally small, whitish, and often forked or ‘sprangled.’
  • The two main types or carrots are referred to as ‘Eastern/Asiatic’ (these are frequently purple, black, or yellow) and ‘Western/Carotene’ (orange or white).
  • The name has a long history! The English “carrot” comes from the French “carotte,” which comes from the Latin “carota,” which comes from the greek “karoton,” which came from the Indo-European root “ker” meaning horn, referring to the carrot’s shape.
  • Myth busters: can carrots really improve your vision? It’s true that the beta-carotene found in carrots provides necessary nutrients for normal eye functions. However, once you have enough in your body, it doesn’t do any good to scarf down extra carrots. And most eye issues aren’t due to lack of nutrients, but rather genetics or aging, which unfortunately can be reversed by carrot-consumption :/
  • They’re mostly H2O: Raw carrots made up of 86% – 95% water!
  • The U.S. is the second leading carrot-producing nation in the world, averaging 1.4 million pounds per year between 1994-2014.
  • The warm days and cool nights of Colorado summers allow for optimal sugar development, leading to sweeter carrots.
  • The longest recorded carrot was over 19 feet long !
  • In addition to eating, you can use carrots to make a beautiful orange or yellow dye for fabric.

Suggested Recipes:

Easy No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites for a sweet and healthy snack – these are vegan and gluten free as well!

This inventive Carrot Pizza swaps out classic tomato sauce for a delicious carrot puree.

Like pickles and dilly beans? Try these Pickled Dilly Carrots!

For a true classic, there’s always Roasted Carrots (this recipe with Parsley and Thyme!).

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