Carrots

Types of Carrots

Selection and storage

Carrots can be orange, purple, red and yellow. Dutch carrots are a smaller orange variety that are tender and present well whole. Purple carrots are a heritage variety that is available at certain times of the year and has been hailed as a “superfood.” Avoid carrots that feel rubbery or have cracks or small rootlets. Carrots vary in size depending on the variety, and any type can be harvested early as a more tender baby carrot, though some types are bred specifically to have smaller roots. Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Do not store them near apples, bananas or melons as the ethylene gas those fruits produce will increase the bitter tasting compounds in the carrots called isocoumarins.

Availability

Carrots are available all year round.

Using

Carrots should be thoroughly washed and scrubbed. It is not necessary to peel them, although many cooks prefer to do so because it will change their surface texture. Carrots can be roasted, boiled, pureed, stewed or stir fried. Carrots are good with butter, parsley, coriander, mustard seeds, nutmeg, honey, nuts, onion and raisins.

Nutrition Information

Carrots have large amounts of vitamin A. Red or purple coloured varieties have lots of anthocyanins. Purple carrots are full of antioxidants.

Regular Carrots

Refers to a number of varieties of orange carrots which can be medium to large in size and are not sold by type. The skin can be rough though peeling is not essential. Regular carrots can be used for grating, roasting, soups, carrot puree, boiling or steaming.

Availability

All year round.

Dutch Carrots

Small carrots that are sold in bunches with their leaves attached. They are small and tender enough to be roasted or boiled whole quite quickly as they don’t have the dense heart of larger carrots. To use trim the end scraggly end of the root, peeling is a matter of preference.

Availability

All year round. Peak season March-September.

Purple Carrots

All carrots were originally purple as well as black and red. Heritage varieties of purple carrots have started to become more widely commercially available in Australia in the last few years. They have a dark purple skin and can vary in size. They retain their colour when cooked and have been hailed as one of the purple superfoods. They are an all purpose carrot.

Availability

Peak season is Spring but available at other times of the year.

Purple Dutch Carrots

Purple Dutch carrots are sold in bunches with their leaves attached. They are about 5-8cm in length with an orange core and a sweeter flavour than regular carrots.  Purple carrots have been hailed as a superfood because of the antioxidants they contain.

Availability

Peaking in the spring months but also available at other times of the year.