From Purple to Orange- The Mysterious Carrot
By: Maria Kasdagly in MAKwellness
Carrot Trivia (True or False):
- Carrots are better for you raw than cooked.
- The first cultivated carrot is believed to originate from the mountains of Afghanistan before the 900s and exhibited purple or yellow roots.
- Mel Blanc, the voice of cartoon character Bugs Bunny, reportedly did not like carrots.
- The orange carrot that we know today is orange for entirely political reasons.
- Carrots have lots of vitamin C and that is why they are orange.
- Bear and Vinny (my two dogs) hate carrots. Every time I peel a carrot they run under the bed.
- False- Cooked carrots helps to break down their tough cellular walls. It’s hard to properly chew carrots and optimally benefit from the beta-carotene content. In the body, beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A, which is beneficial for bone health, the immune system, and vision. According to a 2008 report in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, cooked carrots made its antioxidants, most notably carotenoids, more ready available to the body.
- True- The first cultivated carrot did not have orange roots, but rather purple and yellow (often referred to as white). The orange carrot didn’t appear till the 17th century.
- True- Apparently, Mel Blanc was allergic to carrots.
- True- In the 17th century, Dutch growers are thought to have cultivated orange carrots as a tribute to William of Orange – who led the the struggle for Dutch independence – and the color stuck.
- False- The orange pigment comes from Vitamin A, more specifically the phytochemical beta-carotene. One medium sized carrot provides more than 200% of your daily requirement of vitamin A. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, a natural chemical that the body changes into vitamin A. The deeper orange the carrot, the more beta-carotene you’re getting.
- False- My dogs are obsessed with carrots. As soon as they hear the peeler hit the carrot they are lined up waiting for their little treat.
Tri-colored Roasted Carrots with Fresh Herbs
- 12 carrots (I found a bag of Tri-colored at Trader Joes, but orange will do as well!)
- 3 Tablespoons Grape Seed Oil
- A pinch of Sea Salt
- A pinch of Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- Approximately 1/4 cup of loosely packed Fresh Herbs (I have Rosemary, Basil, and Thyme growing on my deck so I used those for this recipe)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut carrots into 3 inch sticks (should look like french fries) and arrange in a large glass baking dish. Toss the carrots with grape seed oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and fresh herbs until well mixed. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes covered, and an additional 5 minutes uncovered. Serve warm!