Carrots: The People’s Choice
by Lisa McCune, MS, MPH, RDN, LDN
Last Updated: July 27, 2021
Getting enough vegetables in your diet can be challenging. However, carrots seem to be one vegetable that people of all ages like and often include in their diet. As a dietitian, I rarely spend time encouraging people to try carrots. Why? Carrots are naturally sweet, nutrient-dense, colorful, and budget-friendly!
These root vegetables are a staple for many families and can be found in the grocery store year-round. You usually think of orange when you think of carrots, but there are also purple, white, red, and yellow varieties. Carrots make a tasty and nutritious addition to any meal.
One medium carrot provides approximately:
Carrots are a rich source of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A by the body. Carrots provide more than 20% of the recommended Daily Value for vitamin A, which keeps the eyes, skin, tissues, and immune system healthy. Eating foods high in vitamin A regularly may have an anti-cancer effect. Other beneficial nutrients in carrots are vitamin C, folate, potassium, calcium, iron, and fiber. If you are looking for a well-rounded vegetable, look no further than carrots!
Selection and Storage
When choosing carrots, keep in mind that larger carrots (in diameter) are sweeter tasting. Look for carrots that are firm, smooth, and brightly colored. If choosing fresh carrots, cut tops off before storing them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator (unwashed) for use within one to two weeks. Check out these dietitian-approved varieties of carrots available at Kroger stores:
- Fresh - Kroger Whole Carrots (Inspiration: Use for roasting, whole or sliced)
- Fresh Prepared - Kroger cut & Peeled Baby Carrots
- Frozen - Kroger Traditional Favorites Crinkle Cut Carrots (Inspiration: Use in soups and stews)
- Canned - Kroger No Salt Added Sliced Carrots (Inspiration: Use in soups and stews)
- Juice - Bolthouse Farms Organics 100% Carrot Juice (Inspiration: Use in a smoothie)
Another reason carrots are loved by many is their versatility. They can be used raw or cooked, and they add exciting color and texture to dishes. Make carrots the star of the show or a complimentary side dish. Enjoy them sweet or savory. Carrots also make great snacks because they are crunchy and perfect for dipping! Favorite dipping combinations include carrots + peanut butter, carrots + hummus, and carrots + Greek yogurt ranch dip. Carrot fries can be eaten alone or used for dipping as well. Add grated carrots to sauces or sliced carrots to soups and stews to increase the nutrition. Shredded carrots are the perfect addition to any stir fry. Little ones being introduced to vegetables can even enjoy pureed carrots. Here are some fun ways to incorporate carrots:
- Add them to a smoothie like this Gut Health Smoothie
- Carrots add a crunch to cold salads like this Asian Rotisserie Chicken Salad
- Pair these Caramelized Ginger Carrots with a grilled protein for the perfect summer meal
- Enjoy the sweeter side of carrots with this Super Healthy Carrot Bread
- Want to try something new? Try pickling carrots! Do Chua (Vietnamese Pickled Carrots and Daikon)
Carrots are one of the most well-liked vegetables. They have a naturally sweet taste, can be prepared in many ways, and are affordable (one pound of carrots is typically less than $1.00). Carrots are also easily accessible and available in various forms, such as frozen, fresh, and canned. Try using carrots of different varieties to find the best fit for you and your family. For more information on carrots or personalized nutrition recommendations, schedule a FREE telenutrition appointment with one of the Kroger dietitians.
Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.