A certain rascally rabbit was onto something with his snack of choice. One cup of carrots provides three grams of fiber and more than a day's worth of vision-helping vitamin A. "Vitamin A is an antioxidant that's a powerful player in cell health and fending off free radical damage brought on by stress and inflammation, which reduces the risk of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and dementia," says Chicago nutritionist Vicki Shanta Retelny. Blended, frozen, or spiralized into a zippy salad, carrots leap to new heights in our recipes. Orange ones get their color from high levels of beta-carotene, a pigment that works like an antioxidant, fending off inflammation of protecting cells from cancer-causing free radicals, says Retelny. The deeper the hue, the higher the amount. Carrots come in a variety of hues including orange, yellow, purple, red, and white (don't confuse them with parsnips). Each color offers different health benefits; for example, yellow carrots offer extra eye aid; purple ones have disease-preventing anthocyanis, says Retelny. White carrots, which may be bland in color and beta-carotene, give a helping hand to healthy digestion.
They even taste a little different, too. White carrots are milder than the usual sweet orange carrots. Purple and red carrots tend to have more peppery, earthy tones to their flavor. And while carrots used to all be orange, plant geneticists have found that consumers really do want eat the rainbow—and we're on board.
Carrot-Ginger Ice Pops
Oranges, carrot juice, and fresh strawberries provide a vibrant shock of color and flavor in these sugar-free pops. Making them is as easy as blending four ingredients together, then freezing the mix in molds for a few hours. Plus, they're the perfect way to sneak in a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables into a snack.
Miso has big umami flavor. In this bright orange salad dressing it's paired with tangy yogurt and creamy pureed carrots for a super simple salad topping that balances salty and sweet.
Carrot Slaw with Caraway and Raisins
Caraway seeds have an earthy, anise-y flavor that adds a robustness to this light carrot slaw. It's the perfect summertime side alongside protein-rich Greek turkey burgers. In addition to the beta-carotene benefits of carrots, a scattering of raisins can help aid digestion and strengthen bone health.