Harvesting and Using Fresh Carrots

Harvesting and Using Fresh Carrots
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When buying fresh carrots look for crisp, green tops. After bringing them home, trim the tops before storing. The larger the carrot, the less sweet, so look for thinner, smaller carrots when purchasing. You can store carrots in the refrigerator for about 20 days if they are fresh, but as a general rule, try to eat them within a week to get the most vitamins and taste. Peel or scrape them just before using.
If you are growing your own carrots harvest them before they reach about 3/4 inch at the top of the carrot (below the stem and leaves). Grip them by the root firmly (push away a little of the soil around the top of the root if you need to) and push down, wiggle and pull up. If you have very hard soil, you may have to water an hour or two before you harvest to loosen the soil. Because of our limited space we usually just eat our the fresh carrots we grow raw. The kids love them! But if you have an abundance or buy them the following recipes will work well with baby carrots or small tender carrots.

Glazed Carrots With Herb Butter

Ingredients:

2 pounds small or baby carrots, scraped

3 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. chopped herbs: lemon balm, thyme, oregano or mint

salt

black pepper

Place the carrots in a heavy saucepan and just cover with water. Add the butter and cover. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, and cook 15 minutes or until crisp tender. Remove the cover and boil down until the liquid has reduced and the carrots are coated with butter. Watch them carefully to prevent burning. Add the chopped herbs and season with salt and pepper. If they do seem dry, add a little more butter.

Carrots in Herb Vinegar

Ingredients:

20 small or baby carrots, cleaned and trimmed

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. mixed herb vinegar

Place carrots, water and lemon juice in small saucepan. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Remove cover, increase heat to high and cook, stirring, until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes more.Turn heat down, add the butter and vinegar. Heat till the butter has melted and coated the carrots.

Autumn Carrots

Ingredients:

10-12 small carrots, cut into 1" pieces

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 tsp. cornstarch

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 cup orange juice

1 tsp. margarine

Boil or steam carrots just until tender; drain. While the carrots are cooking, combine the sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg and ginger in a small saucepan; add orange juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Cook 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in the margarine. Place carrots in a serving dish, pour over the sauce, tossing to coat evenly. Cover and let stand 4 to 5 minutes before serving.

Honey Glazed Carrots

Ingredients:

8 small to medium carrots, cut into 2-inch slices

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced

grated peel from one orange

1 cup honey

2 tablespoons herb or red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon balm or lemon thyme, chopped

salt and pepper

In a saucepan cover the carrots with about 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain. In same pan melt the butter over low heat. Add the ginger, orange peel, honey, vinegar and carrots. Toss until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

Spicy Braised Carrots

Ingredients:

4 cups carrots, thinly sliced or julienned

1 cup red onion, diced

1 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped

2 tsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 inch piece of ginger, grated

1/2 cup hot water

1 tsp. curry powder

1/8 tsp. dried orange peel

Salt and pepper to taste

Juice of 1 lime

Boil the carrots in water for 5 minutes, drain well. Meanwhile, sauté the onions and green pepper in oil with garlic and ginger in a large pot until all our softened. Do not brown. Stir often. Reduce the heat to low. Combine hot water, spices and lime juice. Slowly add the carrots and water mixture to the pot. Cover the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes or to desired tenderness.

Related Features:

Making Herb Vinegar

Ginger Carrot Soup


 

About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.

 
 

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