Carrots Are a Great Side for Your Easter Meal
TEXARKANA, Ark. –
When you think of Easter, you think of Easter Eggs, rabbits, springtime and probably the Easter meal. Carrots are a great side dish to accompany that ham or lamb that will grace your table.
Carrots are naturally sweet and are healthy additions you can make to your diet. An excellent source of vitamin A, one carrot provides more than 200% of your daily requirement. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers, as well as maintain eye health.
Carrots also provide potassium, vitamin K and fiber. Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure; vitamin K helps build and maintain strong bones; and fiber helps control cholesterol and keeps you regular. Carrots also are loaded with beta-carotene, a compound naturally converted to vitamin A in the liver when consumed. The deeper orange the carrot, the more beta-carotene you are getting.
Carrots are high in water content, ranging from 86-94 percent and they contain very little fat or protein. They are a relatively good source of fiber, with one medium sized carrot providing 2 grams. Carrots may be a useful addition to an effective weight loss diet. One medium, raw carrot contains 25 calories which also makes them a great snack.
Choose carrots with a deep orange color that are firm and without splits. Select carrots that still have greens attached, as these tend to keep better and taste fresher. The leaves should be fresh and bright green. Select young, slim carrots for the most sweetness. Although baby carrots may be more convenient, they are not as sweet as the slimmer young carrots. Avoid choosing carrots with blemishes or cracks, wilting greens, flabby, rubbery or soft texture or “sunburned” green area at the top.
Store carrots in the refrigerator in a plastic bag, where they will keep up to 2 weeks. If the carrots have tops, cut them off. Do not store carrots near apples, bananas or melons; the gasses in these fruits tend to increase the bitter compounds present in carrots.
If your carrots are older and larger, peel them. They are usually more fibrous and have a less desirable peel for eating. Scrub carrots with a vegetable brush under running water. Cut off the top end of the carrot.
Carrots are great cut into match stick cuts and added to a stir-fry, or grated and added to slaw, salads, muffins, cakes, cookies, meatballs, meat loaf and even spaghetti sauce. The uses are almost endless.
For more information, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS/CarlaHaleyHadley, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or on the web at uaex.edu/Miller.
Let Glazed Carrots be a side dish at your Easter meal. These are so easy and quick to make. They may become a favorite and be added to more than just your Easter dinner.
1 pound carrots, baby or sliced 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Cook carrots in a large pot of boiling water until tender. Drain off all liquid. To the carrots, add butter or margarine and brown sugar. Simmer until the butter or margarine melts. Add cinnamon and nutmeg and lightly toss to coat. Turn to low and continue to simmer on low to allow flavors to blend about 10 minutes.
This recipe makes 4 servings. Per Serving: 185 calories; 11.4 g fat; 21.2 g carbohydrates; 0.9 g protein; 0 mg cholesterol; 222 mg sodium
By Carla Haley-Hadley
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854
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