The Counterintuitive Cooked Carrot

The Counterintuitive Cooked Carrot

You might be wondering—why are cooked carrots “counterintuitive”? Well, conventional wisdom often tells us that raw vegetables have more nutrition than cooked ones—but that’s proven NOT to be the case with the carrot.

Chef Jamie Simpson of the Culinary Vegetable Institute was recently talking about a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition with the long and scientific name of “Estimation of carotenoid accessibility from carrots determined by an in vitro digestion method.”

Boiled down to the basics, when you eat a raw carrot that’s been cut into pieces, you can benefit from 3% of the beta carotene. Pulped? At 21%. Cooking the pulp—27%—and then adding cooking oil to the pulp during the process increased the amount to 39%.

In other words, cooking your carrots boosts its health benefits.

If you want to benefit even further from the health benefits of carotene, order your farm fresh carrots from Farmer Jones Farm. Independent testing has shown that our regeneratively farmed vegetables have up to 500% more minerals than the USDA baseline—and that includes our carrot’s carotene content.

Health Benefits of Carrots lists the following benefits of carotene:

  • eye health
  • improved cognitive function
  • skin protection
  • cancer prevention

All this in a versatile vegetable that tastes great!

How to Cook Carrots

“Historically,” Chef Jamie says, “I was taught to blanch carrots before grilling or searing them, but I’m gradually departing from that approach. After all, if you skip the blanching and go right to grilling, the carrots will spend more time on the grill. They’re delicious that way.”

Having said that, Jamie is all about cutting carrots into bite-sized rounds, blanching them, and creating a butter and salt glaze. “When you use quality carrots, good butter, and appropriate salt,” he says, “they are tender and delicious without being too soft.”

Plus, he shares, you can’t go wrong when pairing carrots up with acid in a dish. “This can be lactic acid by using crème fraiche or through citrus—orange, lemon, and lime—with each type giving you a different flavor. Or you can go an acidic acid route, such as apple cider glazes. There really is no wrong answer.”

Mixed Carrot Tip

When you order mixed carrots, for aesthetic reasons, Jamie suggests that you cook the purple carrots separately from the rest and keep them away until it’s time to assemble your dish. Why? The purple will stain the other carrots. The flavor and nutrition are the same, though, so this recommendation is solely focusing on the veggie’s visual appeal.

Carrot Recipes

You can use carrots in vegetable stock. Other carrot recipes for the plate and glass include:

Enjoy the beautifully counterintuitive fresh carrot!

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