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Nutrition and Health

Carrots provide vitamins A and C and are a source of fiber and potassium. A ½-cup serving of cooked carrots is 35 calories.


The best carrots are those that are well formed, smooth, firm and blemish free. Smaller types are more tender than the large varieties. Avoid carrots that are wilted, flabby or cracked. Also avoid large green "sunburned" areas at the top or those that show soft decay. The condition of the leafy tops does not indicate the quality of the root.


Remove the leafy tops before storing because they increase the respiration rate and draw moisture from the carrots. Place carrots in a plastic bag before storing in a refrigerator crisper. (Cut small slits in plastic bag for air circulation or use breathable, reusable produce bags.) Carrots taste best when used within two weeks. The nutritional value will decrease over time, so choose carrots that have been most recently harvested, when possible, for the greatest nutritional value.


Serving carrots may be the easiest part of this versatile vegetable. Always wash carrots carefully. Carrots may be scraped, pared or eaten with the skins on. Raw carrots cut into match sticks are a popular and nutritious addition to a relish tray or salad. If your carrots are slightly old, you can perk them up by immersing them in water for about 30 minutes to rehydrate. One cup of carrots can also be freshened by placing them in a mixture of 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Skins can be slipped off cooked carrots when held under running water. Carrots can be boiled, steamed, baked or sautéed.


Carrot Plus Three Salad

  • 3 cups raw, grated carrots
  • 2 unpeeled red apples, chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼-½ cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine carrots, apples, raisins and almonds in salad bowl. Mix together remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and add to carrot mixture. Serve on salad greens, if desired.

6 servings

Moroccan Carrot Salad

  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pound carrots, shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons dried currants or raisins

In a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, honey, oil, cumin, coriander, salt and cinnamon.

Stir in the carrots, bell pepper, cilantro and currants or raisins. Toss to combine.

Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour.

4 servings

Copper Pennies

  • 2 pounds carrots, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 small bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced

Cook carrots by any preferred method until tender, about 20 minutes. Combine soup, oil, vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and mustard in a bowl. Beat well. Add carrots, bell pepper and onion to bowl. Marinate overnight. Serve as a side dish or salad addition.

Orange-Mint Carrots

  • 1½ pounds carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • ¾ teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint

In a large skillet, combine the carrots, orange zest, orange juice, honey, butter and salt. Cover and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Uncover and cook until the carrots are tender and glazed, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mint.

4 servings

Chili-Roasted Carrots

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds carrots (10 to 12 medium), cut into ¼-inch diagonal slices
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.

Combine oil, chili powder, cumin and salt in a medium bowl. Add carrots and toss well to coat.

Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the carrots, stirring once, until tender and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Toss the carrots with cilantro and lime juice and serve immediately.

4 servings

Lemony Carrot Salad

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ small clove garlic, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion

Whisk lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add carrots, dill and scallion and toss to coat.

2 servings

Sarah R-P. Lewis, Extension Faculty, Health, Home and Family Development. Originally prepared by Roxie Rodgers Dinstel, former Extension Faculty Health, Home and Family Development

Revised October 2019