Vegetable Variety: Carrots

This brochure explores how carrots can fit into in the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables per day. It includes nutrition information, storage tips, food safety tips, and recipes.
Vegetable Variety: Carrots - Articles
Vegetable Variety: Carrots

Carrots make a good snack

They can add color to family meals, too. Try these ideas.

Raw

  • Mix shredded carrots, raisins, and low-fat plain yogurt for a snack.
  • Add shredded carrots to your salad.

Cooked

  • Serve steamed carrots over brown rice.
  • Try cooked carrots with a touch of margarine, ground ginger, and honey.
  • Use sliced or shredded carrots in stir-fry.This method produces crisp vegetables rather than well-cooked ones.

Try the recipe below.

Carrots can help reduce your risk of cancer. People who eat at least 1½ cups of vegetables a day are less likely to get some common cancers. Health professionals recommend working up to 2½–3 cups of vegetables and 1½–2 cups of fruit into your day.

One cup of sliced, cooked carrots counts toward your 3-cup goal.

Here's how you can work vegetables and fruits into your day

Cups*
BreakfastVegetable omelet1/2
LunchOven fries and raw carrots with sandwich1
SnackCup of fruit salad1
DinnerStir-fry with carrots and green peppers1
3/12 cups Total

*One cup is one medium-sized piece of fruit; 1 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit; ½ cup dried fruit; 1 cup of 100% fruit juice; 2 cups of raw, leafy, green vegetables; or 1 cup of another vegetable, raw or cooked.

Carrots can help reduce your risk of cancer because they contain:

  • fiber to prevent constipation.
  • beta carotene, used to form vitamin A. This vitamin protects your eyes from night blindness. It also is important for growth of the baby during pregnancy.

Selection

Check carrots for signs of decay. Choose only firm ones. If decay is present, make sure tops are crisp and not wilted.

Storage

Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper. If carrots have tops, cut these off before storing. Otherwise, the carrots will become limp from loss of water.

Recipe

Stir-Fry Chicken with Carrots and Peppers

(4 servings)

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast or turkey tenders
  • 1⁄4 tsp ginger
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1⁄2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced green pepper
  • 1 Tbsp oil (peanut oil is good)
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1⁄4 tsp sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup chicken broth
  • Cooked rice

Wash chicken, pat dry, and slice into thin strips. Mix the cornstarch and water in a bowl. Add the minced onion and ginger to the corn-starch. Add all of this to the chicken and toss to coat. The cornstarch will help the onion and ginger stick to the chicken. Let stand 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in small batches. Cook until white, tossing and turning the meat rapidly. Remove the cooked chicken to separate pan. Put the carrots in the same pan and stir-fry 5 minutes. Add the peppers and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes more. Sprinkle with soy sauce and sugar. Stir in chicken broth and heat quickly. Then simmer covered until carrots are crisp but not soft. Return chicken to pan, stir to reheat, and serve immediately with rice.

Food Safety Tips

Cut chicken on a cutting board reserved for raw meat. Wash it and all utensils that come in contact with the chicken in hot, soapy water.

  • Wash hands after handling raw chicken.
  • Cook chicken thoroughly. Cut through a slice. See if it is all white before removing from heat.

Prepared by J. Lynne Brown, professor of food science, in cooperation with Central Region family living educators.

Authors

More by J. Lynne Brown, Ph.D., R.D.