Nutritional properties: there are more than 100 different types of carrots, having different sizes and colors, white, red, yellow, orange (the most popular) and purple (the color of original carrots). They belong to the Umbelliferae family, name which derives from the umbrella like shape the flowers have, as well as those of parsley, parsnips, fennel and dill.
Amongst common vegetables, carrots are those which contain most carotene (powerful antioxidants in the form of provitamin A), they are also rich in vitamin K, biotin, fiber, vitamin C, B6 and potassium. Carrots have an extremely high content of nutrients which prevent cardio circulatory diseases and tumors. They are beneficial for our eyesight (especially at night), since beta-carotene protects us from maculopathy and from the development of senile cataract (cause of blindness for the elderly).
Although they are delicious even raw, cooking releases more carotene. They are very versatile in cooking and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Nowadays carrot juice is often used in the preparation of delicious juices mixed with other vegetables or fruit. They can be grated and added to vegetable or fruit salads. They can be used as the main ingredient in baking carrot cake or muffins, or soups, stews and other recipes.
Tips for a healthy soup (to be enjoyed warm or cold): using an extractor make a puree of 4 large boiled carrots, half a celery stalk, 1 sautéed onion and a coffee spoon of ginger. Add extra virgin olive oil and the quantity of vegetable broth necessary to obtain a creamy soup.
The Biologist Nutrizionist Dr. Giancarla Monticelli