Vegetable of the Week: Carrot pt. 5

Preparation and Serving:
– Once at home, wash them thoroughly in cold water to remove dust, soil, or insecticide/fungicides
– Trim both ends; gently scrape off outer skin and smaller hairy roots
– Boiling them in water for a few minutes enhances the bioavailability of nutrients
– Carrots are widely used in many kinds of cooking, and carrot salads are a tradition in many cultures
– Only 3 percent of the β-carotene in raw carrots is released during digestion: this can be improved to 39% by pulping, cooking and adding cooking oil
– Carrots may be chopped and boiled, fried or steamed, and cooked in soups and stews, as well as baby and pet foods
– The greens are edible as a leaf vegetable, but are only occasionally eaten by humans
– When used for this purpose, the greens are harvested young, before significant root development, and typically used stir-fried, or in salads
– In India carrots are used in a variety of ways, as salads or as vegetables added to spicy rice or dal dishes
– A popular variation in north India is the Gajar Ka Halwa carrot dessert, which has carrots grated and cooked in milk until the whole mixture is solid, after which nuts and butter are added
– Carrot salads are usually made with grated carrots with a seasoning of mustard seeds and green chillies popped in hot oil
– Carrots can also be cut in thin strips and added to rice, can form part of a dish of mixed roast vegetables or can be blended with tamarind to make chutney
– Since the late 1980s, baby carrots or mini-carrots (carrots that have been peeled and cut into uniform cylinders) have been a popular ready-to-eat snack food available in many supermarkets
– Carrots are puréed and used as baby food, dehydrated to make chips, flakes, and powder, and thinly sliced and deep-fried, like potato chips
– The sweetness of carrots allows the vegetable to be used in some fruit-like roles
– Grated carrots are used in carrot cakes, as well as carrot puddings
– Carrots can also be used alone or with fruits in jam and preserves
– Carrot juice is also widely marketed, especially as a health drink, either stand-alone or blended with fruits and other vegetables

Curried Carrot Soup

Curried Carrot Soup
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 pounds carrots, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water, or as needed

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Saute onion until tender and translucent.
3. Stir in the curry powder.
4. Add the chopped carrots, and stir until the carrots are coated.
5. Pour in the vegetable broth, and simmer until the carrots are soft, about 20 minutes.
6. Transfer the carrots and broth to a blender, and puree until smooth.
7. Pour back into the pot, and thin with water to your preferred consistency.
8. Enjoy!

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