Vegetable Hacks: How to Increase the Nutritional Impact of Carrots

Photo Credit: Nancy Keiter

Photo Credit: Nancy Keiter

Some foods are more nutritious if you eat them raw. Others should be cooked to unleash the bioavailability of their nutrients. Carrots fall in the “should be cooked” category. How you cook carrots also makes a difference. Here are 7 tips get the most from your carrots:

1)    Boiling carrots is not a good idea. Water soluble nutrients leach out of the carrots and into the water.

2)    Sautéing or steaming carrots is a better way to keep those nutrients available.

3)    When you chop carrots also has an impact on nutrient bioavailability. According to Jo Robinson, author of Eating on the Wild Side, you should chop carrots after they are cooked, never before. This way more nutrients stay inside the carrots. Also, carrots cooked whole will retain more of their natural sweetness.

4)    Cooking carrots in a fat like olive oil will get you up to eight times more beta-carotene than if you eat the carrot raw.

5)    Eat purple carrots. They have more nutrients than the other colors of carrots. Purple carrots are also sweeter.

6)    Stay away from baby carrots. The cutting and scrubbing process they go through before coming to the market reduces their nutrient value.

7)    Re-consider peeling your carrots. The most nutritious part is the top layer of the carrot.

Source: Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, Little, Brown and Company, 2013