Carrots, 5 Ways

carrots, farmers market, white carrots

At the farmers market today, I looked up, and bam! White carrots, right where they hadn't been last week.

Fresh, young carrots have always been a favorite of mine--compared to pre-cut baby carrots and the older, woodier orange carrots available in the grocery store, white carrots are sweet and tender. And, of course, you can find them in other colors, which means beautiful, purple-, orange-, and white-filled Instagrams are on their way.

So there you go. Buy them. Then check out these 5 ways to use them:

  1. Fresh - Carrots are as addictive as junk food, and there's nothing wrong with eating them like that. Use a vegetable peeler to remove any brown, cracked outer layers if they're tough. Just remove the tips at both ends, slide down the middle if you like, and serve with dip. Or, add them to a salad. Use a vegetable peeler along the length of the carrot for elegant curls, or a grater for shreds.
  2. Roasted - Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in a 400 degree oven until browned.
  3. Soup - Sauté an onion in butter, add carrots, and let sauté for a minute or two. Add stock and bring to a boil. Let simmer until carrots are soft, and then purée in batches. Serve with lemon juice, Greek yogurt, ginger, avocado oil, croutons... the list goes on. Or, try this soup with parsnips.
  4. Juice - Not only is carrot juice drinkable on its own, but it's great added to cocktails, mixed with lemonade, flavored with ginger and lime, and blended into a smoothie. (Freeze, and you've got carrot pops.)
  5. Baked - Bringing natural moisture and sweetness, grated carrots add depth (not to mention nutrition) to cakes and muffins. Use fresh carrots in cake batter, chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies, muffins with zucchini, or bread. (Or in this no-bake dessert.)

roasted carrots

With carrots, 5 ways aren't enough, so don't stop there:

Bonus - Fresh pesto with the greens you were about to discard.

Bonus II - Carrot Halwa Ice Cream

Bonus III - Pickled

Bonus IV - Chai Pear Carrot Sauce Parfaits

Bonus V - Puréed, and added to mashed potatoes, cauliflower, or on its own.

carrot cake

For more farmers' market and CSA tips, see:

Farmers' Market Finds, Demystified

Sugar Snap Peas, 5 Ways

Swiss Chard, 5 Ways

Perfect Picnic Picks From Your Farmers' Market

Carrot lemonade. Photo: Linda Wagner