Cooked Carrots Provide Health Benefits
|There are valuable nutrients in the skin of carrots, so scrub them rather than peel them when preparing them for eating.|
By Kylee Baumie
We have an ongoing feud at our house. From the time our younger daughter could phonetically express her displeasure (at around the age of one year), she did so with gusto whenever I would serve cooked carrots. Of course, I started her out on cooked ones because she didn't have a single tooth in her head until she was thirteen months old. (Yes, that's extremely late.) When she finally got enough teeth to chew raw carrots, she decided she liked those, but in all her twenty-eight years, she never learned to like them cooked. I, on the other hand, love cooked carrots and do not like them raw. Of course, I make it a point to serve cooked carrots for at least one meal when she comes home and she is required to eat just one. I'm mean that way. But I recently read something that gives my preference for cooked carrots some clout: they're better for you that way. I know, I know . . . most vegetables are more nutritious in their raw state. Cooking, in general, decreases the amount of nutrients you get from them. Not so with carrots. Carrots contain high levels of beta carotene. The body converts beta carotene into vitamin C, but the beta carotene is contained in the carrot's tough-walled cells, so unless we get some help in breaking down those walls, the body can't get the full benefit. Cooking helps soften the cellular walls, allowing them to release more beta carotene during digestion. It seems silly to argue over whether cooked carrots are better for you than raw ones (even though they are). The best carrots of all are the ones you eat. But here's an easy and delicious recipe for cooked carrots, now that you know the real story on them.
Orange-Ginger Glazed Carrots
- 1 pound carrots, scrubbed and cut into 2-inch lengths
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
Cook the carrots in a saucepan of water until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze in a small prep bowl. Stir the orange juice, honey, and ginger until well blended. Drain the carrots. Drizzle the glaze over the cooked carrots just prior to serving. Makes 4 servings.
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