Recent Posts for the 'Kitchen Nutrition' Category

The Color of Carrots: A Nutritional Nugget

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

 

I am starting 2018 with a nugget I just read about in a 14-page supplement called “Spry Living,” published by parade.com, which comes with our newspaper. I chose this one  because it is about multi-colored carrots, and since I recently posted a recipe using these carrots, I decided to work backwards, that is, recent items and then older clippings gathering “crumbs” onmy coffee-table-tuend shelf. (Link to my Colorful Roasted Carrots recipe:http://www.menupause.info/archives/21535).

NOTE: Words in BOLD can be found in the Glossary (www.menupause.info/glossary)

According to Anna Taylor, resistered dietitian, who wrote the blurb in “Spry Living,”carrots are filled with vitamins, minerals and fiber,whatever their color, but each color has a slightly different profile:

  1. Orange Carrots:  These are high in beta carotene, considered a possible antioxidant that may reduce the risk of cancer.
  2. Yellow Carrots: In addition to beta carotene, these carrots have lutein, which many researchers link to eye health.
  3. Red Carrots: These contain vitamin C to boost your immune system, vitamin 6 for your brains, potassium (a counterbalance to sodium), and biotin to strengthen nails.
  4. Purple Carrots: These are high on anthocyanins, which may reduce both inflammation and obesity.
  5. White Carrots: While they lack the nutrient-rich ingredients in colored carrots, these are nutritious in that they add fiber to aid digestion.

I also wanted to see if raw carrots are nutrtionally better for us than cooked carrots, since most literature tells us that cooking destroys many nutrients. In an internet tidbit listing The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry as the source, cooking carrots increases the level of beta-carotene, but in another article in that journal I quote the beginning of the facts: (Click on the link below the quote for the full story.)

“Cooking is crucial to our diets. It helps us digest food without expending huge amounts of energy. It softens food, such as cellulose fiber and raw meat, that our small teeth, weak jaws and digestive systems aren’t equipped to handle. And while we might hear from raw foodists that cooking kills vitamins and minerals in food (while also denaturing enzymes that aid digestion), it turns out raw vegetables are not always healthier…..” (Fact or Fiction: Raw Veggies are Healthier than Cooked Ones …https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/raw-veggies-are-healthier/)

My common sense “take” on all of this is that we can eat both raw and cooked, more raw in warm weather, and more cooked in cold weather. Another way is to cook some veggies in the oven (roasting them) and serving them on a bed of dark greens. Then you get the best of both cooked and raw!

Colorful (Roasted) Carrots

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

For some time now I have been purchasing organic carrots with multiple colors: purple, white, yellow and orange. I bought them loose with their green stalks so I could use the greens when I make veggie broth and also avoid plastic packaging. The package had two of each colored carrot and I used half the package to test the recipe.

Utensils: Cutting board and knife, brush to scrub the carrots, small oven proof dish to melt coconut oil, pan for steaming/simmering, pan for baking/roasting, & serving platter
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: About 15 minutes on stove and another 10 in the oven
Categories: Vegan (V), Gluten Free (GF), and No Sugar Added (NSA)

Ingredients

4 organic multi-colored carrots (All one color such as basic orange would also work fine.)
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or other oil of your choice)
1-2 tablespoons curry powder ( a mixture of Indian spices such as cumin, turmeric, coriander, etc.)
Sunflower micro-greens for garnish (May also use parsley or dill.)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place coconut oil in a small oven-proof dish and place in oven for 2-3 minutes to soften.
  2. While oil is in oven, scrub carrots, trim tips, and save greens for soup stock, if you bought carrots with tops.
  3. Remove melted oil from oven, stir in curry powder, and set aside.
  4. Place carrots in a saucepan with water to cover and simmer about 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness of carrots. Turn once.
  5. Transfer carrots (minus liquid) onto a stainless steel or glass cooking pan (I use a square pan that I also use for corn bread, about 8″X 8″.)
  6. Brush 1 tablespoon oil/ curry powder  mixture on pan and pour the rest over the carrots. Place in the preheated oven, baking about 10 minutes, turning once, then placing oven on broil for one or two minutes. Don’t burn them!
  7. Place roasted carrots on a serving platter and garnish with sunflower micro-greens,  parsley or dill. Serve immediately.Variations: Feel free to use Italian herbs (oregano, thyme, garlic, etc.), Za’atar, or other herb/spice, salt & pepper, or mixture of your choice.
    P.S. I also sprinkled some black sesame seeds on the cafrrots and dish for added color and crunch.
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