Carrots are a staple in many holiday dishes. Good thing they grow in Georgia during the cooler months! This blog has everything you need to know about enjoying carrots this season.
What sets carrots apart?
Carrots belong to a subgroup of red and orange vegetables. These vegetables are known for their bright colors and many health benefits.
Here are some of our favorite facts about carrots:
- As kids, we were told that carrots could give us x-ray vision. Did you know that this is partially true? Well, not really… But eating carrots can help improve your eyesight! The secret is a nutrient called beta-carotene, which protects against oxidative damage to the eye. 
- Once it is in the body, beta-carotene is turned into Vitamin A.  In fact, eating only one carrot can provide our body with its daily requirement of Vitamin A. 
- Carrots are also high in fiber to help promote a healthy digestive tract. 
- A little-known fact about carrots is that they are made of 88% water.  This means that they break down easily in a food processor or in soups or stews.
- Most of us are familiar with orange carrots. But did you know that carrots come in many different colors, including purple, yellow, and white? Check out the picture below for proof!
Harvested in Georgia
Carrots are considered a cool season crop in Georgia.  They are first harvested in December and can continue to grow through June.  Depending on where you purchase them, carrots can be found in a variety of sizes and colors. For a list of local growers with fresh Georgia carrots for sale, click here!
Interested in growing your own carrots at home? UGA Cooperative Extension Services advises planting your seeds in the fall or early spring for best results.  Instead of planting directly into the Georgia soil, it is best to plant carrots in a raised garden bed with loose soil. When your plants are ready to be harvested, you will see the top of the carrot begin to peek out of the soil. 
If you choose to purchase them from the store, look for smooth, brightly colored carrots. To properly store carrots, begin by removing the leafy stems, rinse, and place them in an airtight bag or container in the refrigerator. 
Carrots can be a little tricky to chop due to the rounded sides of the vegetable. If you are new to cutting carrots and want to make sure you are doing so in the safest way possible, check out the video below for a quick tutorial!
Carrots can be enjoyed whole or chopped, fresh or canned, and in a variety of dishes. Here are some of our favorite SNAP-Ed recipes with carrots in them!
- Enjoy the best flavors of the fall and winter seasons with these Harvest Muffins! Not only do they taste delicious, but they are the perfect way to sneak in some extra servings of veggies.
- Our Pineapple and Beet Smoothie has bright flavors and bright colors thanks to the blend of carrots, beets, pineapple, and ginger.
- This Carrot and Chickpea Salad recipe is a great veggie side dish to bring to your next holiday gathering.
- Chicken and carrots are a classic pairing. For quick and simple hot meals that are sure to be new family favorites, try our recipes for Sheet Pan Chicken and Vegetables or Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings.
We’ve made it! An entire year of learning about seasonal produce grown in Georgia flew by. We hope you have learned something new along the way. And remember to check out our What’s in Season? chart to stay updated on fresh, local fruits and vegetables available to you each season.
Written by Darci Bell, RDN, LD | Edited by Leslie Davis, RDN, LD, CDCES, and the Nutrition Team
Posted: December 12, 2022Be Creative Drink Water Focus on Health How to Cook Better Invite Your Kids Plan Ahead Save Money Shop Smarter Store Food Uncategorized