By Kristen Hicks-Roof PhD, RDN and Caroline Jury BS

We would like to feature this delicious vegetable in honor of International Carrot Day celebrated on April 4 each year.  Carrots have now become an everyday staple in many households, dating back from the 10th century in Persia and Asia Minor. Did you know that carrots are the sixth most consumed fresh vegetable across the United States? (AGMRC)

Carrots can come in an array of colors including orange, red, white, purple, black, and yellow. One of the most popular carrots that we consume every day is the orange carrot. Orange carrots contain beta carotene, which helps keep your vision healthy. Two small-to-medium raw carrots provide 41 calories, 0.93 g protein, 9.58 g carbohydrate, and 2.8 g fiber. The color differences play an essential role in the nutritional contents of the carrots. Each color brings different nutrients and unique phytochemicals to provide nutritional boosts to our body and immune system.

What are some fun ways that you can add carrots into your dietary pattern? 

  1. Pack a small bag of carrots and your favorite dip (ranch, hummus, artichoke spread) as a healthy on-the-go snack
  2. Shred carrot varieties into one of your regular dishes you cook. Some fun examples include meatloaf, spaghetti, soup, and roasts. 
  3. Try presenting carrots in different ways such as sliced vs. whole. You can also try cutting horizontal vs. vertical. Visual presentation is one of the five senses of how we enjoy food.
  4. One of our favorite recipes to make are air-fried carrots with sprinkled parmesan cheese. If you don’t have an air fryer, baking it will do just the trick! Add a splash of vegetable oil or vegetable spray and a dash of salt and rosemary and you will make the perfect combination.

Kristen Hicks-Roof PhD, RDN, LDN, CLC, FAND is an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Brooks College of Health, University of North Florida.

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