This growing season, we’ve teamed up with Desiree Curie, a local food blogger and recipe developer. Each month, Desiree will take us into her kitchen to whip up something seasonal delicious, and we’ll talk about the horticulture that went into it on our blog! She’s also responsible for the beautiful photos in this post!
Look in the produce aisle of any grocery store, or in the shelves of the refrigerated section at most gas station snack shops, and one vegetable is standard: carrots. A favorite of kids and a staple in the kitchen, carrots are often known for their bright orange hue. But, just like how supermarket tomatoes are only a tiny segment of what varieties are out there, there is much more carrot in the world than the standard orange carrot.
At GCG, we grow some funky carrot varieties with yellow, red, white, and purple flesh. We even have been experimenting this season with Adelaide carrots, which are called “true” baby carrots because of their stunted size. These colors are for more than aesthetics, however. Different colors bring out different nutrients, all of which are necessary for a balanced diet. And by “eating the rainbow,” you tap into a wealth of health.
Red produce, including red carrots, contain an important nutrient called Lycopene, which protects the body from cancer, heart disease, and sun damage. They support memory function, heart health, and urinary tract health, and can lower your blood pressure and LDL (the ‘bad’ cholesterol)!
You’ve likely heard of Carotenoids, which repair DNA and damaged cells and strengthen our vision. Orange and yellow foods are also high in Vitamin C, helping to boost our immune system and improve blood circulation.
Green juices and smoothies are trendy, and there’s a reason why. Green foods are abundant in chlorophyll, which provides a slew of nutrients with health benefits for your whole body. Green foods support our lungs, circulatory system, eyes, and our bones and teeth. There may not be any green carrots out there, but you can get the benefits of green from your carrot tops!
Though rarer than some other colors, blue and purple foods like eggplant, figs, plums, blackberries, and purple carrots and cabbage contain Anthocyanins and Phenolics, which prevent heart disease and can help to control obesity. They also support memory function and digestive health.
White fruits and vegetables have been found to greatly reduce the risk of strokes. Theyare high in potassium and a nutrient called Allicin, which reduces LDL cholesterol, protects against heart disease, and lower blood pressure.
Over at What’s In Season With Des, you’ll find a delicious cold peanut noodle salad that Desiree whipped up, which incorporates many different colored carrots, and the tops of the carrots too for good measure. Go check it out!