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FOOD FUN: Rainbow Baby Carrots

Baby carrots are hot sellers. But how much hotter can they get than these rainbow baby carrots?

Carrots—standard size and baby—are available in six different colors: the familiar deep orange plus burgundy red, deep purple, tangerine (light orange), yellow and white.

They’re a delicious way to add color and crunch to appetizers, salads and entrées. Kids and adults alike love them for their unusual colors—and for helping make family nutrition fun.
 
CARROT HISTORY

The original wild carrots were white, like parsnips. According to Colorful Harvest, marketer of these rainbow carrots, the cultivated purple and yellow carrots—mutations—were eaten more than 1,000 years ago in what is now Afghanistan.

Other colors are the product of generations of traditional plant breeding. Orange carrots were first successfully bred in Holland from an orange mutation by Dutch farmers. Here’s the history of carrots.

Deeply colored produce are rich in nutrients, including antioxidants. Different antioxidants produce the different colors or carrots:

 

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Rainbow carrots from Colorful Harvest. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

 

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A rainbow of carrots. Photo by Stephen
Ausmus | Wikimedia.

 

WHERE DO CARROTS GET THEIR COLOR?

  • Red carrots get their color from lycopene, an antioxidant that may promote healthy eyes and a healthy prostate.
  • Orange and tangerine carrots get their color comes from beta-carotene, an antioxidant and precursor of vitamin A.
  • Purple carrots get their color from anthocyanins, the same potent phytonutrients (antioxidants) that makes blueberries blue,. Anthocyanins are flavonoids that may help increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood and may help maintain good brain function.
  • Yellow and white carrots get their color from lutein, which studies suggest may promote good eye health.
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    Studies indicate that these phytonutrients are also more bio-available and easier to absorb from fresh fruits and vegetables than from other sources.

    So they’re not only cute, tasty and good for you: Rainbow carrots are extra-cute and extra-good for you.

      





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