Carrots are a healthy plus for our diets
Carrots arrived in America with the Pilgrims and soon became part of the staple diet by the native Indians who adopted it as a food source. Where would we be without this crunchy, sweet, nutritious vegetable?
Carrots are healthy additions to your diet. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers, as well as maintain eye health.
Carrots also provide potassium, vitamin K and fiber. Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure; vitamin K helps build and maintain strong bones; and fiber helps control cholesterol and keeps you regular. Carrots also are loaded with betacarotene, a compound naturally converted to vitamin A in the liver when consumed. The deeper orange the carrot, the more beta-carotene.
Farm fresh carrots are available at local farmers markets from May to June and November to December in our area. You might be lucky enough to find them in a range of colors including purple, scarlet, deep orange, as well as white.
You have the choice of fresh carrots with green tops, bagged carrots and baby carrots. You might be curious to learn that baby carrots are not a variety. They were created in the late 1980’s as a way of making use of carrots that are too twisted or knobby for sale as full-size. You can find them in the supermarket, in school vending machines, even as seasonal promotions at Halloween!
When selecting carrots, choose those with a deep orange color that are firm and without splits. Select young, slim carrots for the most sweetness. Although baby carrots may be more convenient, they are not as sweet as the slimmer young carrots. If the carrots have blemishes, cracks, wilting greens, flabby, rubbery or soft texture or “sunburned” green area at the top, avoid those.
If buying carrots with the green tops still attached, remove the tops by twisting or cutting them off before storing. Leaving the green tops will deplete the carrot of both moisture and nutrients leaving you with a limp carrot.
Carrots may be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where they will keep up to 2 weeks. Do not store carrots near apples, bananas or melons; the gasses in these fruits tend to increase the bitter compounds present in carrots. If processed properly, they will keep for 10 to 12 months in the freezer.
Before consuming carrots, wash under cool, running
water. Once they are cut, chopped or cooked, they should be placed in the refrigerator within two hours, or frozen in plastic freezer containers.
Carrots can be cooked almost any way. Sauté, roast, grill, stew, or simply eat them raw. If you have thicker, older carrots they will need to be peeled before using, but tender young carrots can be lightly scrubbed before being added to a dish.
For more information, contact the Saline County Extension Office, 501-3035672 or visit us in Benton at 1605 Edison Avenue,
Suite 15. We are online at kboul[email protected], on Facebook at UAEX Saline County Family & Consumer Sciences, or on the web at uaex.edu/saline.
This recipe for Cinnamon Glazed Baby Carrots are from our Living Well with Diabetes curriculum and are always a favorite. I love to serve them with grilled chicken. This recipe makes four, 1-cup servings. Each serving provides: 67 calories; 3 g total fat; 0 mg saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 149 mg sodium; 2 g total fiber; 10 g carbohydrates and 260 mg potassium.
Cinnamon-glazed Baby Carrots
4 c. baby carrots, rinsed and split lengthwise if very thick
2 Tbsp. margarine 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 t. ground cinnamon 1/8 t. salt
Place the carrots in a small saucepan. Add just enough water to barely cover the carrots. Cover with lid. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until the carrots are easily pierced with a sharp knife. While cooking, combine margarine, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan, and melt together over low heat. Stir well to combine ingredients. Drain carrots, leaving them in the saucepan. Pour cinnamon mixture over carrots. Cook and stir over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the carrots are thoroughly coated and the glaze thickens slightly. Serve warm. IT’S YOUR DAY, DAD
How wonderful it is to celebrate with you
Another year of love and faithfulness. Promoting honesty, you’ve seen us through
Parental guidance earned our gratefulness.
Your fairness and awareness of our need
Extended through The Master’s Holy Book.
Its daily presence made our lives succeed;
God bless you for the precious time you took.
How pleased we were to know that you were there
Throughout the years to teach us how to cope.
It means a lot to know how much you care.
Each time we’d seek advice, you’d give us hope.
There’s wisdom in your smiling eyes of gray.
Here’s wishing you a happy Father’s Day.
— Carrie Quick Perryville, MO
BRINGING UP FATHER
When he became the father of A bouncing baby boy,
His head was filled with great ideas: His heart was filled with joy.
Then Daddy sat down on the floor And played with little toys;
As Mom found out without a doubt, She had two little boys.
But both of them were growing up, Maturing would not stop.
So when the son reached teenage years,
His “Dad” became his “Pop.”
And as the years kept passing by, The son became a dad;
And thought, “Oh, gee, I’d love to be Just like the dad I had.
— Don Crowson Deceased
TO MY BIBLE-READING DAD
I thought that you were perfect.
How was a child to know
That you were seeking answers By hickory-embers glow?
I thought you had the answers,
That you were in control.
I didn’t know that book you read
Held balm for a troubled soul.
I knew that you were ten feet tall
Or so it seemed to me;
And I felt quite secure
Just leaning at your knee.
Now that I am old enough
To know what life’s about,
I realize you had problems
Of failure, fear, and doubt.
But you sought out the answers
That made you truly wise,
And even more respected now
Than in my childhood eyes.
Nowadays, Dad, when I’m confused,
I’m certain where to look,
I learned by watching you to search that ageless book..
— Faye Boyette Wise
Benton BLUEPRINT FOR LIVING LOVE
My father judges a man on his ability to plow a straight furrow and keep hand-shake promises; judges a woman on her ability to be both mother and lover, to bake biscuits and laugh a lot; judges children on their ability to shoulder their share of chores and to tell the truth.
I love how he belly-laughs a joke even when he is the teller; and I’m so glad he can cry openly not bothering to wipe tears when he reads a sad poem.
My father is my blueprint for choosing a husband, for paying my debts, and for keeping love alive.
— Verna Lee Hinegardner Former Poet Laureate
To submit poems for publication, send poems of 16 or fewer lines to Dennis Patton, 2512 Springhill Circle, Alexander, AR 72002, or pat[email protected]mail.com. The Saline County Branch of PRA meets at 1 p.m. at the Ashley Street Fire Station, 220 South Main, Benton, the fourth Saturday each month through May and September through October, and the third Saturday of November and December.