This past weekend, the farmer’s market was brimming with citrus, winter greens, and first of the season strawberries. Of all the striking produce this weekend, the highly stacked, vibrant purple carrots with bright green stalks, were too gorgeous to resist.
Originally, I thought purple carrots were a vanity vegetable — a more costly version of orange carrots, without any added benefit. I was wrong. Purple carrots do offer additional health benefits. Along with the vitamin A and beta-carotene of regular carrots, purple carrots also contain the same powerful antioxidants that give blueberries their rich color. This antioxidant is called anthocyanins, which is an anti-inflammatory shown to improve memory, enhance vision, protect against heart attacks, and help control weight.
Carrots have a long and interesting history. The modern-day carrot was originally purple, not orange. Over 1000 years ago, the purple carrot originated in Iraq and Afghanistan. Around the 17th century, orange carrots appeared in the Netherlands, which is the carrot most of us are familiar with today.
The health benefits and history aside, what should I do with these carrots? Eating them raw is an obvious (and boring) choice. I personally love the taste of roasted vegetables, so we plan to follow this recipe. Based on its stellar reviews, this honey glazed carrot recipe also seems like a winner.
Have you tried purple carrots before? Do you have a favorite way to prepare them?