The Root Rainbow

Share this post

By Heidi Lewis

An old children’s classic, The Story of the Root-Children, tells of how, in spring, Mother Earth awakens the sleepy little root babies that live underground and sets them to sew new clothes and clean and paint the beetles and bugs. They emerge from their underground home dressed in new rainbow capes and pointed caps and run off to play in the ponds and meadows.

Wintertime carrots can offer a glimpse of a springtime rainbow. Since most of us grew up with orange carrots, it may surprise you to learn that the first carrots cultivated (likely in  Afghanistan) thousands of years ago were thought to be purple or yellow. Throughout the ages there have been white and red carrots as well. It was the Dutch who, in patriotic allegiance to the House of Orange (the Dutch Royal family), propagated the bright orange variety that is commonplace today.

Rainbow carrots offer a wide spectrum of micronutrients: orange is the signal flag for beta-carotene; red carrots wave the carotenoid lutein banner; and purple carrots signal the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin. So it’s not just the wonderful dose of vitamin A (more than 400% of the recommended daily value per cup) you’re getting.

If these jewel-toned carrots look too pretty to cook, consider that they’re sweet enough for a kaleidoscope of crudités. Or coating them lightly in olive oil and roasting them with salt, pepper, and a dash of cumin is a fine way to cook them but retain their color. When boiled, the rainbow colors will fade. These colorful carrots will certainly inspire adults and kids alike (root children or not) to eat their colors.

Preparation: Wash thoroughly and gently scrub—keep the peel for maximum nutrient benefits. Delicious raw on their own; sliced or grated and added to salads and slaws; or roasted, steamed, stir-fried, grilled, boiled, baked, or braised. And don’t forget about carrot juice and carrot cake.

Storage: Tightly seal unwashed carrots in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to a few weeks. They can also be blanched and frozen.

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent Food articles:

History of the tomato
April 18, 2019
How to prepare Ataulfo mango
April 4, 2019
Making the most of citrus season
February 14, 2019
Three hearty soup recipes you can enjoy all month
February 4, 2019
Tempting winter fruits to brighten your weekly mix
January 31, 2019
Easy meal prep recipes you can eat all week
January 7, 2019
How to make latkes and applesauce
December 6, 2018
The food history of Thanksgiving
November 22, 2018
Winter and summer oranges
August 23, 2018
How to make vegetarian sushi at home
August 7, 2018

More recent articles:

Quick, easy steps to spruce up your office space
May 14, 2019
Grilled portobello recipe
May 9, 2019
How to prepare physically and mentally for race day
May 9, 2019
Three simple ways to enjoy watermelon radishes
May 2, 2019
Beehives, swales, and vermicomposting, oh my!
April 29, 2019
Easy spring salad recipe
April 25, 2019
Reduce plastic use with these earth-friendly alternatives
April 22, 2019
Spring fruit varieties and how to enjoy them
April 16, 2019
How to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet
April 11, 2019
How fostering psychological safety increases performance
April 8, 2019

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.