Did you know that carrots are not originally orange? That’s right. The original carrot, which dates back more than 4.000 years to Afghanistan, was purple. The orange carrot didn’t come into being until about 400 years ago, when Dutch farmers bred the carrot to be orange – their country’s color. Today, carrots have been bred in a rainbow of colors, which makes them much more fun to eat, not to mention, more nutritious.
Red carrots may have more lycopene than their orange cousins. Lycopene, also found in tomatoes, helps to lower blood pressure, and can reduce the risks of certain types of cancers. Yellow carrots are great for eye health, and purple carrots are high in anti-oxidants.
Carrots will last a few weeks stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Be sure to cut off the green tops to increase the carrots’ shelf life. Also, when storing carrots, keep them away from ethylene gas. This gas, which is given off by apples and pears, makes carrots taste bitter. So be sure to store your apples in a different spot in the fridge!