Carrots are in the genus Daucus, and the family Apiaceae. They are believed to originate from Afaganistan. Today there are two classes of carrots, eastern and western. The eastern carrots were domesticated in Central Asia during the tenth century. Today, these carrots are commonly purple and yellow, and often have branched taproots. The orange western carrot was introduced to the Netherlands in the seventeenth century. Other colors of western carrots are raised as novelty carrots, which include white yellow, red and purple.
Carrots are a biennial plant. During the first year, they grow a rosette of leaves and an edible taproot. Within the taproot the plant stores its sugar, which it needs to produce flowers the second year. After the carrots flower and produce seeds, the plant dies.
Carrot are edible root vegetables. They can be eaten raw, usually peeled, or juiced. Carrots roots can also be cooked. They can be boiled, steamed or fried. The carrot greens are also edible as a leaf vegetable, but they are mildly toxic. Click here for a list of “MILDLY TOXIC PLANTS”
One pound of carrots is equal to about one cup of carrot juice. Eating or drinking three pounds or more a day can cause the skin to turn orange. Carrot juice has a high content of Beta-carotene and vitamins B complex. Minerals include calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.
Fun facts about carrots:
• John Evans grew the heaviest carrot on record in Alaska during 1998, weighing in at 18.985 pounds.
• Joe Atherton grew the longest carrot on record in 2007, measuring 19 feet and 1.96 inches. (As listed in the Guinness Book of Records)
Fruit and Vegetable Drink
We encourage you to try our very own recipe for this delicious, healthy drink. Kids will love it too.