Carrots: an end-of-harvest treasure

Despite a snowy October, there is still an abundance of our local fall harvest to enjoy. In the waning days of autumn, root vegetables fill bushel baskets across the state and some, like potatoes, will be harvested all year.

According to the Colorado Crop Calendar, carrots are one of the roots that will continue to be harvested through November. Packed with beta carotene and a host of other nutrients, carrots fight inflammation, improve night vision, lower high blood pressure, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and their high fiber content contributes to weight loss.

Besides being ground into “baby carrots,” carrots can be braised, candied, creamed, pickled, pureed, frozen, dried, used as the main ingredient in soup, added to stews and soups, featured in cakes and breads, canned, preserved in marmalade, and munched raw. They are also the classic choice for snowmen noses.

With their vibrant color and inherent sweetness, a simple braised dish of carrots adds beauty to any fall meal and is surprisingly easy to make.

Braised Carrots

Serves 6 as a side dish

1 ½ pounds of carrots, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon honey

1 cup water

1 tablespoon butter

½ teaspoon salt

1 pinch pepper

Combine all ingredients in an oven-proof pan. Cover the pan with a lid or foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until carrots are tender.

Published 10/27/2009 at http://www.ColoradoLovesGreen.com

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