We've teamed up with Countdown to bring you everything you need to know about incredible carrots, along with recipes, fun facts and delicious ways to enjoy this family favourite.
Such a sweetie
Orange, crunchy and delicious eaten either raw or cooked, carrots are our hero! Used in countless recipes worldwide, they have the second highest sugar contents of any vegetable (after beets) which makes them perfect for both sweet and savoury dishes. One famous example is the carrot cake, where carrots provide the flavour, moisture and unique texture that will have you reaching for a second slice! Available all year round, carrots can be boiled, steamed, roasted, thrown into soups and of course hidden away in spaghetti bolognese or baking, so the kids don't even know they are eating veggies! They also provide colour to winter comfort meals, and extra sweetness to fresh salads come summer time.
Where do carrots grow?
Grown in both the North and South Island ranging from the top of Pukekohe all the way down to Southland – resulting in plentiful fresh carrots instore.
Watch Dacey Balle who has been growing carrots for 12 years with Countdown in the Onewhero region, North of Waikato to find out how they are grown and harvested.
Are you thinking of ways to reduce food waste? Even though we are used to carrots looking slender and straight, there's nothing wrong with them if they look a bit different or slightly odd. Look out for the Odd Bunch varieties in store, as these bags of carrots help reduce the impact on the environment and save you extra money!
Good news for carrot buyers as they are not only tasty to munch on, but they are also packed with nutritional goodness. Next time you are brainstorming about what to buy in the way of snacks that are healthy and good for your waistline, think of picking up a bunch of carrots. If you didn't already know carrots are ideal for those looking for a low-calorie intake, as they are 88% water and 0.2% fat. Try carrot sticks with our favourite lemon hummus, with roasted chickpeas and olive oil, and you have the perfect snack sorted when you feel peckish. Carrots are rich in vitamins B and C and contain potassium and plenty of dietary fibre. To top it all off, the 'beta-carotene' properties convert to vitamin A which helps boost the immune system, maintains strong vision and healthy skin.
This versatile root vegetable over root vegetable is closely related to parsley, coriander, fennel, dill and cumin and has a fascinating past, as until the 16th Century carrots were the colour purple. Although there are many carrot varieties in New Zealand, we tend to stick to growing Nantes as they are more resilient to our unpredictable weather. Watch out if you are carrot obsessed - there is a condition called 'carotenemia' that can cause your skin to turn yellow. Thankfully this can be easily fixed by reducing the number of carrots you eat, so don't overdo it!
Get creative with carrots
Carrots can be the star of your sweet or savoury meals or can be a delicious addition to give that extra crunch. So try some of our most exciting recipes to show your carrot appreciation!
Snacks & lunch
Kickstart your morning with a healthy fix by drinking this apple, carrot and ginger juice. Carrots are a perfect ingredient in a variety of snacks. We have our eyes on these little carrot and walnut cakes – that we guarantee are moist and full of goodness. Another way to get you through the working week is to tempt yourself to cauliflower couscous with roasted carrot and hummus. This simple salad is full of rich, wholesome flavour!
Sides & mains
Winter is a time to indulge in a hearty soup, so why not try our carrot soup with feta & quinoa. Searching for a side that complements almost anything? How about serving up roasted carrots and parsnips with feta, which is a deliciously easy side dish that the whole family is sure to love. We can all agree that our slow-cooker gets a lot of use when we are time poor, but don't want to budge on flavour, so why not make this mouth-watering veggie-packed chicken soup?
Needing a sweet fix, or wanting to please the tribe? Adding carrots into a sweet recipe is not only health conscious but immensely satisfying. Add these fibre-packed golden oat carrot cookies to a school lunch box, and your kids will thank you for it! Carrots are a genius way to add subtle flavour and texture so how about trying this carrot and ginger cake treat?