Carrots are one of the most nutritious root vegetables. And there’s a bit of truth behind that they’ll make you see in the dark; they are very good for your eyes. Carrots are a really rich source of carotene, which is an antioxidant and precursor to a form of vitamin A. Vitamin A is involved in the maintenance of mucous membranes, making it necessary for a healthy immune and respiratory system. It is also required by the retina, contributing to good vision.
Carrots are the richest vegetable source of carotenes, which give them their orange colour. Other sources include sweet potato, cantaloupe melon, apricots and some green leafy vegetables and herbs. Carrots are also full of fibre and a source of vitamins C and E, potassium and calcium. As with lycopene in tomatoes, carotene is most available to the body when cooked and, because vitamin A is fat-soluble, is most easily absorbed with a fat source like oil or butter.
Below is a recipe for carrot cornbread that I know I’ll be making again; it’s gooood. Thanks again Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for this one. Oh, and it’s gluten-free, if that’s what you’re after…
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking powder
150ml almond milk
1 tbsp olive oil
150g grated carrot
In a large bowl, combine the polenta, salt and baking powder. In a separate jug, whisk together the egg, almond milk and oil. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and throw in the carrot. Beat together until well combined. Line a baking tin with greaseproof paper (I used a cake tin but Hugh goes for a rectangular baking dish) and pour the cornbread mixture in. Bake for 25 minutes at 190C. Best served warm I think. Whip up an easy carrot and sweet potato soup as pictured above for a super dose of carotenes to help you see in the dark when the clocks change this month..nooooooooooooo