Have you ever wondered if the food you eat is actually fruits or vegetables? Take the tomato, for example. Believe it or not, this juicy red ball we usually use as a veggie in our salads and dishes is actually a fruit !
So if we look at other brightly colored foods, such as a carrot, we can’t help but wonder: is carrot a fruit or a vegetable? There’s gt to me more than one fruit hiding in plain sight, so what are carrots ?
Is carrot a fruit or a vegetable?
Carrot is a vegetable, a root vegetable to be exact. Carrots originate from Daucus Carota, a wild plant native to Europe and Southwestern Asia. People started to grow domestic carrots because of their tastier taproot.
One of the most cultivated vegetables globally and present throughout the year, carrot stands out for its carotene and vitamin A, B, and C content. It’s actually a root vegetable and the stems and leaves aren’t edible.
Although people typically discard most roots and eat the part of the plant that grows above ground, it’s a different story with root vegetables. Here, we eat the edible and fleshy roots; in other words, we consume the carrot’s root.
Although some sorts grow slower, carrots mostly proliferate very quickly. So, in about 90 days, you will have delicious carrots on the table. The best part is carrots keep for a long time, if you keep them in a cold environment with minimal airflow.
Difference between fruits and vegetables
People nowadays differentiate fruits and vegetables in two ways: botanical and culinary.
Botanically speaking, fruits come from a plant and contain seeds. That’s what makes a tomato a fruit, a berry to be exact. But, in culinary terms, fruits have to be sweet.
Speaking of vegetables, they are a part of the plant that isn’t a seed-bearing ovary, meaning it’s a root, leaf, or stem, by biological definition. By culinary definition, they are edible parts of the plant that isn’t particularly sweet. The carrot is the root of the plant, the same way parsnips and celiac are root vegetables.
The color of the carrot is important
It is generally known that fruits are very vivid and varied in colors. Thanks to its vibrant orange color, people often mix carrots with fruits. Now that we know that the carrots are vegetables let’s see what colors they can be.
Yes, carrots usually come in orange, but did you know that you can find them also in other colors, including black, yellow, red, white, and purple?
A vibrant color on a carrot is a sign of a properly grown, healthy carrot. And just like red peppers, carrots leak color ! Meaning that onions sauteed with carrots and red peppers will take on a golden-orange hue.
This is something that can instantly turn a stew or soup from bland to delicious-looking. Colors are important in meals, we’re sure you know that.
How to choose a good carrot
Since carrots grow throughout the year, it’s not difficult to find them at grocery stores all year round. Yes, they are easy to find, but how to choose the excellent and tasty carrot for your needs?
First, you should search for whole carrots with a solid texture and smooth skin. These carrots are usually sweeter and stay fresh longer.
Then, stay away from the carrots that are cracked, pale, and wilted. Not only are they not good in taste, but they will rot quickly, and you will have to throw them away.
And finally, a carrot is generally known as an antioxidant, so each color contains something that our organism needs:
- Orange color is full of Vitamin A;
- Red carrots have lycopene;
- Purple carrots contain anthocyanin.
As a result, carrots are often said to be great for eyesight. And it’s up to you to pick the carrot that best suits your senses and body!
How to prepare carrots
Whether you cook them or eat them raw, carrots are always delicious and very healthy.
You can prepare them in a variety of ways, so here are a few of them. To retain the nutrients from this delicious vegetable, it’s best to avoid prolonged cooking and boiling. You could, for example, steam them in a steamer basket or microwave. That’s how you will have a more juicy and healthier carrot on the table.
The second way is also mouth-watering: dice them, brush with olive oil, and put them on the grill. Yummy, right? And if you don’t have the will to cook today, you can always eat a raw carrot, put it in the sandwich, or your favorite yogurt! You will have a quick and tasty treat in minutes!
Or you can make a delicious carrot juice with lemon or orange! It will immediately refresh you and give you the energy needed for the day!
10 Interesting facts about carrots
1.Did you know that carrots’ roots come in a wide variety of not only colors but also sizes? Let’s take a more in-depth look at them:
- Short carrots are less than 10 cm in size;
- Medium carrots are typically between 10 and 12 cm;
- Semi long carrots go from 13 to 20 cm;
- Long carrots are all those longer than 20 and 25 cm.
2.Carrots were domesticated in the ancient empires over 5000 years ago.
3.Until the 17th century, you could find carrots only in black, white, red, and purple colors. The famous orange color of a carrot, as we know it today, comes from the Netherlands. They were cultivated in honor of the House of Orange.
4.Water makes up 87% of a carrot.
5.The number of carrots one ordinary person eats in their lifetime is 10,866.
6.Holtville, California has an annual carrot festival, and that’s why it’s often called “The Carrot Capital of the World.”
7.Only one carrot contains enough energy for you to endure a one-mile walk!
8.Eating too many carrots can cause “carotenemia.” It’s a condition when your skin becomes yellowish!
9.Well, wild rabbits don’t eat wild carrots.
10.Worldwide production of carrots reached an incredible 33.5 million tons in 2010!
The bottom line
If you were wondering whether carrot is a fruit or a vegetable, now you know the answer!
As you can see, carrots are a pretty exciting and delicious treat. They can be prepared in different ways while retaining their nutritional and delicious properties. Which carrot color, size, and cooking method you’ll choose it’s only up to you!
If you’ve got any other food curiosities be sure to check the related articles below, we’re always adding more food facts to make your life that much easier.