High in vitamin A and beta carotene, which is the substance responsible for its beautiful orange color, carrots are a favorite raw snack for many children and adults.  The carrot is also high in fiber, calcium, potassium, and other trace minerals.  To receive the most nutrients, eat carrots raw.  They should be scrubbed with a vegetable brush under running water to remove dirt.  Since carotene and trace minerals are close to the carrot’s skin surface, do not peel unless removing damaged areas.  To retain the most nutrients, lightly steam carrots for about 5-10 minutes, depending on size.  Be careful not to overcook.  Fresh carrot greens can be chopped and added to a green salad or used in a stir fry.  Nothing compares to carrots sauteed in butter with a little onion, salt, and your own fresh herbs!  To store, remove greens and refrigerate carrots in a plastic bag.  With proper refrigeration, undamaged carrots will last 2-4 weeks.

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