February 10, 2007 9:15pm CST
What are baby carrots? Are they cut down from mature carrots?
• United States
11 Feb 07
Sometimes, it depends on what company makes them. Some are large carots cut into leghnths and then they go through a wash that almost sands them down to give them the rounded edges. The ones that are babys are just sent througha high power wash to remove the skin. I saw this on "how it is made" on the discovery chanel
11 Feb 07
"Where do Baby Carrots Come From?" Those cute, convenient little baby carrots that are found in the grocers are actually imposters! "Baby Carrots" are not a varietal of the carrot and are not grown due to Mother Nature's influence! "Baby" carrots are the product of modern technology. They are actually specially formed by a machine that cuts them out from full sized older carrots. Some "growers" add green food colouring at the "stem" for further effect. Carrots, a most confusing, sometimes fear invoking vegetable when it comes to preparing homemade baby food. This topic will focus on the carrot as a healthy, nutritious food for your baby. Rather than re-writing the Nitrate article here, we would like to point you to our Nitrates article for almost everything you ever wanted to know about Carrots and Nitrates! Now for the good news about Carrots! Carrots are very high in beta carotene. Beta carotene is a caratonoids, a set of darkly colored pigments called provitamin A carotenoids that can be converted to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is very important in a developing infant's diet! What exactly is Vitamin A good for? "Vitamin A plays an important role in vision, bone growth, reproduction, cell division and cell differentiation, which is the process by which a cell decides what it is going to become (1, 5-8). It helps maintain the surface linings of the eyes and the respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts (9). When those linings break down, bacteria can enter the body and cause infection (9). Vitamin A also helps maintain the integrity of skin and mucous membranes that function as a barrier to bacteria and viruses (10-12). Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system (2, 5, 13). The immune system helps prevent or fight off infections by making white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses. Vitamin A may help lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that fights infections, function more effectively. Some carotenoids, in addition to serving as a source of vitamin A, have been shown to function as antioxidants in laboratory tests. However, this role has not been consistently demonstrated in humans (1). Antioxidants protect cells from free radicals, which are potentially damaging by-products of oxygen metabolism that may contribute to the development of some chronic diseases (3, 14-16)." http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/cc/vita.html When preparing Carrots, steaming is the very best method for cooking and preparing them. Steaming Carrots allows the beta carotene to be more bio-available and readily used by the body. Carrots should be peeled when making baby food pur?s as many infants will not be able to digest the skins. Unless you are purchasing Organic carrots, you should always peel carrots as chemicals do concentrate in the skin of the carrot. If you do not buy Organic carrots, please cleanse the carrots by using a vegetable brush and lightly scrubbing the carrots under cool running water. The best way to preserve the flavour, crispness, and beta-carotene content in carrots is to refrigerate them. Carrots are often one of baby's first food. They are easy to digest and are packed full of nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Calcium. Due to the issue of Nitrates, recommendations for the introduction of carrots varies. We have found that more often than not, the recommendation for introducing carrots is between 7 and 8 months old. Again, please see our Nitrates article for more in-depth information. CARROTS: (half cup steamed) VITAMINS: Vitamin A - 19,152 IU Vitamin C - 1.8 mg Niacin - .4 mg Folate - 11 mcg Pantothenic Acid - .2 mg Vitamin B6 - .2 mg Contains some other vitamins in small amounts MINERALS Potassium - 177 mg Sodium - 51.5 mg Calcium - 24 mg Phosphorus - 23.4 mg Magnesium - 10 mg Iron - .48 mg Also contains small amounts of selenium, manganese, copper and zinc. CARROT RECIPES* *Not all of these recipes will be appropriate for some infants due to an infants age. You may substitute or leave out ingredients as you need. Carrots - Basic Pur? 1. Peel carrots and cut into small chunks 2. Place chunks into a steamer pan with just enough water visible through the steamer basket 3. Steam until tender 4. Do not reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the carrots if baby is under 8 months old as Nitrates may seep into the cooking water 5. Place into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing. 6. Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency Carrot-Rice Casserole 3 cups grated carrots 3 cups cooked brown rice 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley 1 tablespoon minced fresh savory 1/4 teaspoon salt 1-1/2 cups evaporated skim milk 1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute 3 tablespoons grated nonfat or reduced-fat Parmesan cheese Combine the carrots, rice, onions, herbs, and salt in a bowl, and stir to mix well. Add the milk and egg substitute, and stir to mix. Coat a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray, and spread the mixture evenly in a dish. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a sharp knife inserted in the center of the dish comes out clean. Remove dish from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 8. Mashed Turnip & Carrot Delight Ingredients: 1 very large turnip ( or many small ones) 6 large carrots ( or as many as you like) spice to taste Directions: To begin peel skin off of the turnip then cut turnip into pieces... size doesn't matter, but the smaller you cut them the faster thy will boil. After cutting the turnip place in a saucepan with water and a touch of salt and boil till done. ( when you can stick a fork through piece, it's done!) Cut up carrots and steam until tender. When turnip & carrot are ready, put both in one bowl or saucepan and mash them together. Or you can mash them separately (food processor can also be used...quicker) and then mix them together. Add spices as desired. Carrot Cake - The Best Ever! INGREDIENTS: 4 eggs 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil 2 cups white sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 3 cups grated carrots 1 cup chopped pecans Frosting 1/2 cup butter, softened 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 4 cups confectioners' sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup chopped pecans DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.