Carrots contain the second largest amount of sugar of all vegetables, which gives them their sweet taste and makes them a very popular snack.
Bigger is not better when it comes to carrots so select carrots that are less than eight inches long and relatively uniform in shape and size. They should be well shaped, firm, and smooth with no cracks.
Carrots should be a bright orange color to an orange red in color with a bright green top unless the carrots are purchased packaged in a plastic bag. The deeper the color, the more beta-carotene contained in the carrot.
The bright green tops don't guarantee a fresher carrot; however, it is widely assumed that they are fresher than the carrots sold in plastic bags.
Whether loose or in plastic bags, avoid carrots with green shoots sprouting out (not to be confused with their green tops) yellowed tips, soft spots or withering. All are a sign of age. Also avoid carrots with large green areas at or near their tops. This indicates sunburn damage on the vegetable.
Before storing carrots, remove their green tops, rinse, drain, and put the carrots in plastic bags and store them in the coldest part of the refrigerator with the highest humidity. They'll last several months this way.
To keep the carrots crisp and colorful add a little bit of water in the bottom of the plastic storage bag; this will keep the carrots hydrated.
Carrots should be stored away from fruits such as apples and pears, which release the ethylene gas that cause carrots to become bitter.
Carrot's nutritional values increase when they are cooked. Raw carrots have a tough cellular wall that our bodies are not able to breakdown very easily.
Cooking carrots properly will also bring out their natural sweetness. Carrots make great tasting snacks and are excellent travelers. Add slices to salads.