Purple Haze Carrots
Inventory, lb : 0
Purple carrots widely vary in size and are narrow to conical in shape, tapering to a point on the non-stem end. The skin is smooth, firm, and ranges in color from dark purple to red-purple. Underneath the surface, the flesh is crisp and dense with an orange or yellow core. Purple carrots are crunchy with a snap-like quality and have an earthy, sweet flavor with undertones of celery and parsley. Depending on the variety, some Purple carrots may also have a peppery flavor. In addition to the roots, the leafy tops are also edible and have a fresh, slightly bitter, green taste.
Purple carrots are available year-round.
Purple carrots, botanically classified as Daucus carota subs. Sativus, are edible, underground roots that belong to the Apiaceae family along with parsnips, celery, and parsley. Considered to be one of the first cultivated carrot colors, Purple carrots were prevalent in European and Middle Eastern markets until the orange carrot’s introduction. Purple carrots quickly disappeared from mainstream markets and remained absent for many years, but the purple roots have seen a recent resurgence in popularity due to a marketing movement to grow heirloom varieties that have almost been forgotten. There are many different varieties of Purple carrots, including Cosmic Purple, Purple Sun, Purple Haze, Purple Dragon, and Purple Dutch, and Purple carrots are favored for their unusual coloring and high nutritional properties.
Purple carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene and contain manganese, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. They also contain high levels of anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants that are being heavily researched for their potential health benefits, including anti-inflammation and pain reduction.
Purple carrots are best suited for fresh applications as their dark purple hues are showcased when sliced and served raw. The roots can be cooked, but with methods such as boiling or baking, the carrots will lose their purple hue and transform into an unappetizing grey. When raw, Purple carrots can be sliced for salads, juiced, shredded into grain bowls, or served on appetizer platters. The carrots can also be lightly sautéed or roasted to develop a sweet, caramelized flavor. In addition to the roots, the leafy tops of carrots can be blended into sauces, minced into salads, or lightly sautéed and served as a side dish. Purple carrots pair well with pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts, radishes, tomatoes, cheeses such as pecorino, cheddar, and parmesan, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and potatoes. The roots will keep up to one month when stored loosely placed in a plastic bag with good air circulation in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Never store fruit along with carrots, as fruits expel ethylene gas that is readily absorbed by carrots. The carrots exposed to the ethylene gas will turn very bitter, making them not suitable for eating.
In the United States, Purple carrots were once a rare carrot color, overshadowed by the dominant orange varieties. Consumers were used to the orange carrot, and many were unwilling to shift their preferences into trying new colors. With the recent shift in the consumer market towards healthy, plant-based eating, consumers are learning about the nutritional value of eating foods with different colors. This has spurred consumers to seek out antioxidant-rich foods, which are generally purple in color, and many farmers have turned back to growing heirloom Purple carrot varieties to meet this demand. Scientists are also working to develop new Purple carrot varieties with improved flavors and increased amounts of beta-carotene.
Purple carrots originated over five thousand years ago in present-day Afghanistan in Central Asia. Considered to be one of the original carrots to be domesticated, many natural hybrids and mutants were developed and crossed with wild and cultivated varieties creating new cultivars varying in core color, size, and flavor. Purple carrots were then transported via seeds across Africa, Europe, and Eastern Asia and were sold during trade expeditions. Today Purple carrots are found at local farmers markets, specialty grocers, and in home gardens in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Recipes that include Purple Haze Carrots. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Ruchi's Kitchen||Purple Carrot Salad with an Almond Dressing|
|City Hippy Farm Girl||Purple Carrot Cake|
|Not Lazy. Rustic.||Baked Purple Carrot Chips|
|Buona Pappa||Zucchini and Carrot Roses Tart|