Our routine diet comprises vegetables and fruits. We consume them because they are rich in essential nutrients and meets our daily nutrient requirements. But ever you wonder the food you eat is really a fruit or vegetable? For instance, do you know, is carrot a fruit or vegetable?
Actually, there are many fruits which we use in our dishes as vegetables. Take the example of tomatoes and cucumbers.
These are botanically fruits, but we use them as veggies. Therefore, many people wonder if a brightly colored carrot fruit or vegetable.
That’s why I am here to explain the facts in detail. In addition, I will also tell you the basic differences between fruits and vegetables. So, let’s see the basic facts.
Is Carrot A Fruit or Vegetable?
Carrot is a vegetable, not a fruit, and more precisely it is a root vegetable. Brightly orange-colored carrots are pretty common all over the world. However, carrot cultivars of purple, white, yellow, and black also exist.
As we know that carrot is a root vegetable, so its taproot is edible and flavorful. By the way, some people also eat carrot leaves and stems.
Carrot is a crunchy vegetable with a slightly sweet or subtle earthy flavor. However, different varieties have a distinct flavor and flesh color.
Carrots are nutrient bombs as they are full of nutrients. They provide us with minerals, vitamins, and carotenes which our body requires.
You can grow carrots in your garden easily, as they proliferate quickly. A carrot gets mature within 80 to 90 days after sowing seeds. However, several slow growing varieties get mature within 4 months or more.
Carrots go great in several sweet and savory recipes. For instance, their bright orange color is a great addition to salads, pickles, and soups. Moreover, they also go delicious in sweet treats like desserts, muffins, bread loaves, and scones.
Difference Between Fruits and Vegetables?
The definition of fruits and vegetables is different for chefs and gardeners. Chefs consider foods as vegetables that are savory in taste rather than sweet. Take the example of tomatoes and cucumbers. They are familiar as vegetables to chefs.
However, foods that bear seeds and are sweet in taste are considered as fruits, botanically. Fruits are mature ovaries of flowering plants. By this definition, apples, mangoes, tomatoes, berries, and cucumbers are fruits.
And, parts of the plant other than ovaries like roots, stems, leaves all are vegetables. As carrots are basically roots, so these are vegetables. Other edible roots are beets, turnips, sweet potatoes, and potatoes.
Lettuce, spinach, and kale are leaves, and broccoli, celery are stems. All these are vegetables biologically. So, never mix vegetables with fruits.
By the way, you can also differentiate vegetables from fruits by considering two facts.
Firstly, vegetables are pretty common all around, and secondly, these have a shorter life cycle than fruits.
Read also: What Type of Vegetable Is Celery ?
Is Carrot Man-Made – Carrot Fruit or Vegetable?
As you know that carrot is not a fruit but actually a root vegetable, so now, let’s know is carrot a man made vegetable or not? And the answer is Yes. The orange-colored carrot that is much familiar to us is the invention of man.
Surprisingly, when we talk about man made vegetables or fruits, it doesn’t mean that these foods are prepared by any machine. In fact, these are still natural foods as scientists grow them naturally. So, all such foods are healthy and safe to eat.
Carrots are hybrid of their wild varieties. Daucus Carota is the wild ancestor of carrot. The main purpose of this hybridization is to get carrot variety with a better taste and yield. In comparison, the ancient carrots were purple in color and less flavorful.
Through selective breeding, scientists were able to produce carrots with desirable characters or traits. The first carrot that was produced by selective breeding was yellow in color. However, after several generations of breeding, the brightly orange-colored carrots were produced.
By the way, other cultivars of carrots also exist that are white, black, purple, and red in color. Although carrots are not natural, but these are full of nutrients and quite healthy to eat.
Carrots are quite nutritious and healthy to eat. Their addition to your everyday diet meets your daily nutrient requirements. Moreover, carrots have a comprehensive list of health benefits whether you eat them raw or cooked.
Carrots are high in vitamins such as A, D, E & K, thus nourish your body. These are also rich in fibers and minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Moreover, carrots have carotene in them, which also has a number of health benefits.
Besides this, carrots are low in calories, proteins, and fats. Therefore, people who keep eyes on their weight can also consume them. And, carbohydrates and higher content of water in carrots are the bonus for a healthy body.
Carrots prevent many health disorders like cancer, blood pressure, and diabetes. And due to the higher carotene content, they are helpful for better vision. They are also beneficial for healthy skin, strong immunity, and weight loss. So, eat carrots and be healthy.
Read also: Is Celery A Fruit Or Vegetable ?
Ways of Preparing Carrots
Carrots are crunchy and edible vegetables, so most people eat them raw. However, you can also prepare them in a number of different ways. They go great when you glaze, boil, grill, bake, or cook them. So, here I will tell you some delicious ways of preparing yummy carrot treats.
- Frying the carrots is the best way of cooking carrots. As, frying turn them brown with a tender, crispy texture. You can serve fried carrot slices either as a central or side dish. And don’t forget to add soy sauce to them.
- Boiling the carrots is another way to eat them. Use baby carrots for boiling as these are more flavorful. Add some salt in water and boil carrots for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve them as it or add some seasoning or sauce.
- Roasting carrots is my favorite way of cooking carrots. Just glaze the carrots and put them into the oven, and bake them. Your crispy brown and mouth-watering carrots will be ready to serve. You can also add spices or sauce to them.
- Moreover, grilled carrots also go great. Coat the carrots with olive oil and spices, and put them in the grill pan. Cook them for 15 to 18 minutes and eat them lusciously.
- You can also prepare carrot preserves and chutneys. As, these condiments go well as a side dish with roasted meat, vegetables, and other savory dishes.
- In addition, you can also prepare sweet carrots. Carrots are quite common in desserts, cookies, pies, scones, and cakes. So, you can use chopped carrots in your bread loaves, cupcakes, rolls, truffles, and other sweet treats.
However, you can also prepare them according to your taste. Whether you grill, bake, boil, fry, or juice the carrots, it is totally up to you.
How To Pick Good Carrots?
There is no perfect way for picking best carrots but here are few tips and tricks to select good carrots during buying vegetables.
Firstly, pick up fresh and large carrots as these are more flavorful and sweeter. Secondly, choose the carrots with a deep coloring. Moreover, look carrots with more bright leaves on tops.
Avoid choosing carrots with soft patches as they will go bad rapidly. So, pick up carrots with a firmer and smooth texture. And, enjoy them in a variety of delicious ways.
Is carrot a fruit or vegetable? As you know here that carrot is a root vegetable because it grows under the ground. Moreover, it lacks seeds and characteristic sweet fruit flavor. I hope this article explains all your queries about carrots. So, enjoy your cooking.