The main carrot varieties in Australia are: baby (or Dutch) carrots, which are sweet, small carrots; Imperator, long and pointed carrots with deep orange skin; and Nantes, which are slightly pointed and taste a little sweeter.
Choose carrots that are bright orange and firm; the leaves should be fresh and green if still attached.
Refrigerate in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper section for up to a week. Do not store with other fruits or vegetables to avoid creating a bitter flavour.
Wash before use and chop off both ends. Only peel carrots if they are really old. They can be sliced, diced or grated, eaten raw with or without skin, or cooked in a variety of meals, drinks and desserts.
4 quick ways with carrots
This tasty side dish goes with meat, fish or chicken. Grate (or thinly slice) carrot, ginger and cucumber. Mix together with bean sprouts and onion, then sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, vinegar and fish sauce.
Boost the health factor of meatballs, patties or rissoles by sneaking in some carrot. Simply add some grated carrot to mixture before cooking. This gives a slightly sweeter taste and a truckload of vitamins.
Roast carrot, sweet potato, red capsicum and pumpkin for a side dish. Cut into large pieces, lightly coat with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender.
Make quick sushi: lay a nori (seaweed) sheet, shiny side down. Place a mixture of Japanese rice and rice vinegar 2/3 along the way. Spread a line of wasabi (or avocado) in centre, top with carrot, cucumber, lettuce and fish, teriyaki beef or chicken. Roll and slice.
Did you know? Carrots are known for their high levels of antioxidants and dietary fibre. Other than their well-known ability to help with vision, it is believed that they may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and even help lower cholesterol.