Summer produce in Indiana is a wonderful, nutritious and economical way to good health. Now is the time to find fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets, roadside stands and groceries across Indiana.
Some summer vegetables to watch for now include basil and fresh herbs, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, onions, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet corn and summer squash.
This week, let's focus on tips for selecting and preparing carrots.
Look for bright orange carrots with a smooth skin.
Try picking medium-sized carrots that taper at the ends. Clip the greens as soon as you are home to avoid moisture loss. Avoid carrots that are shriveled, rough, cracked or with green tops.
To store carrots, remove greens from top of carrot for storage, leaving stem end. Store in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic, and place in the refrigerator crisper. Carrots will last for a few weeks.
Of course, carrots can be eaten raw. However, scrub them or peel first to remove soil contaminants.
For cooking, cut and boil, steam or microwave. Boil or steam for about 15-30 minutes. Microwave for about 6-8 minutes. Microwaving or steaming preserves nutrient value. Experts advise not to feed raw carrot slices to children under age 3.
Be sure to cut them into smaller wedges for them to prevent choking.
Seven to eight raw carrots equals two cups cooked.
Source: Adapted from Extension online at http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia....