The Romans and Egyptians were already familiar with carrots thousands of years ago. They knew carrots in various colors like white, green, yellow, red and purple and the use of the carrot was limited to medicinal purposes.
During the 14th and 15th century people in Northern Europe got familiar with carrots, but it took until the 16th century before orange carrots were grown, particularly in The Netherlands.All subsequent races originate from the Dutch races.
In the meantime, the carrot has become a world-famous vegetable. The orange carrot is popular in most parts of the world, although the red and purple ones are very popular in Asia.
The orange pigment of carrots is rich in carotenes. Our body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is a substance that essential for a healthy skin, shiny hair and the functioning of our eyes.
The yellow pigment of carrots often contains high levels of lutein, which protects our eyes from the damaging effects of bright sunlight.This substance is also a protective against cancer- and heart-related diseases.
The white carrot is a solution for people who have a carotene-allergy. They are as tasty as orange carrots, but white carrots look less attractive. White carrots are also good for digestion.
An extra high concentration of beta-carotene is responsible for the red color of this carrot. The amount of vitamin A in a red carrot is twice as high as in regular carrots. The red carrot is recommended for making carrot juice.
Purple carrots contain a high amount of anthocyanins, which detoxify aggressive molecules in your body. This provides protection against cancer and cardiovascular disease.Purple carrots are sweeter than the orange carrots. If you cook the purple carrot, the fruit loses its color during cooking, the flesh turns into a mix of purple and white.
How To Grow Your Own Carrots
Growing your own carrots is very easy, although you have to do some preparation first.
Grab a spade, pick a spot in your garden with lots of sunshine and start digging, to aerate the soil, remove stones and break up clods, so that you get light and crumbly soil.
After you're done start sowing the carrot seeds. Please sow thinly, but make sure to drop one or two seeds every 2.5 cm and after that, cover your row with carrots gently.
Normally carrot seedlings start to appear after 2 or 3 weeks and most carrots take between 10 and 16 weeks to mature. When the carrots are ready to be harvested, simply lift the carrots out of the soil.A fork is actually a very useful tool for lifting your carrots without damaging the roots.