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The Bounty: Eating with the Seasons

Purple carrots bring some color—along with some added nutrients—to your plate.

The Bounty: Purple Carrots

It is a little known fact that carrots are purple.

Carrots as we know them—the bright orange redhead of the vegetable world—have come a long way from the 5,000 year-old, deep eggplant-colored plant native to Afghanistan. Sometime around the 16th century, some (perhaps over-zealous) Dutch farmers decided to give the veggie some nationalistic flair, and thus the orange carrot was born. The transformation also made the vegetable a little bit sweeter; they started exporting them like crazy and the rest is veggie history. 

It is well known that the carrot is a major power vegetable—especially the darker, nutrient-packed ones. While carrots of all colors are excellent sources of vitamins A and B, phosphorus, calcium, iodine and phytochemicals, purple carrots one-up ol’ orange with their high concentration of the powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is responsible for the purple color in many berries, including blueberries, and is loaded with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-bacterial qualities.

If this vague phytochemical content isn’t enough to convince you, ponder this: research has shown that three raw carrots a day can lower blood pressure, and just one carrot a day cuts the risk of lung cancer among smokers in half. They are thought to aid digestion, and have been believed by many a culture to be an aphrodisiac.

Lucky bunnies.

The Banquet: Spicy Purple Slaw

Serves 4

3/4 pound purple carrots, peeled and shaved with a vegetable peeler

½ head of purple cabbage, shredded

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

½ jalapeño, seeded and diced

¼ red onion, diced

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

½ teaspoon lime zest

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Sea salt and cracked black pepper 

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss! Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to mesh. Enjoy!

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