This week the theme is orange, familiar and sweet with baby carrots and citrines.

Carrots have a fascinating history of cultivation. Like most things that humans like to eat, we have transformed it over the years into something larger, sweeter and more to our liking.  Carrots are very high in Carotene, a vitamin A compound, and are a good source of Vitamin K, fiber and natural sugar. Carrots several hundred years ago were more starchy and less sweet than today’s typical orange carrot. What most American’s think of as baby carrots are actually larger carrots that have been trimmed and peeled into the snack size portions we love. While processing does limit the shelf life, baby carrots are a solution to using “ugly” or broken carrots for the fresh vegetable market. The byproducts of the cutting and peeling of baby carrots are used to make carrot juices, carrot shreds for processed foods and animal foods.

Citrines are the other half of this orange, sweet duo and they are also great for snacks. They are easy to peel and travel well in a purse or lunch sack. Citrines are a great addition to a salad or can be squeezed into a glass of water for a citrus flavor without the calories or artificial flavorings of other beverages. Like most citrus, these are in season year round, but have peek production in the late fall months.