Dr Libby on carrots
When your mother told you to eat your carrots so you could see in the dark she wasn’t misleading you, says Dr Libby.
Carrots are a rich source of the beta- carotene antioxidant vital for protecting our eyes and supporting clear vision. Our body converts beta-carotene into retinol, then uses retinol to renew and repair skin membranes, including our cornea but also renews the photoreceptors in our eyes that allow us to see. The constant renewal and repair of the membranes and receptors in our eyes enables us to have good vision in the dark and as we age. Obviously this is a process everyone wants to protect!
A recent 10-year long study found that consumption of fruits and vegetables, in particular orange or yellow fruits and vegetables, were the most protective against cardiovascular disease. The same study named carrots as one of the most heart-healthy vegetables because of their deep orange colour and therefore their concentration of protective antioxidants and nutrients.
Carrots are such an easy vegetable to include regularly because they can be eaten raw or cooked. Have raw carrot sticks and hummus or vege dip for a nutrient dense afternoon snack, grate raw carrot into salads and sweet foods like carrot cake. Roasting them really brings out their sweetness in this warming autumn soup
Roasted carrot soup
8 big carrots
1 large kumara
3 large garlic cloves, skins on
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 medium onion, diced
3 celery stems, diced
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
4 cups vegetable stock plus 2 cups water
1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ cup parsley, chopped
- Heat oven to 200C. Peel and chop the carrots and kumara and place on a baking tray with the whole garlic cloves.
- Drizzle olive oil over the carrots, kumara and garlic and sprinkle over some salt, pepper and thyme. Toss to coat.
- Roast for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables start to brown. 3 While the vegetables are roasting heat a large soup pot and gently fry onion and celery in olive oil until soft.
- Once the vegetables are roasted add these along with the pealed garlic to the pot. Cover with the stock and water. Gently simmer until the roasted vegetables are soft.
- Allow the soup to cool slightly before blending with a stick blender or food processor.
- Finish with chopped parsley and apple cider vinegar.