Carrot Produce Guide + 39 Carrot Recipes

This carrot produce guide is an informative guide about all things carrots, along with sweet and savory carrot recipes, including roasted carrots, carrot soup and carrot cake!

overhead view of carrots on a white plate

I shot the photos for this carrot produce guide and recipe round up over a month ago, which now seems like an eternity.  At that point it was well before Easter, and now Cinco de Mayo is over, and Mother’s Day is staring us all in the face.

Time is flying people!

It’s still spring for now, so let’s celebrate carrots shall we??

Spring carrots are so sweet and flavorful, and I’ve been buying bunch after bunch.  I specifically seek out bunches of organic carrots with beautiful, lush green carrot tops.  

The flavor of these carrots are so much sweeter than the bagged carrots, and those carrot tops are downright delicious.

But we’ll get to that later. 🙂

distant overhead shot of carrots on white marble board

Carrot Produce Guide

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that doesn’t like carrots, have you?  They’re mainstream for a reason.  They’re great raw or cooked, and they’re so sweet that they appeal to the pickiest of eaters.

Carrots are root vegetables that consist of the taproot, which is the tapered part of the vegetable that is most commonly eaten, and the green carrot tops.  

Origin of carrots

Carrots originated in Afghanistan as early as 3000 BC.  Surprisingly, early varieties of carrots were not orange, but were black, white, red and purple.  

Orange, or carotene carrots, didn’t appear until the 17th century in the Netherlands.

Carrot varieties

Growing up, I’d never seen anything other than an orange carrot, but now beautiful rainbow varieties are available, including the colors white, yellow, red and purple.  Each color of carrot has its own flavor and health benefits.

The main types of carrots are as follows: 

  • Chantenay carrots: this variety is short and stout, are light orange in color, and run about 4-5″ long and 2-2 1/2″ wide.  They’re some of the sweetest carrots, and are great for juicing, or eaten raw, frozen or canned.  They’re very popular among farmers for their high yield.
  • Danver carrots:  Danvers carrots are medium, or half-size carrots.  They were an early orange variety, and were once a choice carrot for their great flavor.
  • Imperator carrots:  this variety is the popular supermarket variety, and grow to be 6-7″ long.  Imperator carrots are deep orange with a thin skin or peel.  These carrots are generally used to produce the “baby carrots” that have been trimmed down and sold in bags for convenience.
  • Nantes carrots:  Nantes carrots were named after the French city where they originated.  This variety is about 7″ long and 1 – 1 1/2″ wide, and they’re very tender and sweet.

There are many boutique varieties of rainbow carrots as well.  If you want more info, click here.

overhead angled shot of carrots on a white marble board for carrot produce guide

How to use carrots

Carrots are so versatile, and may be juiced, eaten raw, roasted, or cooked in a variety of dishes.

Carrots are one of the main building blocks of cooking. You’ve probably heard the term mirepoix, which is French culinary term for diced carrots, celery, onion and garlic. 

These ingredients are aromatics that provide flavor for meat and vegetable broth, soups, stews and a multitude of dishes.

See more carrot recipes.

Are carrot tops edible?

When you buy a beautiful bunch of carrots with lush carrot tops, don’t throw those tops away!  Carrot tops are delicate, herbaceous and flavorful, and contain more nutrition than the actual carrot.

Basically, carrot tops taste like carrot-flavored parsley.  They make the best pesto sauce (see my recipe for carrot top pesto), as well as any type of herb-based sauce like chimichurri or Italian salsa verde.  

Carrot tops are also a great addition to salads!

close up overhead shot of carrots and carrot tops on a white marble board for carrot produce guide

How to grow carrots

I’ve had success growing carrots in my garden, but it’s kind of a funny story.

My garden was brand new, and I was planting everything by seed.  I set markers in my garden beds so that I knew what was growing where, and one of the rows was reserved for my carrot seeds, which I planted about an 1″ deep and 2″ apart.

Nothing happened.  My friend told me that sometimes seeds just don’t take, so I just gave up on my carrots.  One year later, some green tops started sprouting, and I had no idea what they were.

I’d forgotten all about the carrots that I’d planted a year earlier!  I waited a few months, and decided to dig up whatever was growing there.  

One was a regular sized orange carrot, and the other was the biggest carrot I’d ever seen!  It was white and was about a food long and 2″ wide.  

It didn’t taste very good because the longer carrots grow, the more earthy and woody flavored they become.  

I haven’t tried growing carrots since, because I just don’t think it’s worthwhile as organic carrots are so inexpensive and widely available.  Maybe I’ll grow them again one day?

The good news is that carrots are easy to grow.  I suspect that mine took so long because my garden was brand new when I planted my seeds.

Carrots grow in raised beds, containers, and pretty much anywhere, as long as they’re planted in full sun. 

Plant carrot seeds in early spring or mid summer, and enjoy the harvest from late spring to early winter, depending on which variety you plant.

You can even grow carrots from carrot tops!  Follow the instructions here.

Health benefits of carrots

Carrots are very nutritious, as they’re a good source of beta carotene (especially the orange varieties), potassium, fiber, Vitamin K1 and antioxidants.

There are many benefits to eating carrots, as they’re also linked to reducing cholesterol levels, improving eye sight, and possibly reducing the risk of cancer.

86-95% of carrots is composed of water, while the rest is carbohydrates.  One serving of raw carrots contains 41 calories, 9.6 grams carbs, 4.7 grams sugar, and 2.8 grams fiber.

overhead shot of carrots on a white marble board for carrot produce guide

 

Check out the 39 carrot recipes below, including carrot cake, carrot soup, and roasted carrots!

39 Sweet and Savory Carrot Recipes

Recipe round up of 39 sweet and savory carrot recipes, including roasted carrots, carrot soup and carrot cake!
Instant Pot Carrot Ginger Soup

Instant Pot Carrot Ginger Soup

Instant Pot Carrot Ginger Soup is a healthy, creamy, vegan soup with fresh ginger, turmeric, and coconut milk, and it’s topped with crispy curry chickpeas!

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Cumin Healthy Chicken Stir Fry with Carrot Noodles

Cumin Healthy Chicken Stir Fry with Carrot Noodles

Photo Credit: www.foodfaithfitness.com

Low carb, gluten free stir fry is a quick and easy, paleo and whole30 weeknight dinner!

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Power Peach Mango Smoothie

Power Peach Mango Smoothie

Photo Credit: www.mysequinedlife.com

Peach mango smoothie is a refreshing vegan smoothie with peaches, mango and carrot!

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Carrot Cake Waffles

Carrot Cake Waffles

Photo Credit: makingthymeforhealth.com

Carrot Cake Waffles- made with a blend of wholesome buckwheat and quinoa flours, these vegan waffles are packed full of satisfying protein and fiber. (gluten-free)

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Carrot Top Pesto

Carrot Top Pesto

Carrot Top Pesto is a fresh, flavorful homemade pesto sauce made with 4 ingredients! It’s vegan, dairy free, and naturally gluten-free.

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Flourless Carrot Cake Oatmeal Muffins

Flourless Carrot Cake Oatmeal Muffins

Flourless Carrot Cake Oatmeal Muffins are healthy, gluten-free carrot muffins that are tender and fluffy, made with oat flour and no refined sugar!

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Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips are tossed in olive oil and rosemary and roasted to tender, caramelized perfection!

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Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Photo Credit: kristineskitchenblog.com

Thick, soft, whole grain breakfast cookies with oats, carrots and apple!

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Dairy Free Carrot Cake

Dairy Free Carrot Cake

Photo Credit: cooknourishbliss.com

Dairy free carrot cake is soft, moist and packed with fresh carrots and pecans, and topped with a dairy free cream cheese frosting!

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Easy Homemade Vegetable Stock

Easy Homemade Vegetable Stock

Easy Homemade Vegetable Stock is an easy way to make homemade vegetable stock using Instant Pot, slow cooker or stove top methods!

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Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal with Cream Cheese Glaze

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal with Cream Cheese Glaze

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal is a healthy, carrot cake inspired breakfast topped with a luscious cream cheese glaze!

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Thai Carrot Cucumber Noodle Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing

Thai Carrot Cucumber Noodle Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing

Thai Carrot Cucumber Noodle Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing is a clean eating veggie noodle salad that’s crisp, refreshing, and bursting with Thai flavors!

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Carrot Zucchini Apple Bread

Carrot Zucchini Apple Bread

Photo Credit: www.momontimeout.com

Carrot Zucchini Apple Bread recipe is moist and flavorful with carrot, zucchini, and apples!

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Five Spice Sweet Potato And Carrot Soup {Vegan, Paleo, Whole 30}

Five Spice Sweet Potato And Carrot Soup {Vegan, Paleo, Whole 30}

Photo Credit: recipesfromapantry.com

Five Spice Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup is Whole30, Paleo and Vegan

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Quick Pickled Rainbow Carrots

Quick Pickled Rainbow Carrots

Photo Credit: theviewfromgreatisland.com

Quick Pickled Rainbow Carrots are refrigerator pickles that are ready in 24 hours!

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Roasted Carrot and Garlic Hummus

Roasted Carrot and Garlic Hummus

Photo Credit: kristineskitchenblog.com

Roasted Carrot and Garlic Hummus is a delicious, healthy dip for veggies or pita chips!

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Sheet Pan Salmon and Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Sheet Pan Salmon and Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Photo Credit: www.theroastedroot.net

Sheet pan salmon and carrots with homemade carrot top pesto is a healthy, quick and easy meal!

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Tequila Carrots with Curry Tahini Sauce

Tequila Carrots with Curry Tahini Sauce

Photo Credit: www.lettyskitchen.com

Tequila carrots with curry tahini sauce are a welcome side dish for any meal. Everyone says these are the best carrots they’ve ever tasted.

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Roasted Carrot Ravioli with Mascarpone Thyme Filling

Roasted Carrot Ravioli with Mascarpone Thyme Filling

Photo Credit: bellalimento.com

Homemade ravioli with roasted carrot and mascarpone thyme filling.

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Spring Carrot Soufflé Recipe

Spring Carrot Soufflé Recipe

Photo Credit: theviewfromgreatisland.com

Spring Carrot Soufflé Recipe is a fluffy carrot casserole made super quick and easy in the blender!

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Bouchon Bakery Style Carrot Muffins | #MuffinMonday

Bouchon Bakery Style Carrot Muffins | #MuffinMonday

Photo Credit: www.karenskitchenstories.com

These Bouchon Bakery Style Carrot Muffins are flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, and topped with an oat, wheat germ, and vanilla streusel.

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Honey Glazed Carrots Recipe with Ginger

Honey Glazed Carrots Recipe with Ginger

Photo Credit: www.thecookierookie.com

Honey Glazed Carrots with Ginger are sweet, savory and delicious!

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Roasted Carrot Spinach Salad with Lemon Herb Dressing

Roasted Carrot Spinach Salad with Lemon Herb Dressing

Photo Credit: www.theroastedroot.net

Roasted carrot spinach salad with feta and roasted pumpkin seeds is a great low carb meal option.

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Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Photo Credit: www.livewellbakeoften.com

A moist carrot cake filled with crushed pineapple, chopped walnuts, and topped with an easy cream cheese frosting.

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Cheesy Carrot Casserole with Bread Crumb Topping

Cheesy Carrot Casserole with Bread Crumb Topping

Photo Credit: www.courtneyssweets.com

Cheesy Carrot Casserole with Bread Crumb Topping

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Balsamic Dijon Roasted Root Vegetables - Healthy Side

Balsamic Dijon Roasted Root Vegetables - Healthy Side

Photo Credit: www.thecreativebite.com

Balsamic Dijon Roasted Root Vegetables is an easy, healthy side dish with sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and tangy balsamic flavor.

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Shredded Carrots with Bacon

Shredded Carrots with Bacon

Photo Credit: cookingwithcurls.com

Shredded Carrots with Bacon is a paleo and Whole30 side dish!

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Photo Credit: www.livewellbakeoften.com

These spiced Carrot Cake Cupcakes are soft, moist, and topped with an easy cream cheese frosting.

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Za'atar Roasted Carrots - A Cedar Spoon

Za'atar Roasted Carrots - A Cedar Spoon

Photo Credit: www.acedarspoon.com

Roasted carrots with za'atar spice and fresh parsley.

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Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

Photo Credit: www.eatingbirdfood.com

Carrot cake overnight oats are a vegan, gluten-free breakfast loaded with grated carrots, raisins and cinnamon!

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Keto Cabbage Salad

Keto Cabbage Salad

Photo Credit: loveinmyoven.com

Crunchy, colorful cabbage, along with carrots, cashews and pepper, gets all dressed up in a zippy, creamy dressing.

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Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies

Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies

Photo Credit: www.thatskinnychickcanbake.com

Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies are soft carrot cake cookies filled with cream cheese frosting!

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Fluffy Carrot Broccoli Fritters Recipe

Fluffy Carrot Broccoli Fritters Recipe

Photo Credit: www.happyfoodstube.com

Carrot & broccoli fritters are a delicious way to get more veggies into your diet!

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Easy Carrot Cake Granola Recipe

Easy Carrot Cake Granola Recipe

Photo Credit: lifemadesweeter.com

Easy carrot cake granola recipe is the perfect healthy breakfast or snack.

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Carrot Orange Ginger Juice

Carrot Orange Ginger Juice

Photo Credit: thelemonbowl.com

Carrot Orange Ginger Juice is a refreshing way to start the day!

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Instant Pot Potato Carrot Medley

Instant Pot Potato Carrot Medley

Photo Credit: veganinthefreezer.com

Instant Pot Potato Carrot Medley has flavor to spare and all in under 30 minutes.

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Classic Carrot Cake Recipe with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

Classic Carrot Cake Recipe with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

Photo Credit: aclassictwist.com

Moist, tender classic carrot layer cake with a luscious ginger cream cheese frosting.

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Coconut Carrot Cake Protein Donuts

Coconut Carrot Cake Protein Donuts

Photo Credit: www.crumbtopbaking.com

Coconut Carrot Cake Protein Donuts are gluten-free, loaded with protein and fibre, and possibly the most delicious healthy donuts you will ever make!

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Ginger Orange Braised and Glazed Carrots

Ginger Orange Braised and Glazed Carrots

Ginger Orange Braised and Glazed Carrots are colorful rainbow carrots braised in fresh orange juice and ginger until perfectly tender!

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Resources:

Berkeley Wellness

Garden.org

Gardeningchannel.com

Gardening Know How

Healthline.com

Organic Facts

Vegetable Facts

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