The carrot’s ancestors came from the area around Iran and Afghanistan. They were domesticated and grown more for their aromatic leaves and seeds, not the roots. They are related to dill, coriander, fennel and parsley, other plants noted for their leaves and seeds in cooking.
Carrot roots have almost no starch, but they do have sugars and some varieties can be quite sweet. The bright orange comes from beta-carotene, an important precursor to vitamin A. Carrots are also rich in antioxidants and minerals, and aid digestion and elimination.
Carrots, especially Nash’s Best, are delicious raw, but studies show you get more beta-carotene if the carrots are cooked lightly. They are one of the primary vegetables used in mirepoix, the basis of many sauces in French cuisine. You can steam, mash, sauté, roast, and even grill carrots. They can be candied, grated into salads, added to cookies, cakes, soups, stews and quiches. They are one of the most versatile of vegetables!