Rosemary Roasted Whole Purple Carrots

I made these last weekend and they were so incredible that I replicated them again today. I could live on these carrots.

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Until I read “Eating on the Wild Side,” I was ignorant of two very crucial carrot facts:

1. Purple is better.  The phytonutrient that turns things purple does amazing things for the human body. So whenever you have a chance to buy a purple variety of a veggie– go for it! This applies to beets, kale, lettuce, potatoes and more. Unfortunately, I returned my copy of the book yesterday and I haven’t bought myself one yet, so I don’t have the exact list. Suffice it to say, if purple is an option, pick it. I picked up these gems at the PSU farmer’s market this morning. If you can find purples with the greens attached, they are even better. Greens=fresher. Always cut the greens off when you get your carrots home, and store them in a microperforated ziploc bag. (Microperforated= a ziploc bag that has been poked with a pin 10-20 times). The microperforation serves to regulate the gas exchange between the greens and the environment inside your fridge. You can store the carrots themselves in a regular ziploc.  Store both the greens and the carrots in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

2. Cooked carrots are more nutritious than raw carrots!! Cooking method matters, though. (Duh, don’t boil your vegetables, unless you plan to drink the boiling water, which is where all the nutrients will be…) Turns out there’s a little more to it. Roasting or steaming carrots whole allows for the ultimate nutrient absorption by the body.

So instead of slicing and dicing raw carrots, just peel them them and throw them onto a baking sheet whole. Drizzle with olive oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper and whatever herbs you like. I happen to have 2 rosemary bushes, so rosemary is my herb of choice these days. I imagine most anything would be delicious, though. I roasted mine at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. I just check them every 20 minutes or so, poking the thickest carrot with a fork to judge done-ness, and rotating the baking sheet. Depending on the size of your carrots, and how many you roast, the cooking time will vary.

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