The carrot is one of the most valuable of all our root vegetables and to-day we are apt to take them a little too much for granted and to forget how rich they are in protective elements. Among other good things they contain “carotene,” one of the important sources of Vitamin A which strengthens our resistance to infection. There is a certain amount of sugar in them, too, and this is useful for our war-time diet. As many a wise mother knows, the child who eats raw carrot freely is most unlikely to have a craving for sweets. Most children, fortunately, love raw carrot and below we have given some suggestions for introducing it into the daily diet. Adults may find it a little strange at first but it is such a real health food that it is well worth while persevering with it.
Some recipes for cooking carrots.
The carrots should be well washed, lightly scraped and grated. Children (and adults too for that matter) should have at least two tablespoonsful each day. It may be eaten in sandwiches and is often liked when put between bread spread with margarine and a little vegetable extract. Wholemeal bread goes particularly well with carrot. Here are two other sandwich suggestions.
1. Add two parts of grated raw carrot to one part of finely shredded white heart of cabbage, and bind with chutney or sweet pickle. Pepper and salt to taste.
2. Prepare and cut the carrot into small cubes, and cook in well blended curry sauce. When perfectly tender, the vegetable forms a substantial spread, yielding to the knife.
Raw carrot may also be served grated in a vegetable salad. Put it in heaps on fresh lettuce leaves, or with the finely shredded heart of a cabbage with chopped beetroot, chopped celery, grated apple and so on. Here are two useful salads.
A Quick Salad
An economical winter salad for four people can be made by mixing a teacupful of grated raw carrot with a teacupful of the finely shredded heart of a young cabbage and the contents of a tin of baked beans in tomato sauce.
Carrot Cap Salad
Cook two or three good sized potatoes in their skins. When tender, strain without drying off, to avoid making them floury. Slice and dice neatly; then dress in vinaigrette dressing (two parts of salad oil to one of vinegar, pepper and salt to taste) while they are still hot. Pile in a salad bowl lined with a few shredded lettuce leaves or watercress. Sprinkle with a little chopped chive or rings of spring onion, and pile high with grated carrot. To make a more substantial dish, add one or two boned sardines or fillets of smoked herring.
Wash and scrape the carrots and if large cut into rings. Put them in the top of a steamer, sprinkle with a little salt and steam about 20 minutes. If liked, serve with parsley sauce.
Prepare the carrots as above and boil in a very little salted water in a covered saucepan until tender. Use the liquid for gravy or soup, or thicken it with flour (1/2 oz. flour to 1/4-pint liquid) boil well and serve the carrots in it.
Prepare 1 Ib. carrots as above and put in a saucepan with l oz. fat and a few tablespoonfuls of salted water. Put on the lid and simmer until tender. Dish up the carrots and keep hot. Add a generous sprinkling of finely chopped parsley or the feathery tops of the carrots to the liquid in the pan, boil up, pour over the carrots and serve at once.
Carrots Baked Round the Joint
When cooking a joint, prepare carrots as above and put them in the baking tin round the joint. Cover with margarine paper until the last ten minutes.
1 Ib. carrots outside sticks and tops of a head of celery 1/2 oz. fine oatmeal a few bacon rinds or 1 oz. bacon fat pepper and salt and a pinch of nutmeg, if liked.
Scrape the carrots and cut into rings. Wash the celery and cut into inch lengths. Frizzle the bacon rinds or melt the fat in a saucepan, put in the carrots and celery and cook gently for about 5 minutes, shaking occasionally. Add 1 1/2 pints of water and simmer for 1 hour; then mash the vegetables to pulp with the blunt end of a rolling pin. Remove the bacon rinds and any stringy bits of celery. Blend the oatmeal with a little water and add to the soup. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then season and serve with rusks, made by baking the ends of a loaf, or any left over bread, in the oven till quite crisp.
Carrots and Peas
Scrape and slice 1 Ib. of carrots. Boil in half a teacupful of salted water for about 10 minutes. Then put in a teacupful of shelled peas and a little chopped mint. Cover and boil until the peas are ready. Drain, saving the water for gravy or soup, and if possible, toss in teaspoonful of margarine before serving.
Carrots and Sprouts
Scrape and slice the carrots, prepare and slice the sprouts. Steam together until tender (about 15 minutes) sprinkling them with a little salt in the steamer. If possible, toss together with a teaspoonful of margarine before serving.
Carrots and Apples
This may sound an unusual combination but it is very good served with roast meat. Scrape and slice 1 Ib. of carrots; peel and quarter 1/2 Ib. apples. Put a teacupful of salted water in a saucepan, put in the carrots and lay the apples on top. Do not stir. Simmer until both are tender, then take out the apples with a spoon and arrange in the centre of a dish, with the carrots round them. Keep hot. Thicken the liquid in the pan with a teaspoonful of fine oatmeal, mixed to a smooth paste with a little water, add a teaspoonful of margarine if possible, and a pinch of mixed spice if liked. Boil for 5 minutes and then pour over the carrots and apples and serve.
This is light, digestible and delicious for a meatless lunch or dinner. 1/4 Ib. carrots 1/2 teacupful of milk
1/2 oz. margarine pinch of nutmeg
1/2 oz. flour pepper and salt
Scrape, boil, drain and mash the carrots. Melt the margarine in a small pan, stir in the flour, cook together for a few minutes and then stir in the milk. Add the carrot puree, a pinch of nutmeg, pepper and salt to taste and pour into a well greased basin or mould. Steam for 3/4 of an hour.
The dish looks most attractive if the mixture is set in a border mould and the centre filled with cooked spinach or other green vegetables. In any case, tomatoes or a green vegetable should accompany it.
6 carrots 1 gill of milk
1 oz. margarine 1 oz. cornflour
seasoning to taste fat for frying
Cook the carrots in the usual waytill tender, drain and put through a sieve. Add seasoning to taste. Make a thick white sauce with the cornflour, margarine and milk, and then add the sieved carrot to it. Leave till cold, then shape into croquettes, roll in oatmeal and fry in hot, deep fat. Drain well and serve.
Curried Carrots and Chestnuts in Potato Border
2 Ibs. Carrots 1/2 oz. flour
1 Ib. chestnuts 1 apple peeled and sliced
1/4 oz curry powder 1 stick celery, chopped
1 oz. dripping 1/2 onion (if possible) peeled and sliced
1 pint stock or water 1 tablespoonful plum jam
a dash of vinegar
Scrape and slice the carrots. Nick the chestnuts, put into a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and, while still hot, remove the skins.
Melt the dripping in a pan, put in the apple, onion, celery and curry powder and fry them lightly. Then mix in the water and vinegar, stir well and add the carrots, chestnuts and plum jam. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with a border of mashed potatoes.
How to store Carrots
The secret of storing carrots is in lifting them (pulling them up) in good condition. Lift them during dry weather, not later than the middle of October. Reject all blemished carrots and all damaged or forked roots. It is not necessary to clean them, but be careful to see they are quite dry.
You will need a dry shed for your storing, if possible with a stone or concrete floor, and some slightly moist sand. If you cannot get sand, earth taken from the top of the ground, shaken through a very fine sieve and slightly moistened, is the best substitute.
Lay alternate rows of carrots and sand (or earth) either on the ground, in pyramid shape, or in boxes. Cover your pyramid or box with sand (or earth). Put over it a layer of straw as a safeguard against frost. The carrots should be stored crown to tail in rows. Use the carrots as you require them, but take care that the remaining pile is always well covered. It is a wise plan to rebuild your pyramid at least once during the winter.