Raw versus cooked smackdown!

8 Sep

Large, naked, raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who live in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter“.

-Fran Lebowitz

I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of the raw naked carrot.  Nor am I a fan of the overcooked mushy ones either.  With carrots, for me, I have to strike a balance.  I will never forget one car ride involving a raw carrot…

When my children were small, we were going to visit friends in Florida.  My children travelled beautifully, as I always packed an activity box and healthy snacks for trips.  We flew to Florida, rented a car, and had about a 45 minute drive to our destination.  My daughter, who was about 4 at the time, wanted a raw carrot when we got into the car.  I gave her a small baby carrot.  It was maybe 2 inches long.   She started munching on it as we began our drive.  Well, she was quiet for the rest of the drive, so I didn’t think a thing about her snacking. When we reached our friends house, she still was chewing on that same carrot!  Oh did we have a laugh over that!

Raw fruit and veggies are great, but remember that eating is a tactile experience.  And we want the biggest bang for our buck nutritionally.  Lots to consider here.  Food, whether cooked or raw, should have a pleasant “mouth feel”.  This is an individual preference.  This develops at an early age, but don’t let that stop you from trying new foods!  I have eaten carrots every which way.  My favorite way is still gently cooked.

My favorite way to cook carrots is a recipe that I stole and adapted from Julia Child.  I use mineral water, like Perrier to start with.  I add a few tablespoons of butter, unsalted of course. (A word about salted versus unsalted butter.  I always use unsalted butter when butter is called for.  I use this so I can control the amount of sodium in the dish, but also because salt is a preservative and I feel that unsalted is fresher).  Then I toss in some good salt, perhaps sea salt.  Get that boiling and toss baby or cut carrots in.  Let that return to a boil and cover.  Turn the heat down and let the carrots simmer for about 5 minutes.

Like any “foodie” I rarely measure.  Reciting a recipe is challenging because foodies feel their food, look at their food, and constantly evaluate.  With the recipe previously stated, I will try to better describe.  I put about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of mineral water in the bottom of the sauce pan.  I use 3-4 tablespoons of butter, and maybe 1 tablespoon of salt for about 16 ounces of carrots.  Adjust per your preference.  Try this receip…or eat raw carrots.  Either way, just enjoy the benefits of the wonderful carrot!


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