Kids Club Vol. 26: Carrots
Welcome to the latest issue of our ChopChop Kids Club newsletter!
This month we’re eyeing carrots. And not just because they’re good for your eyesight! They’re sweet and crunchy, tasty raw or cooked—and rabbits love them. So do we! Here’s some of what we know about carrots and how to use them, including a recipe for Carrot Fries and some fun activities to boot.
Happy New Year! We’re root-ing for a great 2021.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Crispy Carrot Fries
Crispy Carrot Fries
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife (adult needed)
- Scrub brush
- Rimmed baking sheet
- Measuring spoons
- Pot holder
- 1 pound carrots, scrubbed but not peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Turn the oven on and set the heat to 400 degrees.
- Put the carrots on the cutting board. Cut off a little bit from both ends, then cut each carrot into thirds.
- Put the spears on the baking sheet, drizzle with the oil, and sprinkle with the salt. Using your clean hands, rub the carrot pieces until they’re lightly coated with oil.
- Once the oven temperature has reached 400 degrees, carefully put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the carrots are browned and crispy, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve right away.
- Add 1 or 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped, to the raw carrots.
- Add 1 teaspoon paprika, chili powder, or curry powder to the raw carrots.
- Add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or cilantro, basil, or mint leaves to the cooked fries.
- Drizzle the fries with 1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice.
- Drizzle the fries with 1 tablespoon plain yogurt.
- Roast the carrots whole!
How to Peel a Carrot
Adult supervision needed. Remember that a peeler is sharp, so avoid touching the blade, and go slowly. While you are learning, it might be hard to get long pieces of peel off each time. That’s okay! You’ll get better at it with practice.
• Peel over a cutting board, bowl, or sink. (Don’t peel over the garbage in case you drop your carrot!)
• Keep your hands on the handle of the peeler and avoid the blade.
• Peel away from you, from end to end in strips, working your way around the carrot until the peel is gone.
• Throw out or compost the peel.
Grow a Carrot Fern
The next time you use a carrot, you can save the top (where the leafy stem used to be) and grow a ferny plant from it! You won’t grow new carrots, but you can use the pretty plant as an herb, to add flavor and color to any dish you’d use parsley in. It goes especially well with—you guessed it!—carrots. Try sprinkling some on a carrot salad or a bowl of carrot soup.
What you need:
Sharp knife (adult needed)
1. Trim off any remaining greens from your carrot, and cut off the top inch (this is also called the “crown”), which you will use. Set the rest of the carrot aside for another use (or just munch on it).
2. Put the carrot top in the dish and add lukewarm (this is the same as “room temperature”) water to come halfway up the side of the carrot piece. Set the carrot in a sunny spot.
3. In about a week, you’ll see fernlike sprouts growing from the top of the carrot. Water it as needed (the water should always come halfway up the side of the carrot) and pluck off sprigs to season your food, if you like.
Baby carrots aren’t really babies! They’re pieces of large carrots that have been cut down. It doesn’t really matter, though— they’re still carrots, and they’re still delicious!
Did your carrots come with their ferny green tops? If so, taste a little bite of a carrot, and then taste a little bite of the carrot greens. How would you describe each of them? In what ways are they similar and different?
Dip a Carrot
Carrot sticks are great for enjoying your favorite dip.
Have you ever thought to feel grateful about a carrot? Probably not! But carrots taste good and are good for you, and you can find them even in the middle of winter. What other basic everyday things in your life can you stop and appreciate? (Toothbrush, we’re looking at you.)
Crafting with Carrots
Save the end of the carrot after you chop it off and use it to stamp some polka dots! Simply squeeze washable paint onto a damp sponge to make a stamp pad (or use a store-bought ink pad). Press the cut side of the carrot onto the stamp pad and then onto a piece of paper. A dot! Make lots, then let the paint dry and use the paper for wrapping gifts. And for other sizes of dots, try cotton swabs, corks, bubble wrap, and cotton balls.
- There are about 100 varieties of carrots.
- On average, Americans eat just over 10 pounds of carrots per person each year.
- The heaviest carrot ever recorded weighed almost 19 pounds!
- 9 carrots contain about as much calcium as 1 glass of milk.
- It takes about 70 days for a carrot to grow from a seed to a root ready for harvest.
- Carrots are composed of roughly 87% water.