One serving of baby carrots, or 3 ounces, is equal to about nine carrots. This serving includes 30 calories, 0.1 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.54 grams of protein.
Baby Carrots vs. Manufactured Baby Carrots
Baby carrots made their debut in 1989 in the produce section of United States supermarkets. However, there are two types to consider: true baby carrots and "manufactured" baby carrots.
A natural baby carrot is just what it sounds like ― a carrot that hasn't grown past its immature stage, which is long before the root reaches the mature size. In the 1980s, it was popular to harvest the carrot as the result of crop thinning and capitalized on the opportunity to market.
The more commonly seen "baby carrot" flood the supermarkets and have become a lunchbox staple throughout the United States. These carrots are manufactured to be cut, peeled, and shaped to its size. These carrots are bred specially to be smaller, coreless, and tend to be sweeter than regular carrots.
Are Baby Carrots Healthy?
Beyond being a low-fat food, carrots are a nutritional powerhouse, containing 235 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A and 12 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C per serving. Each serving of carrots provides just 2 percent of the recommended daily intake of calories. Additionally, carrots are a great source of dietary fiber, containing 8 percent of the recommended daily value per 3-ounce serving.
Ways to Cook Baby Carrots
The most common way to munch on these vegetables is raw by themselves or with a dip. However, other ways these can be cooked include roasting them in the oven, boiling them in a pot, steaming them in a microwave, or sautéing them in a pan.
There are other creative ways to spice up the cuisine routine. Try to pickle your baby carrots or juicing them. You could also create a summer treat mixing the carrot juice with lemonade, filling ice-pop molds, and freezing them.
Parents can sneak those vegetables in, by hiding carrots in a kid-favorite of mac and cheese. Add pureed carrots into the dish before baking.
Fun Facts About Carrots
Carrots get their orange color from beta carotene, which is a red-orange pigment found in plants and fruits. According to WSDA Farm to School Program, the average person will consume 10,866 carrots in a lifetime and around 10.6 pounds per year. Although carrots provide 30 percent of the vitamin A in the U.S., it's true that eating too many can turn your skin orange.
Carrots are grown in four main regions, and the biggest state producers include California with more than 85 percent production, along with Michigan, Washington, and Texas.