Just Because It’s Easy…Doesn’t Mean It’s Better

It’s certainly easier to go for fast food, already cut up, already washed items while you’re grocery shopping or looking for that quick lunch idea……BUT…. is that really the healthier choice?

Let’s start with baby carrots.  In whole carrots, most of the nutrition is contained in or just below the skin.  In order to make baby carrots, this healthy portion is removed.   Then the carrots are washed in chlorinated water and some are even dipped in a stronger chlorine solution to keep their looks once in your local store.  If you believe labels,  “baby carrots” are carrots harvested while the vegetables are still small.  “Baby Cut Carrots” are made by the process explained above.  Which would you rather on your table?  Personally, I’ll take organic whole carrots when I can get them.  These you don’t have to wash.  If they aren’t organic, wash and peel your carrots.  Then you can eat or juice them.

Carrots are a great source of antioxidant compounds, and the richest vegetable source of pro-vitamin A carotenes.  Antioxidant compounds help to protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer and beta-carotene helps to protect good vision, especially night vision that affects most of us over the age of…ahem…..40.  Carrots should be stored in a plastic or “green bag“, or wrapped in a paper towel to reduce the amount of condensation.  When storing in green bags, only store one type fruit or veggie per bag.  If the carrots you buy have their tops attached, cut these before storing, as they will pull moisture from the carrot itself causing it to wilt prematurely.

What else can you do with those fresh, whole, organic carrots?  Breakfast anyone?  Dip anyone?  Did you just call me a dip, madam?

CARROT DRINKS

Try these combinations in your juicer tomorrow morning.

Carrot and apple

Carrot, apple and celery

Carrot all by itself

CARROT AVOCADO DRESSING

1/2 avocado                                 1/2 cup celery juice

1 clove garlic                                1/4 cup water, if needed

cayenne to taste                          1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup carrot juice                        1/4 cup chopped scallion

Combine all ingredients except the scallion in your blender.  Stir in the scallion and season to taste.  This could be used as a dressing for your salad or a dip for your fresh veggies.

How about frozen wheatgrass?  That’s convenient, right?  Ah, but not as healthy and nutritious as the real thing.  Most of the wheatgrass grown for frozen juice or dried wheatgrass powders is grown outside on acres of land.  It is also usually second cut wheatgrass too.  To get optimum benefit from wheatgrass, you want baby grass, first cut grass.  There is a lot to say about frozen vs. fresh that I just don’t have the space for here.  Make your own choice.  You can grow your own wheatgrass. You don’t have to settle for the easy way out.

Next time you’re at the grocery store, don’t take the easy way out.  Get involved with your food.  It matters.  It’s healthier.  Take the time.

Donna Bergonzi-Boyle

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