Outlines how to shred carrots to different sizes for salads, soups, stews or cakes. And what to avoid doing to keep your fingers safe when grating.
Carrots are arguably one of the most popular vegetables ever. Because they taste sweet and can be nibbled straight out of the hand. They can also be made into salads, vegetables, juice and even cakes in no time at all. Since carrots are also among the top suppliers of carotenoids, they are also extremely healthy – especially for the eyes, skin and heart. At the same time, they protect against diabetes, arteriosclerosis and cancer. By the way, carrots are not only available in orange. They are also available in white, purple and almost black.
In the beginning there was the wild carrot. Like all other carrots, but also dill, coriander and fennel, it belongs to the umbelliferae family. It’s original home is believed to be probably the Middle East. Today, however, it can be found all over the world and even grows wild in Europe on meadow fringes and roadsides. You can easily recognize the roadside ones there by their unique flower. Because only the wild carrot has a black point among all fronds in the middle of its snow-white fronds.
The wild carrot was already used by Stone Age people as a food, but also as a medicinal plant. Its leaves were used on injuries and wounds, while its seeds were used as a contraceptive. Its pole-shaped and thin root, on the other hand, was considered a symbol of fertility and was used as an aphrodisiac.
But while the wild carrot is now unfortunately hardly noticed and is only appreciated by wild herb lovers, one of her daughters has taken the world by storm. The carrot (Daucus carota subsp. Sativus) – also known as garden carrots, or yellow turnips – is the result of a cross between wild carrots and other types of carrots and was already a popular vegetable in ancient times. Compared to its ancestor, the carrot has a special advantage: a much larger, juicier and sweeter root.
Whether for soups, stews, baby food or carrot salad – it is really handy to know how to shred a carrot quickly and safely. If you grate carrots in a coleslaw, you will not only enhance it visually but also enhance the blend of flavors. In this article we show you which options there are to grate the vitamin-rich vegetables. How to julienne carrot and other vegetables: 5 ways with different tools
How to shred carrots: select grater for size you want
The first step in how to shred carrots and other vegetables, even cheese and the like quickly and easily, you need above all: a really sharp grater! When shredding or grating, you have a choice of how big or small you want the shreds to be by using different graters. The shredding is a happy medium between the cutting into small pieces with a knife and complete pureeing, and you can use different parts of a grater for all the sizes in between.
On the coarse holes of the grater, coarser strips are created. If the pieces are to be finer, it is more a question of rubbing over the smaller-holed sides. Both methods are mainly used when larger quantities are required and precision is not so important.
Grated carrots can never compete with accurately cut julienne strips in terms of aesthetics and mouthfeel. However, this is irrelevant if the shreds end up in potato pancakes, dumplings or carrot salad. Ingredients become easier to shape by rubbing or can be mixed better with other ingredients. (Grated cheese is often used for gratinating dishes. In this way, it can be distributed evenly over the casserole and also melts much faster than a solid slice of cheese. In grated form, several types of cheese can be mixed without any problems so that the crust gets a good taste.)
How to shred carrots: You need sharp tools
The classic grater for how to shred carrots is the good old stainless steel kitchen grater. They are usually available as a rectangular disc or as a cylinder with a different cut surface on each side. The range of shapes usually includes coarse rasps, finer openings and a slot for thin slices as standard. It cannot be stressed enough: you really shouldn’t be too frugal when buying your kitchen grater. The stainless steel openings have to be very sharp so that hard vegetables such as carrots are actually cut and not just get stuck in pieces and break off. Soft cucumbers are simply compressed before dull grating.
You can produce particularly fine shreds with a so-called mandolin. This high-quality vegetable slicer has a razor-sharp blade and is usually supplied with several attachments that grate different shapes.
You don’t need to grate a lot of carrots as an addition to the salad
- A larger carrot makes about a cup full of shredded carrots.
- Wash the vegetables thoroughly and peel the carrot with a peeler .
- Then simply grate the healthy carrot into fine graters with a grater. Both a flat grater and a box grater are suitable for this.
- If you have a food processor, grating carrots is even easier. Again, wash and peel the vegetables in advance.
- Additionally, cut the carrots into small pieces before then putting them in the food processor. To shred in the food processor, insert the disc with the rasp holes.
Take care of your fingers!
Be super careful when using a grater or mandolin. Mandolins particularly are so sharp that you should always use the holder to guide the cut material over the blade. Some professional chefs have rasped their fingertips on a mandolin in a moment of inattention. But caution is also advised with the conventional kitchen grater. In no time you will have yanked your finger open at the pointy points. So it is better to stop grating a little earlier and chop the last piece of vegetables or potatoes with a knife.
You play it safer when you leave the shredding and grating to a food processor. They often have corresponding discs you can use. Or you can simply chop up the vegetable pieces directly in the device. However, more juice can escape from the carrots when you shred them this way.
Colorful carrots are on the rise
If you ask someone today what color the carrot is, the answer is most likely: orange! That was not always so. Because long before the orange carrot gained popularity, white, yellow, red and purple carrots were eaten.
While the beets of the wild carrot and the carrots once cultivated in the Mediterranean area are white, the yellow, red and purple forms have their origin in Afghanistan. They did not reach Spain and Italy until the 12th century. From the 16th century, yellow beets were the undisputed number one in all of Europe. Many sources indicate that the very first orange-colored carrots were bred in Holland at precisely that time, supposedly to honor the Dutch royal house of Orange-Nassau.
However, this is only a legend, as some old illustrations clearly show that the orange-colored carrots must have existed in ancient times. It should also be said that the word “orange” was only used from the 16th century and was previously described with adjectives such as yellow-red or dark yellow. Nevertheless, it was really the Dutch who made a name for themselves through the targeted breeding of orange-colored carrots.
These varieties were so popular, not only because of their color, but also because of their taste that the yellow beet was only used as fodder in the course of the 19th century, while the red and purple carrots were completely forgotten. In the meantime, carrots of different colors are increasingly being grown and offered again, which today – just like the orange carrot back then – attract a lot of attention due to the unusual colors.
The purple carrots in particular are now also available in some supermarkets. They are called Purple Dragon, Purple Haze, Lila Luder or Black Spanish.
The nutrients in the carrot
Like most vegetables, carrots consist of almost 90 percent water, the calorific value is 109 kJ (26 kcal). Despite their natural sweetness, the delicious carrots are very low in calories, with raw carrots filling more than cooked ones. There are around 100 grams of fresh carrots:
Per 100 g of carrots:
Calorific value: 26 kcal / 109 kJ
Carbohydrates: 4.8 g (of which sugars: 2 g)
Dietary fiber: 3.6 g
Protein: 1 g
Fat: 0.2 g
Carrots contain interesting amounts of minerals and vitamins and thus can go a long way towards a healthy life. The following is a list of those vital substances that are contained in particularly high quantities in carrots. The information relates to 100 grams of the root vegetables:
|Vitamin||Vitamins per 100 g of carrot|
|Beta carotene||9960 µg|
|Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)||2692 µg|
|Vitamin A||1660 µg|
|Vitamin B3 (niacin equivalent)||787 µg|
|Vitamin B3 (niacin)||604 µg|
|Vitamin E.||482 µg|
|Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)||266 µg|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)||165 µg|
|Vitamin B1 (thiamine)||109 µg|
|Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)||15 µg|
|Folic acid||13 µg|
|Vitamin B7 (biotin)||4.9 μg|
|minerals||Minerals per 100 g of carrot|
The glycemic index of carrots
The glycemic index (GI) of foods has long been popular as part of the so-called glyx diet. The GI indicates how strongly the respective food influences the blood sugar level. The higher the GI, the faster the blood sugar level rises after consuming the food and the less favorable this should have on weight. The GI of glucose (100) is the highest.
Raw carrots have – depending on the source – a GI of 20 to 30, cooked carrots a GI of 40 to even 85 – which is an extremely high GI value. For comparison: white bread also has a GI of 85, while household sugar only has a GI of 70. Understandable if carrot vegetables suddenly fell into disrepute, at least among those who wanted to take the GI into account in their diet.
However, the GI always refers to 50 grams of carbohydrates . White bread now consists of almost 50 percent carbohydrates. This means that the negative effect on the blood sugar level becomes apparent after consuming 100 grams of white bread, because then you have consumed 50 grams of carbohydrates with this food.
However, steamed carrots only consist of 4 percent carbohydrates. So to take in 50 grams of carbohydrates with carrot vegetables, you would have to eat 1.25 kilograms, which hardly anyone will do. And even if it were, it cannot be compared with the consumption of white bread, since the carbohydrate content of a food alone is not enough to assess its health value.
The GI is therefore not very practical and should in no way deter you from preparing delicious carrot vegetables as often as possible.
The carrot fiber
Carrot fiber is a very beneficial combination of soluble and insoluble fiber. Even people who are normally sensitive to fiber generally don’t with carrots.
While the soluble fiber stimulates the metabolism and can help to lower blood fat levels and excrete cholesterol, the insoluble fiber stimulates the bowel movement and alleviates gastrointestinal problems. Carrots have the great advantage that they can work wonders for both constipation and diarrhea.