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Preparation: Step-by-Step

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Wash hands. Thoroughly scrub carrots with a brush to remove dirt and sand.


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Remove the ends of carrots prior to preparation.

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If desired, peel carrots with a vegetable peeler or knife after washing. Shave the carrot lengthwise to create thin strips or ribbons.

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Depending on the recipe, slice into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick coins, dice into 1/8- to 1/4-inch uniform pieces, or grate.


  • Plant seeds directly into soil in full sun 2-3 weeks before last frost. Plant ½-inch deep, ½-inch apart, and in rows 12-18 inches apart. Water lightly each day until seeds germinate. Then, water 1-2 inches of water per week.

    For more growing information, look for the MSU Extension MontGuide: Planting a Successful Home Vegetable Garden,  or contact your local MSU Extension office.


  • Pick when roots are 1-2 inches thick. Carrots can be left in the ground until needed. Even mature carrots will retain their quality
  • Look for firm, plump, carrots without cracks.
  • Carrots lose moisture through their leafy green tops, so remove the tops before storing. Clean, dry carrots will keep in the refrigerator in a loosely tied or knotted plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.
  • Most vegetables are rich in fiber and phytochemicals, but provide negligible amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium and are gluten-free. Carrots are high in Vitamin A and potassium, with 27 calories per half-cup serving.

Boil or Steam.

  • Slice carrots into 1/4- to 1/2-inch coins and place into steamer or pan of boiling water. Steam or boil about 5-8 minutes or until tender.


  • Add chopped carrots to stews, soups, or pot roasts.


  • Add raw, grated carrots to green salads, muffins, cookies, meat loaf, meatballs, or spaghetti sauce for added nutrients.


  • Slice carrots into 1/4- to 1/2-inch coins and place in a microwaveable dish with three tablespoons of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes or until tender.


  • Rinse, peel, and eat carrots whole or cut into carrot sticks to enjoy plain or with a low-fat dip.


  • Chop carrots into 1/4- to 1/2-inch sections, place in plastic bag and shake with olive oil and desired seasonings. Spread on baking sheet and roast at 400°F for 20-30 minutes or until crisp. Roast with other vegetables, such as potatoes, broccoli, asparagus or cauliflower.


  • To enhance flavor, season with allspice, basil, caraway seed, cloves, cinnamon, curry powder, dill weed, ginger, marjoram, nutmeg, tarragon, or thyme.



For More Information:
Montana State University Extension:
MSU Extension Master Gardener:
MSU Extension Food and Nutrition:
MSU Extension Nutrition Education Programs:


Date of Publication: January 2014

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