White Carrot: Everything You Want to Know
While orange carrots may be the most common, the lesser-known white carrot can look confusing to some of you. Are they just parsnips or the same as radishes? Do they have a specific name? Relax, this long-form article will be your ultimate guide to everything you wonder about white carrots. From their appearance, taste, and differences between parsnips to their health benefits and culinary uses, we'll cover it all. So, let's dig in and uncover the crisp, sweet, and nutritious white carrot!
Table of Contents
An Overview of What Are White Carrots
Before we dive into the depths of white carrot goodness, let's take a closer look at this unique root vegetable from multiple aspects:
What are White Carrots Called
Frankly speaking, you can simply call a white carrot ‘white carrot’. However, if you really want to dig the truth, these carrots retain the same botanical name as their colorful counterparts, which is Daucus carota. So you can also call them Daucus carota.
How White Carrot Looks Like
- Color: Unlike the well-known orange carrots, white carrots are distinguished by their pale, ivory, or creamy white exterior with green tops.
- Shape: They are generally long and cylindrical with a slightly tapered end, although some varieties may have a more rounded shape.
- Size: White carrots are typically similar in size to orange carrots, ranging from small and slender to medium-sized and robust.
- Texture: The skin of white carrots is smooth and thin, and when properly cleaned, it has a clean, polished appearance.
How Does A White Carrot Taste Like
White carrots offer a delightful and balanced combination of subtle sweetness and earthiness. They have a milder flavor compared to orange carrots, making them a perfect choice for those who prefer a more delicate taste. The flesh inside is dense, firm, and crisp, offering a satisfying crunch when eaten raw or lightly cooked. Yes, white carrots can be eaten raw.
Nutritional Benefits of White Carrots
White carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which supports healthy vision, immune function, and skin health. Additionally, they provide a good amount of vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system and aids in collagen production for healthy skin. With their share of vitamin K, white carrots play a crucial role in blood clotting and bone health.
These carrots are also packed with dietary fiber - promoting proper digestion and gut health, and potassium - an essential mineral for regulating blood pressure and supporting heart health.
Are White Carrots Parsnips
No, white carrots are not parsnips. But it’s not your fault to take them for parsnips, after all, they do have some similarities. For example, both white carrots and parsnips have a pale or light color and pretty much the same shape. So how to tell the true white carrots? Check the following differences between white carrots and parsnips.
Appearances: While white carrots and parsnips may look similar in their long tubular bodies with tapering ends, the white carrot is generally shorter and thicker with a more consistent width. Additionally, white carrots offer color variations such as yellow and purple, while parsnips are primarily found in an ivory color.
Taste: It should be the biggest difference between these two vegetables. As mentioned above, white carrots have a delicate and subtle sweetness with a mild earthy undertone. Parsnips, on the other hand, are renowned for their sweet and nutty flavor with a hint of earthiness. The sweetness of parsnips becomes more pronounced when cooked, making them a delightful addition to various savory and sweet dishes.
Nutritional Content: Compared with the nutritional benefits of the white carrot mentioned above, parsnips are particularly high in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and supports a healthy gut.
Culinary Uses: Due to their mild flavor and crisp texture, white carrots are often used in salads, coleslaws, and as a crunchy raw snack. They can also be steamed, sautéed, or roasted. Compared with white carrots, parsnips are more versatile in the kitchen and can be used in a wide array of dishes, say, soups, stews, and pot roasts.
White Carrot Culinary
Speaking of culinary uses, we’ve prepared two popular recipes that maximize the flavor of the white carrot, including Roasted White Carrot Medley and Creamy White Carrot Soup.
Roasted White Carrot Medley
- 1 lb white carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley (optional, for garnish)
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, toss the white carrot sticks with olive oil, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper until evenly coated.
- Spread the seasoned carrot sticks in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Roast the carrots in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until they are tender and slightly caramelized, flipping them halfway through for even cooking.
- Once roasted, remove the carrots from the oven and transfer them to a serving dish.
- Optionally, garnish the roasted white carrot medley with fresh parsley for added freshness and color.
- Serve the medley as a flavorful side dish alongside your favorite main course.
Creamy White Carrot Soup
- 1 lb white carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup heavy cream or coconut milk (for a dairy-free option)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh chives or parsley (for garnish)
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, sautéing them until they become translucent and fragrant.
- Add the chopped white carrots to the pot and stir, cooking for a few minutes until they start to soften slightly.
- Pour in the vegetable broth, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the carrots cook until they are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Once the carrots are fully cooked, use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a blender (in batches if necessary) to puree the soup until smooth and creamy.
- Return the pureed soup to the pot and stir in the heavy cream or coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste, adjusting the seasoning as needed.
- Reheat the soup over low heat if necessary, making sure not to boil it once the cream has been added.
- Ladle the creamy white carrot soup into bowls, and garnish with fresh chives or parsley for an extra burst of flavor and color.
Tips on Planting & Caring White Carrots
If you are ever interested in growing white carrots yourself, I mean, indoor gardening is becoming so popular nowadays, you should definitely check out the tips below!
- White carrots thrive in cool weather, so the best time to plant them is in early spring or late summer. Sow the seeds directly into well-draining soil and keep them consistently moist until germination.
- White carrots require regular watering and should be kept weed-free to ensure healthy growth. Thin out the seedlings to provide enough space for the carrots to develop properly. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, and take appropriate measures to protect your carrot crop.
- White carrots thrive in full sun conditions, which means they need at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Placing them in a location with ample sunlight ensures they receive the energy needed for photosynthesis, promoting healthy growth and sweet flavor development. You can also use an LED grow light for indoor growing.
In conclusion, white carrots bring a unique and delightful twist to the world of root vegetables. With their crisp texture, subtle sweetness, and nutritional goodness, these ivory wonders have earned their place in the culinary spotlight. Whether you're a food enthusiast or a health-conscious individual, exploring the charms of white carrots is an adventure worth embarking upon.
FAQs about White Carrots
- Are white carrots genetically modified?
No, white carrots are not genetically modified. They are a naturally occurring variety of carrots with their unique color and flavor.
- Can white carrots be eaten raw?
Absolutely! It is not likely to get sick or killed when eating raw white carrots. Actually, they can add a visual and textural appeal to salads, providing a refreshing and slightly sweet crunch.
- Are white carrots less nutritious than orange carrots?
No, white carrots offer similar nutritional benefits to orange carrots. While their pigment may differ, both varieties are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
- Is White Carrot the Same as Radish
No, the white carrot and radish are entirely different vegetables with distinct characteristics. Although they share the white color in certain varieties, radishes are known for their peppery flavor and diverse shapes and colors, which is nothing alike white carrots.