Carrot Tops

Carrots are commonly referred to as the ideal health food. Beta carotene in carrots is associated with antioxidant benefits. The following article seeks to discuss different ways of preparing carrot tops.

Common Myths Regarding Carrot Tops

Most people think carrot tops are poisonous but they are edible and contain minerals and vitamins. The following are some of the misconceptions regarding carrot tops:

• Carrot Tops have alkaloids that are toxic compounds and all alkaloids are poisonous since cocaine and caffeine are alkaloids: All leafy greens such as spinach, kales, and others consist of different levels of alkaloids. These are chemical compounds that are a part of the defense mechanism of a plant. Alkaloids are present in most of our foods and they are all not toxic unless taken in huge quantities. The alkaloids present in carrot tops include daucine and pyrrolidine.

• There is a report of people getting sick from eating carrot tops: It could be that such people are allergic or have intolerance towards carrot tops. The difference between food allergy and intolerance is that an allergy is where the immune system responds negatively to a food protein and interprets it as harmful. This causes you to swell, itch, and have trouble breathing or even leads to death. Intolerance is when your body does not have the enzyme necessary for processing a particular kind of food leading to symptoms such as acid reflux, abdominal cramping, and nausea.

A food allergy involving carrots is uncommon. However, there is a reaction known as oral allergy syndrome (OAS) that happens to those allergic to mugwort pollen and birch pollen. Carrots have a protein whose molecule structure is similar to mugwort pollen and birch pollen molecules, hence causing a reaction in those with OAS. Therefore, a person may have an allergy or intolerance to carrot tops but that necessarily does not mean they are toxic.

Carrot Top soup Recipe

• 6 carrots with roots and tops
• 2 tablespoons of butter
• 2 tablespoons of celery leaves, parsley, or chopped drill
• 2 lemon thyme sprigs
• 2 leeks ( the white parts alone)
• 3 tablespoons of white rice
• 6 cups of chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water

Pull the leaves of the carrots off their stems. Wash and then chop them off. Chop or grate the carrots. Melt butter into the cooking pot. Add the carrots, carrot tops, rice, thyme, leeks, and dill. Cook the mixture for a few minutes, turning every now and then and seasoning using 1 ½ teaspoon of slat then add the stock. Allow the mixture to boil and simmer for 16-18 minutes so that the rice is cooked. Season with pepper, taste for salt and finally serve.

Carrot Top Tea

This drink is a good way of detoxifying your body and strengthening your kidneys. It is a good solution for individuals with urinary tract complaints. Tear up a sizeable amount (handful) of carrot leaves and place them inside a teapot. Pour the leaves over boiling water. Leave the tea to cool and remove the leaves from the solution. Place the tea in a cool place- like the fridge- for up to 3 days.

Potato Soup and Carrot Top

• ½ onion that is peeled and chopped
• 1 pint of vegetarian stock
• 1 bunch of green carrot tops
• ½ peeled, chopped potato and fresh black pepper
• 1 star anise
• 1 teaspoon of mustard (Dijon)

Pour the vegetarian stock into a saucepan and let it boil before adding garlic, onion, star anise, potato, and carrot tops. Season the mixture with ground black pepper and salt. Turn down the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 8-10 minutes so that the potato is tender. After removing the star anise, blend the mixture then finish it off with a teaspoon of mustard.

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