Carrots in Your Easter Grocery Basket

Posted at: 03/26/2013 11:17 AM
Updated at: 03/27/2013 9:15 AM


There’s good reason for the Easter bunny’s favorite food to be in your grocery basket! Today your Hy-Vee registered dietitian, Jen Haugen, gives the common carrot a fresh look for your viewers.

Carrot Patch Snacks
Serves 1
All you need:
2 tbsp. hummus
1 (3 oz. size) paper cup, trimmed to fit mini terra cotta pot
4 baby carrots
4 sprigs parsley
1 mini terra cotta pot (optional)
All you do:
1. Spoon hummus into paper cup. 
2. Carefully poke a hole in the top of each baby carrot with the toothpick. Insert a sprig of parsley into each hole.
3. Plant each parsley-topped carrot in the hummus. 
4. Optional: place the cups in mini terra-cotta pots.
Source: Family Fun Magazine
The Root of Good Nutrition
Carrots are nutrient-packed root vegetables. With only 25 calories per medium carrot, this crunchy vegetable offers potassium and folate for heart health, fiber for optimal digestion and ample amounts of the antioxidant nutrient, beta-carotene, for healthy cells. Beta-carotene is an orange-pigmented antioxidant, named after carrots, that our bodies convert to 
vitamin A.  
Accentuate the Sweetness
Raw carrots are a healthy and convenient snack; however,  
roasting allows their natural sugars to caramelize, enhancing 
the sweetness of this common vegetable. Pair carrots with 
parsnips, their sweeter cousins, for a roast vegetable side dish
that’s far more than rabbit food! Parsnips are similar in nutritional
value, although white rather than colorful, and higher in fiber 
than carrots. 
Easy Easter Breakfast Casserole
Serves 12.  Adapted from Unilever Kitchens.
1/4 cup margarine soft spread, like Country Crock® Spread, divided
3 cups cut-up vegetables (peppers, onions, shredded carrots, broccoli florets)
8 large eggs
2 cups fat-free milk
2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
1 bag (16 oz.) frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1/2 cup finely diced ham
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon Spread; set aside.
  2. Melt remaining Spread in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook vegetables, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes.
  3. Whisk eggs with milk in large bowl. Stir in 1-1/2 cups cheese, cooked vegetables, potatoes and ham. Pour into prepared baking dish.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover, then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake 30 minutes or until eggs are thoroughly cooked.
Jen Haugen represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community.  Jen is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.