October 18, 2010

Snack - No Choke Carrot Sticks

Total Prep Time: Approximately 20 minutes
1 Vegetables & Fruit (1/2 cup carrots, approximately 1 medium carrot)

Orange; Crunchy; Sweet; Superfood ... CARROTS!

Health Facts:
  • One raw 7 inch carrot contains only 31 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrates and a huge 2.2 grams of fibre!
  • Excellent source of beta carotene, which converts to Vitamin A in the body
  • Source of folacin (folic acid or Vitamin B9)
  • A portable snack, perfect for day trips or break time at work
Fun Facts:
  • Popular Ontario varieties include Six-Pak, Avenger, Apache and Caro-chief
  • A very early food in history, native to the part of Asia now known as Afghanistan
  • Known as "Queen Anne's Lace" in it's wild state
Carrots are the perfect snack for your growing child.  They do have one downfall, though.  In their raw form, carrots are very high on the list of 'choking' foods.  Aidan came home from SK the other day and told me that a little girl in his class brought carrot sticks for snack and choked.  He was pretty freaked out by it.  I'm sure the teacher was as well!

Fear not!  I have a handy solution to this common carrot problem, which will have you sending your kids to school with them, and feeding them to your pre-schoolers without that choking fear holding you back.

Clean and peel 4 large carrots.  Cut off both ends.  Cut each carrot into 2-3 inch pieces, then quarter each piece.
Place carrot sticks in a large pot, cover with water and add a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, then lower temperature to a low simmer.  Leave for 5-7 minutes.  Check occasionally, making sure that they do not completely cook through.
When you are able to pierce them with a fork (they shouldn't break apart), drain the water and place the carrot sticks on a kitchen towel or paper towels (see picture on the left).  Allow to completely cool, store in the refrigerator in a container for up to 5 days.

These soft carrot sticks are a perfect snack option for young children.  They should be hard enough to dip, but they are no longer a choking hazard.  They're also very handy as an on-the-go snack for toddlers.

Double or triple the number of carrots above and prepare.  When dinner time comes, place enough carrots to serve your family in a pan and sautee with butter, salt, pepper and fresh parsley.  You don't have to wait for your carrots to cook, you're simply reheating them.  They should be ready in a couple of minutes.


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