Carrots are known for being some of the sweetest vegetables out there. In fact, they’re in the top five as far as sugar content goes, along with peas, corn, beets, and tomatoes. If you’re a sugar fiend and would love to know which carrots are the sweetest, read on!
Of All the Varieties, Which Carrots are the Sweetest?
Those that are reddish-orange seem to have the highest sugar content. As such, aim for the most color-saturated in these hues if you’re looking for sweetness. Some purple varieties can also be very sweet! Again, those that have a strong reddish hue appear to correspond with high sweetness.
Interestingly, the more red pigment a fruit or vegetable has, the higher its lycopene levels. This powerful antioxidant is found in other sweet fruits and vegetables. You’ll find it in tomatoes, watermelon, sweet potatoes, papayas, beets, and sweet red and orange peppers.
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These are some of the most popular carrots around, and with good cause. Not only are they insanely easy to grow, they taste absolutely perfect. Honestly, if you’re looking for a carrot that has an almost candy-like sweetness, grow these. They’re juicy and crunchy, magnificent raw, and insanely good in juice or soup. They get even sweeter when you cook them!
Try roasting them with a bit of maple syrup for an intensely good side dish. Oh, and if you use these carrots for cake or muffins, you don’t need to add much sugar. They’re just that sweet.
As mentioned, carrots that are on the redder side tend to be sweeter. While these carrots are as orange on the outside as Kurodas, these red-cored Chantenays have a deep red core that’s intensely sweet.
Related Article: Why are Some Carrots Different Colors?
Pusa Rudhira Red Carrots
If you’re looking for a seriously red, sweet carrot, check these out. They come from India, and are some of the best carrots available for juicing. They’re also amazing for eating raw. Keep in mind that you need to consume fats to absorb carrots’ various antioxidants properly. Try making curried carrot soup with coconut oil or almond butter stirred into it. Top it with toasted pumpkin seeds too! Alternatively, use these for carrot cake and be sure to include plenty of healthy oils.
Not only are these some of the darkest carrots around, they’re also some of the sweetest. Cut them into round slices to reveal white starbursts at their core! These have elderberry or blackberry flavors when you juice them, and are spectacular cooked as well as raw. Shred them into salads, or roast them with garlic to compliment their sweet nuttiness.
These carrots might be a lighter orange than the others above, but their flavor is spectacular. When you taste them, you’ll understand how they got their name. Not only do these have a really high sugar content, they’re still tender and juicy, even when raw. This makes them rather perfect for juicing, as well as dunking into your favorite dips.
Cosmic Purple carrots are deep burgundy-purple on the outside, and yellow-orange inside. They combine the best traits of purple and orange carrots: they’re incredibly sweet, but also spicy! Use these for juicing or eating raw, as their delicate flavors get muddled when you cook them.
How to Grow the Sweetest Carrots
If you’re interested in growing these tasty vegetables at home, we have a special tip for you. You’ll get the sweetest-tasting carrots when they mature towards the end of summer, or early fall. Carrots’ sugars develop best when the days are warm and sunny, but the nights get quite cool.
This is because during the day, the carrots’ greens create carbohydrate sugars during the photosynthesis process. Those sugars trickle down into their roots as the temperature cools. On hot nights, those carrot roots will sweat and release the sugars into surrounding soil. In contrast, on cooler nights, these vegetables basically just sleep. As a result, they don’t use up any of that sugar energy. It just sits there in the root, waiting to be harvested and munched on by you.
If you live in a temperate zone, aim to harvest your carrots in early September. Pick them in the evening, if possible, preferably an hour or so after the sun sets.
As you may have noticed if you’ve ever grown vegetables before, each seed packet has details listed on the back. These will tell you how long the plant will take to mature. For example, the Tendersweet carrots mentioned above mature in 75 days. Let’s say that you want to pick yours on September 15th. Be sure to plant your seeds around July 1st, and they should be perfect by your expected harvest date.
Further Reading: What are the Easiest Carrots to Grow?
Now that you know which carrots are the sweetest, you have a solid idea of which ones to try. Or to try growing! Make friends with the farmers at your local markets and find out what varieties they grow. Seriously, if you’re a dedicated carrot lover, keep a notebook or spreadsheet of your favorite types. That way, you’ll be able to try as many as possible, and grow the ones you love the most too.
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