An antioxidant powerhouse, carrots are part of the Umbelliferae family. Long known to be excellent sources of beta-carotene and Vitamin A, carrots are also rich in antioxidants and minerals. Release of beta-carotene can be increased with chopping and cooking. Carrots are excellent in both raw and cooked states. Carrots may be julienned, grated, sliced or cubed for salads. They are excellent thinly sliced and deep fried for chips. Cooked carrots make terrific purees and soups, and their natural sweetness lends itself well to desserts.