Recovering the Lost Art of the Carrot Stick

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Over the past fifteen years, pre-cut baby carrots have become the main way that consumers buy this highly nutritious root vegetable. But unless there’s a good sale, my experience – both in the Midwest and West Coast – is that a pound of carrots costs at least $1.50/pound.

But, there is a better way. A way that was good enough for our moms and our grandmothers: Buying whole carrots and cutting them yourself. Who woulda thunk it?

A one-pound bag of whole carrots costs about 50 cents – about 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of baby-cut carrots. Plus, I’ve found that they taste better than baby carrots. Here’s a simple, easy way to create your own carrot sticks.

And it’s not hard.

Wash and peel your carrots. Cut off the two ends. Split the carrot in half, lengthwise.

Cut each half in half again, lengthwise. Then, chop each of those quarters into serving size pieces. I like thirds.

Pretty, easy, good, and cheap.

For more kitchen tips, visit Tammy’s Recipes every Tuesday.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. jasi says

    grandma always cut them in quarters up top, halves down below and halves lengthwise. they’d go into a crystal cut pitcher with a little water, ice cubes and celery sticks in the fridge for all day snacking. awesome

  2. AllieZirkle says

    I rarely buy baby carrots. They’re expensive! My mom and sister gag at the thought of eating a carrot stick, but that’s how I serve them to my family. With a hubby and kiddo in braces, it’s easier for them to eat thin carrot sticks too. I feel wasteful slicing baby carrots!

  3. Mo says

    It’s also healthier to buy big carrots and cut them up, the little ones are technically processed and rumour has it, they have cholrine in them (which is why they turn white after a few days).
    Nice little reminder, that takes only a minute or so to cut them up, and you’ve got a healthy snack for a few days!

  4. Donna Clelments says

    One question: where on EARTH are you getting carrots .50 a pound? Where I live, it’s over a buck, and that’s from the ‘cheapest’ available source.

    • This post is a bit old, but if I buy the big BIG bag, I can still get them for that price. Currently, it’s about $0.75 for the smaller bags.

  5. Diane says

    I hate those bags of ‘baby’ carrots, they are always wet and slimy. I ALWAYS buy regular carrots and peel them!

  6. Janet says

    I never buy baby carrots. I don’t like the taste or the price. We usually buy about 2 lbs every week. Half are cut up for carrots sticks, about 1/4 are grated for salads and the other 1/4 is diced for soups and other entrees. At our store you can purchase carrots in a bag or loose. The loose are usually 40 to 50 percent cheaper per pound.

    • Interesting about the price difference for loose. I don’t think I’ve noticed loose, just bundles with their tops. Are they trimmed and loose?

      • Janet says

        They have their tops and are simply tossed in a bin and you pick out the ones you want. I typically try to pick out some slim ones for sticks and some fat ones to grate. By the way, I shop at Kroger.

  7. Karen J says

    When our granddaughter was 3 she told us she only likes snowman carrots, not baby carrots. That has stuck in our family and we always call regular carrots “snowman carrots”. Like Janet, I also like the loose ones, as you can pick the size you need. I pick hefty ones for beef stew and thinner ones for stir fry.

  8. Chris says

    I can’t stand bagged baby carrots (slimy one day, dried up and covered with white stuff the next!). I read that they are not actually “baby” carrots at all — they are mature carrots that have been peeled and cut to a smaller size (and then rounded, I suppose?).

    I much prefer to spend the few minutes to wash, peel and cut real carrot sticks. I like them really slender — got used to cutting them that way for kids with braces. I used to be a marching band mom, in charge of band camp lunches, and I insisted on cutting up “real” carrot sticks rather than using bagged baby carrots. Can’t tell you how many teens with braces used to thank me for cutting up the carrots that way. Apparently not many people do it anymore!


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