Photograph by niznoz on Flickr.

Carrots were probably one of the first vegetables I ate growing up, straight from a baby food jar. Luckily, over the years, my preference for the most vibrant of the root vegetables has matured, making way for slow roasting, puréeing with ginger, or simply washing and eating with a container of hummus. Not only are carrots at their most orange this time of year, they're also at their cheapest--and sweetest. That sounds like music to my ears.

As the temperatures continue to decline, I'm craving carrot cake or a simple puréed carrot soup dolloped with some goat cheese. Get experimental with your creations if you can find any of the differently colored carrots at the farmers' market--I've only seen the purple variety.

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