Can Carrot Soup Help You See In The Dark?

It was recently suggested that I have my eyes tested. It’s becoming quite common for me to enthusiastically wave at someone in the street to discover they aren’t who I thought they were. So far I haven’t gotten into any awkward situations, but it’s only a matter of time.

Going to the opticians isn’t something I would choose to do, I’d rather go to the dentist. My teeth I have some control over, my eyes very little. But it was time to make an eye appointment and I’d made the decision to change to a local optician rather than visit a high street retailer again (in line with my philosophy on supporting local business where I can).

Then my new optician sabotaged today’s blog post theme.

I’d planned on sharing my simple slow cooker carrot soup recipe and explain my quest to eat more carrots in order to improve my eyesight (which deteriorates further at night) – after all we have all been told since tiny to eat up our carrots and be like the bunnies who can see in the dark. Anything’s worth a shot after you turn 40 (+2).

I do not believe in coincidences but I truly believe in synchronicities. The visit to the opticians, the day before my post on the benefits of carrots, was destined to coincide with my optometrist explaining the origins of how carrots came to be the vegetable linked to better eyesight.

Are you sitting comfortably? Glasses at the ready?

It transpires the myth about carrots helping you see in the dark was popularized during World War II. Pilots were deliberately served excessive amounts of carrots at mealtimes to increase legitimacy to the claim that they were the reason for the RAF’s success.

Of course I came home and immediately googled it – what else would I do?. And came across this detailed and interesting blog post over at Smithsonian.com. This includes some great images/posters.

“During the 1940 Blitzkrieg, the Luftwaffe often struck under the cover of darkness. In order to make it more difficult for the German planes to hit targets, the British government issued citywide blackouts. The Royal Air Force were able to repel the German fighters in part because of the development of a new, secret radar technology. The on-board Airborne Interception Radar (AI), first used by the RAF in 1939, had the ability to pinpoint enemy bombers before they reached the English Channel. But to keep that under wraps, according to Stolarczyk’s research pulled from the files of the Imperial War Museum, the Mass Observation Archive, and the UK National Archives, the Ministry provided another reason for their success: carrots.” Read more here.

It’s definitely worth a read if you too are interested in learning more. Personally I love discovering why we believe the things we do. This myth buster came at the perfect time, as I have had a few weeks of reading about World War II (in particular the Holocaust). Reading books such as ‘But You Did Not Come Back‘ and ‘Secret‘. The Kids and I have also watched ‘The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas‘ and ‘Life Is Beautiful‘ on DVD. I cannot wait to tell them the carrot myth when they get home.

My optician recommended Spinach (cooked) Broccoli and Kale. But lets’ not forget the legitimate health benefits of the now demoted carrot.

Fortunately I do have a broccoli soup recipe – and a carrot and spinach one I plan to do very soon. But this Food Waste Friday I’d planned to post this recipe, whether or not carrots help you see in the dark:

Simple Slow Cooker Carrot Soup Recipe

This recipe was borne out of a need to use up a bag of organic carrots last Friday. As part of my No Waste Tastes Great routine, I was determined to rustle up a simple soup to prevent my bag of carrots going to waste.

As you can see the outside is starting to deteriorate, but you should never judge a carrot by it’s peel:

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A quick strip and voila:

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I diced the carrots (approx 500g or 1lb) and popped them in my standard sized slow cooker.

The peel and the top and tails of the carrots weren’t suitable to keep for stock, so they were composted.

I thawed out 500ml of my homemade vegetable stock and heated it to near boiling temperature in the microwave. This was added to the crockpot already loaded with the carrots, blackpepper, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, a sliced red onion and 2 cloves of crushed garlic.

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The ingredients were left to cook for 8 hours on low, approx. 1 hour before I turned the pot off I added a large spoonful of Patak’s curry paste. Once cooked I blended the ingredients to a smooth consistency.

You can see the finished soup over at Instagram. It tasted might fine even if I’m still bumping into door frames in the middle of the night. Better get some kale out of the freezer!

 

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Noreen September 30, 2016, 10:04 pm

    Love that story! Carrots and radar! Hope you enjoyed your soup.

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