An Abundance of Carrots!
I signed up with a local business to receive a weekly farmer’s market box of vegetables, and I absolutely love it. It’s so much fun to get a surprise on Wednesdays. I peer inside and immediately start planning meals. The boxes are seasonal, and we have been getting tons of carrots for the past month. And these are BIG beautiful carrots.
A New Favorite Side Dish
While using my overabundant supply of carrots, I discovered a new favorite dish.
Carrots are versatile and don’t necessarily lend themselves to salty dishes. This is good news for those with heart failure. Carrots taste great with warm spices and a touch of sweetness. For those watching their sugar, don’t worry! This recipe only uses 1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup for 7-8 large carrots. Of course, you are free to use more, but this dish doesn’t need it.
Roasting the carrots brings out a mellow sweetness, so you don’t need to add much of anything at all. I use a tablespoon of plant—based butter and a tablespoon of 100% maple syrup tossed evenly over the surface of each carrot. You want those yummy spices to stick to the surface and bake right in.
What You’ll Need
You don’t need much to make this dish. Buy whole carrots with the tops. Make sure you have the spices on hand. You’ll need a cutting board, a casserole dish, a mixing spoon, and a knife. I also like tongs so I can turn the carrots while they are roasting.
I like to start by collecting all of the spices. These are some of my favorite spices, so this part is fun. I used allspice, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Don’t skimp on the maple syrup. Buy 100% pure maple syrup as opposed to those made with high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavoring. A little bit goes a long way when you have true maple syrup.
Use a plant based butter made with unsaturated fats that are palm oil free. Palm oil is saturated fat and is not heart healthy. Palm harvesting is also harmful to the environment, so I avoid it when possible.
Two brands I like that are easy to find are Country Crock and Smart Balance Plant Butters. If you have a vegan section in your grocery store, look for Myoko’s, Kite Hill, or Califa Brand.
How To Make Delicious Tender Carrots
Preheat your oven to 410 degrees F. Rinse the carrots and chop off the tops. (I don’t peel my carrots but you can.) Melt the butter for 10 seconds in the microwave. Give it a stir and mix in the maple syrup.
In a large bowl, toss the carrots in melted butter/syrup mixture. Sprinkle the spices onto the carrots, turning to get both sides.
Place the carrots in a baking dish coated with a thin layer of cooking spray or a teaspoon of olive oil. The baking dish should be large enough to allow the carrots to lay flat.
Roast for twenty minutes or until tender. Depending on the size of the carrots, it could take a bit longer. You can flip them over halfway through, but it’s okay if you don’t. They still turn out fine!
Rinse and chop the carrot tops. Pull the carrots out of the oven, top with carrot greens and return to the oven for 1-2 minutes.
Mix up the spices however you like. Feel free to use colorful carrots or add a bit of cayenne pepper if you like a hot zing. You could use this same recipe with parsnips, but you would need to cook it a bit longer.
Carrots are nutritious and delicious. They are healthy for you. I sometimes hear people talking about the “carbs” in carrots. This is nonsense. A cup of carrots has less than 50 calories! And carrots are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Carrots are a great source of beta carotene which your body converts to Vitamin A. Carrots also contain potassium, vitamin B6, and lutein.
And don’t throw away those carrot tops! They are edible. They are greens. They have fiber. They taste great and balance the sweetness of the dish. Chop them up and add them after you have a few minutes left to cook. If you put them in for too long, they will dry out and lose their flavor.
Maple roasted carrots are best served fresh out of the oven. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to five days. While they can be frozen, I would recommend roasting them to reheat, covered with foil, as opposed to the microwave, which can affect the texture.
This attractive dish can be served as a side for a casual dinner or a fancy holiday meal. I associate this with colder weather, though you can eat it any time you like!
Each serving has ~85 calories, 3g fat, and minimal sodium. If you use salted plant butter, you have only added about 20mg of sodium.
*All spices are optional. Experiment and adjust the amounts according to your taste. For a little zing, you could add a pinch of cayenne.
Be sure to check out my other blog articles and keep an eye out for more delicious heart healthy recipes. Here’s one for a delicious dessert dip: Almond Butter Dessert Dip
And don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list!
Maple Roasted Carrots
- 1 large casserole dish
- 1 knife
- 1 Cutting Board
- 1 pair of tongs optional
- 1 set of measuring spoons
- 1 spoon for stirring
- 1 ½ pounds whole carrots with tops
- 1 tablspoon plant butter ie: Smart Balance, Country Crock Plant Butter, Miyokos, Kite Hill Plant Butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup 100% pure
- ⅛ tsp allspice
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ginger
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 410 degrees F. Rinse the carrots and chop off the tops. (I don't peel my carrots but you can.)
- Melt butter for 10 seconds in the microwave. Mix in the maple syrup.
- In a large bowl, toss the carrots in melted butter/syrup mixture. Sprinkle the spices onto the carrots, turning to get both sides.
- Place the carrots in a baking dish coated with a thin layer of cooking spray or a teaspoon of olive oil. The baking dish should be large enough to allow the carrots to lay flat.
- Roast for twenty minutes or until tender. Depending on the size of the carrots, it could take a bit longer.
- Rinse and chop the carrot tops. Pull the carrots out of the oven, top with carrot greens and return to the oven for 1-2 minutes.
Nutrition facts: Each serving contains ~85 calories ~40 mg sodium, and ~4 grams of fat. Using unsalted butter decreases the sodium to nearly zero.