Carrots are a fantastic powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, including the one for which it is most famous, beta-carotene. This precursor to Vitamin A is what gives carrots their characteristic orange color. Along with other yellow, red, and green vegetables, carrots are a great dietary source of this vitamin which is critical for growth and development, a healthy immune system, and of course good vision.
The problem is that many people, including children and picky partners, do not enjoy carrots. Whether sliced, shaved, or cooked, some cannot handle carrots crunch or soft delicate flavor. One easy way to hide more in your usual cuisine is to puree into soups, chili, and sauces. But another way to ease loved ones into loving this healthy, humble root veg is to season and sweeten them into a soft, delightful side dish all will enjoy.
Candied carrots have always been a dish I am fond of, since childhood where three main veg sides reigned supreme: green beans, canned corn, and candied carrots.
This updated version has much less fat than the typical butter-smothered version, as well as less sugar. However, we amp up the overall flavor with the subtle spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, combined with just a touch of brown sugar and honey, to create the perfect accompaniment to whatever you put on the table tonight.
I guarantee kids and grown-ups alike will gobble them up, and maybe even ask for seconds!
- 3-4 large carrots
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger (or 1 tbsp grated fresh)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
Step 1: Slice the carrots into thin rings. I simply wash my carrots, I do not peel them. However, you can peel them if you want.
Step 2: Put the carrots in a pot with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until carrots are soft when poked with a fork.
Step 3: If any water remains, drain all but a few tbsp. Add the spices, brown sugar, and honey. Continue to simmer another 10-15 minutes, until reduced to a thick, caramel-y sauce and carrots are tender.
Serve your candied carrots alongside a lean meat like this spice-rubbed pork roast with other veggie sides, or with your favorite vegetarian or vegan salads or mains. See if they don’t disappear.