When I’m planning out my grocery shopping for the week I look for ingredients that meet certain criteria. First, they must be simple and easy to find in any grocery store. Next I look for ingredients that are versatile—can I use it in multiple recipes, for example. Finally, I look for ingredients that are not only good for me, but good for my budget and tastebuds too. Carrots meet all these requirements and more.
Carrots are the 7th most consumed fresh vegetable in the United States. While carrots do have a season, late spring and fall, more than 80 percent of the carrots bought in bags around the U.S. come from California, so they’re widely available year-round. Which is great since carrots are incredibly budget-friendly when compared to other root vegetables. Plus, they’re healthy. The nutrition in carrots can improve vision, helps prevent cancer, slows the aging process and even promotes healthier skin. Not only that, eating carrots keeps our teeth and gums clean.
Carrots are one of the most versatile vegetables in the produce department. You can juice, press, roast, fry, bake, mash, puree, braise and grill them or you can bake them into treats. Let’s not forget, you can also eat them raw. Carrots can be anything.
Are you ready to get cooking with carrots? Here is a simple roasted carrot recipe to help get you started.
Roasted Carrots with Thyme
Roasting carrots helps to bring out their natural sweetness. This recipe utilizes a basic roasting method that you can use to experiment with different herbs and spices. If you don’t care for thyme, simply swap it out for rosemary, for instance. Fresh herbs make a great addition to roasted carrots, but so do sticky sweeteners like maple syrup. Once you feel comfortable with the roasting process, try new flavors. Mix and match, experiment!
- 1 – 2 pounds of carrots (about 24 carrots – any variety)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 – 3 tablespoons fresh thyme
- Salt and peper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove carrot tops if desired. If you decide to leave the carrot tops, trim away the bulk of the leaves away leaving a 2-3 inch top. Wash and peel carrots.
- Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper. (Optional but helps with clean up.)
- Place carrots on rimmed baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, taking care to coat as evenly as possible.
- Sprinkle the fresh thyme on top. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake for 25 – 35 minutes or until tender. If you opted to have greens, be sure to wrap them loosely in foil prior to baking so they don’t burn.
Creative Carrot Recipes to Try
The internet is flooded with thousands of delicious-looking carrot recipes. I’ve put together a list of the ones that put carrot front and center in unusual or unexpected ways.
Juices & Smoothies
Carrot Lox on Bagels with Cream Cheese – Photo: The Colorful Kitchen
Lunches & Dinner
Carrot Dogs – Photo: Annie Oliverio
Sweets & Treats
Carrot Crumb Cake – Photo: Hannah Kaminsky