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Ginger and honey-glazed carrots

This is always the time of year that I appreciate living in California.  Whereas the ground in my parents’ New York garden is still frozen, I am pulling carrots out of mine.  Joy!  I planted a new variety this year called Purple Dragon and they are really something special.  Purple skins with an orange interior — what kid wouldn’t think that’s cool?  I always ask Mr. Picky to help me in the garden since that is supposed to be a strategy to help encourage your little ones to try new foods.  Not sure it’s working on my son, but my daughters both eventually became excellent eaters, so we’ll keep planting.

I have always felt that carrots are underrated.  They are quite nutrient-dense, especially in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer compound which the body converts to Vitamin A.  Carrots are known for building healthy eyes and skin.  In fact, the beta-carotene in carrots can help protect your skin against sun damage.  But don’t forget to eat your carrots with a little high-quality fat to help you absorb all that valuable (and fat-soluble) beta-carotene.  So if you’re going to eat raw carrots as a snack, dip them into some hummus or a homemade vinaigrette.  Yum!

I’ve mentioned before that grated carrot salad is my absolute favorite way to eat carrots, but Ginger and Honey-Glazed Carrots is a close second.  Braising the carrots with honey, ginger, butter (or coconut oil) and a touch of water brings out this amazing caramel-y sweetness that you never knew existed.  I know how much we all love to roast vegetables with olive oil, but heating olive oil over 350 degrees for such a lengthy period of time oxidizes the oil and creates free radicals.  Not a big deal every now and then, but it’s nice to have some other tried and true methods to prep your vegetables that won’t damage your oil.

You definitely don’t have to use purple carrots in this recipe.   I’ve been making and loving Ginger and Honey-Glazed Carrots for years with the more familiar orange variety, as shown in most of the photos here.  Sometimes I buy thin carrots (see the 1st, 3rd and 5th photos) and cook them whole, which I think is so pretty.  But otherwise the larger carrots do just fine if I slice them thickly on the diagonal.  Heirloom carrots come in several fun colors besides purple.  I’ve seen yellow and white, as well.  But don’t peel the purple ones since the inside is orange (snore.)

Several of you have asked me for menu ideas when I post a recipe.  I’ll try to remember to offer a few suggestions going forward.  I’ve made these carrots twice in the past two weeks and everyone devoured them.  Once I served them with Spice-Rubbed Salmon and Coconut Basmati Rice (recipe coming soon), and the next time with Roasted Chicken, Potatoes and Fennel.  These carrots are really versatile and can go with many different entrees and side dishes, but I don’t normally serve them with another sweet dish.  Or you can just stand over the stove like I did with my daughter and eat them straight out of the pan with sweet honey carrot deliciousness dripping down our chins.

 

4.0 from 1 reviews
Ginger and Honey-Glazed Carrots
Author: 
Serves: 5-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ pounds carrots, tops removed and peeled if necessary (or 1 ¼ lbs. without tops)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or unrefined coconut oil (or more if you like it very glazy like I do)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ¼-inch slices of ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey (vegans can use Grade A maple syrup)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. If the carrots are very small and thin, leave them whole. Otherwise, cut the carrots on the diagonal into approximately 1 ½-inch slices.
  2. In a 10-inch skillet with a lid, such as a straight-sided skillet or braising pan, add the butter, water, ginger, honey and salt. Turn the heat to high and stir to combine. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the carrots and turn heat to low. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes (5 minutes for thin carrots, 10 minutes for thick wedges)
  3. Remove the lid and simmer until all the liquid has reduced to a glaze and carrots are tender, approximately 10 more minutes. Remove ginger and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

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Comments

8 Comments

  1. Hi Pamela,

    I tried these carrots and they were really tasty but I wasn’t able to get a good glaze on them. The liquid didn’t really thicken as the recipe said it should (I tried leaving them on longer and then increasing the heat after 10 minutes but it didn’t work). I’m not sure what went wrong! Any trouble shooting suggestions?

    Thanks for all your delicious recipes! This is the first one I tried that didn’t come out as planned.

    • Hi Ceire! Well, the glaze isn’t super thick. It’s just a nice light coating. So maybe your expectations were that the glaze would be very thick, when it’s not. You have to use the correct ratio of carrots to butter mixture. So if you used too many carrots, you wouldn’t have enough glaze. But lastly, the idea is to just simmer the water until it has mostly evaporated. The only thing I can think of is that your saucepan was too small and you had too many carrots crowding the pan. Hope that helps.

  2. SO delish and a kids’ favorite. Thanks for inspiring me to do something different with carrots!

    • That’s the idea here, Amanda! Thanks for your feedback. 🙂

  3. Great recipe! I will definitely make it over the weekend. Maybe I can get my grandson to eat some carrots now.
    Love your recipes. Thanks for all you have to offer.

    Jeanette

    • Thank you, Jeanette. Definitely give it a try. All my kids love carrots this way!

  4. I can not wait to try this. I love your recipes and try them often. Sorry, that I rarely comment. Thank you for your many inspiring posts.

    • Well, I’m thrilled to hear from you today! Do let me know if you try the carrots. 🙂


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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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