Winter is time for cozy hibernation foods; we crave the hardy, the sweet and the savory. This recipe hits all three of those cravings: roasty savory carrots, smothered in sweet maple. Carrots are a wonderful vegetable, a good source of fiber and carotenoids.
We know carrots are a healthy choice, but what about maple? Is it healthier than regular sugar? This is a common question, and any people make the switch in their cooking, baking, even in their coffee, favoring maple syrup, agave nectar or honey over table sugar. Maple syrup, for example, contains 67 different healthful compounds, including calcium, zinc, manganese and amino acids. Other natural sweeteners are similar in that they do have added nutrients when compared to white sugar; however we need to keep in mind the big picture: its still sugar. Too much can add an excess of calories to your diet and will still have an influence on your blood sugar levels. That being said, eating something sugary with fiber (like in the carrots) protein and heart-healthy fats will help slow that sugar absorption, giving you long lasting energy and steadier blood glucose levels.
- 2 pounds fresh carrots, washed and scrubbed, ends trimmed (cut the carrots longwise for faster cooking)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, (can also use sugar-free maple syrup)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, (optional but highly recommended)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley, thyme or other fresh herbs, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Transfer prepared carrots to baking sheet and spread out in one single layer. Set aside.
In a small bowl whisk to combine maple syrup, brown sugar and olive oil. Pour the maple mixture over the carrots.
Season with salt and pepper; toss around to combine. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, tossing at least once during cooking, until tender.
To test for doneness, start checking at the 25-minute mark by piercing the thickest part of the carrot with a fork. If it goes through easily, the carrots are done. Remove from oven. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve. Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition Facts: (Serving size 1 cup)
Calories: 168; Fat: 7.1g; Carbohydrate: 26.5g; Fiber: 4.3g; Protein: 1.5g; Sodium: 203mg
Recipe adapted from: Maple Roasted Carrots – Diethood