Not a fan of raw carrots? I like them with a dab of ranch dressing, but many people would prefer to avoid them. If that’s the case for you, you are not going to believe what cooking carrots will do for them. They have a sweetness that is brought to light when you roast, sauté or grill the carrots. Plain, they are nothing to write home about, but combine them with the following ingredients and you have a knockout side dish that you can serve with steak, fish or chicken.
Because carrots have subtle sweetness, it makes sense to cook them with a bit of honey. Simply slice a couple of carrots and spread them out on a baking sheet. Drizzle the pieces with honey and roast them at 450 degrees for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are soft. Yum!
Sage is one of the most ultimate herbs for pairing with savory vegetables. You can use it fresh or dried and get the same great flavor. Sprinkle sage in the pan when you sauté carrots or mix it into a pot of carrot soup. Sage has an earthy taste that perfectly pairs with root vegetables, carrots included. Add a dash of orange juice to make the combo even better.
3. Salt and Pepper
There’s nothing as superb as keeping things simple in the kitchen, right? Cooking carrots with a dash of salt and freshly cracked black pepper is an easy way to create a side dish that tastes heavenly without having to put it in a ton of work. Simply season the carrots when they are done cooking and serve. What could be easier than that?
There really isn’t much that garlic can’t make better. Except dessert. However, when you cook carrots, garlic is the perfect way to bring out their flavor. There are lots of ways you can do this. My favorite is to roast whole carrots drizzled with olive oil and finely minced garlic. You can also use garlic salt or garlic powder to give carrots the flavor you crave.
5. Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is perfect for so many things! You’ve probably had it with tomatoes, but it tastes just as tantalizing with carrots. You can toss carrots with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and then roast them until soft. Balsamic vinegar is also a great alternative to red wine vinegar when you make shredded carrot salad. A little goes a long way so you won’t need much.
6. Chili Powder
Do you love a big pot of chili? Many people do! Did you realize that carrots are a premier addition to chili because they taste so great with that iconic chili powder taste? You can toss chunks of carrots right into your favorite pot of chili and they will give it some great texture and won’t change the flavor. Awesome!
Again, carrots are slightly sweet, so they make a great addition to fruit smoothies or juices. This is a great way to reap the nutritional benefits of carrots even if you don’t care for their flavor. Pair them with apples, kiwis or pears for a juice or smoothie with a wonderful color and taste.
How do you eat carrots? Do you think you’ll see them in a whole new light now? Which idea do you want to try first?