Carrots roasted in orange juice? It could be boring, but when you add orange zest, sesame seeds and cilantro, the carrots come to life. This is probably one of the most exciting carrot dishes I’ve come across. As with most veggies, the darker the carrot, the more nutritious. Carrots were originally purple hundreds of years ago. We simply depurpled them with breeding techniques to make a sweeter orange carrot.
Not to fear! The familiar orange carrot is still amazingly healthy. Yellow carrots are the least nutritious. If you can, choose carrots in the summer and fall when they are in season and at their freshest and most flavorful.
Don’t buy into the notion that you shouldn’t eat carrots because they have too much sugar – or that their juice is all sugar. This is hogwash, as my father loved to say. Carrot juice is one of the best concentrated sources of calcium, which is why I drink it. Recent studies are showing they don’t raise your blood sugar in any meaningful way. They don’t contain that much sugar. Plus all their fiber slows the sugar surging into your bloodstream.
The freshest carrots have the tops still attached. I love the way they look bursting out of my farmer’s market bag! Carrots sold without the tops can be months old! Beware: Carrots don’t do so well frozen, as half their nutrients are lost.
There are full grown carrots masquerading as baby carrots and it must be stopped! These are the “baby” carrots you see sold in bags at the grocery store. These are actually ugly adult carrots cut nicely into small, perfectly (yet oddly) shaped carrots. What ultimately happens is they are cutting off the most nutritious part of the carrot – the skin. Just this move alone removes one-third of its nutrients. Take two minutes to cut adult carrots into sticks or actual baby carrots in half.
Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins
- 1 1/2 Pounds Baby Carrots, Trimmed & Cleaned
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Grated Orange Zest
- 1/3 Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- Sea Salt
- Cracked Black Pepper
- Sesame Seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
If carrots are longer than 3 to 4 inches, blanch them first in a pot of boiling water until they are half cooked, about 5 minutes.
Drain the carrots and place on baking sheet or roasting pan. Add the oil, zest, and orange juice and toss the carrots to coat. Cover the tray with foil and roast until tender crisp, about 10 minutes.
Remove the foil, add the honey and toss to coat. Roast the carrots uncovered until they begin to brown and are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Transfer carrots to a platter and sprinkle with sea salt, cracked black pepper, fresh cilantro and sesame seeds.