Maple-Date Candied Carrots

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20-30 minutes

Makes about 6 servings

I absolutely love carrots! They’re rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese, and have been linked to the prevention and suppression of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, macular degeneration, stroke and diabetes. They’re also massive immune boosters, and can improve digestive health. Knowing all this, I am quick to grate them on salads, chop them into curries and stews, and very often roast them in the oven to have as a delicious side. One of my favourite ways of taking the usual roasted carrot dish to the next level is to serve them with a sweet and spicy (and simple) maple-date topping. Reminiscent of your grandma’s candied carrots, but without the sugar hit, this recipe is quite simple, but one serious crowd pleaser, especially around the holiday season when we’re all yearning for nostalgic comfort foods.

Ingredients for the carrots...

  • 2 bunches of carrots (~790 g)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground paprika
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme

Ingredients for the maple-date topping...

  • 1/2 cup sliced dates
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper 

Directions make the roasted carrots...

1. Preheat the oven to 425F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Trim the stems off the carrots, leaving a bit of the stem intact. Wash the carrots and gently pat them dry.
3. Place the carrots on the prepared baking sheet.
4. Drizzle the carrots with the oil and roll them on the baking sheet until the oil is evenly dispersed.
5. Sprinkle them with the salt, pepper, and spices, leaving about 1/2 inch between each carrot.
6. Lay the sprigs of thyme on top.
7. Roast the carrots for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are just fork-tender but still a bit firm.

Directions to make the maple-date topping...

1. Melt the coconut oil in a pan on low heat. 
2. Add the dates, maple syrup and cayenne pepper and cook covered, on low for about 5 minutes, until the dates are quite soft. 
3. Plate the carrots, spoon the dates over top, and serve!