When my boys were little, I used to boil carrots to make them soft enough to eat. I know, culinary suicide, yeah? It seemed the simplest way to get this fresh vegetable into them. Once they got old enough to chew them raw, I never cooked them anymore. Until I realized that the 6 year old actually prefers his carrots soft, and that they are even more nutritious cooked.
To make things a little more tasty and a little more exciting, I found some recipes for glazed carrots online. I didn’t really like the ones that used honey; honey has a very particular taste and I don’t think it matches the carrots all that well. Brown sugar was too processed. Considering the 6 year old’s love of maple syrup, that’s where I ended up, and lo and behold I now make Maple-Cooked Carrots pretty frequently.
- 1 – 2 cups baby carrots
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
Put the water, butter, olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat just until the butter melts. Add the maple syrup and heat for 1 minute. Add the carrots, swirling the pan to coat them well. Cover and cook on medium for 5 minutes. Remove lid and turn heat up to medium high. Cook carrots for another 5 – 7 minutes, stirring often, allowing the liquid to reduce and become syrupy. When carrots are knife-tender, they are done.
You can play around with a lot of the elements of this recipe. If you like your carrots even sweeter, you can increase the maple syrup, or for a more subtle glaze reduce it. On occasion, I’ve added salt and pepper to taste when I uncover them. You can also increase the covered cooking time if you want your carrots to be softer. Heck, you could even puree these carrots for a younger child. If you do, let me know how it goes!