Maple roasted carrots are painted with olive oil, caramelized to perfection, and roasted until tender in this easy and delicious side dish. If your child hasn’t liked cooked carrots before, give this recipe a chance. They are sweet, tender, and simple to make. Plus, kids will love trimming the rainbow carrots with scissors and painting them with a paintbrush.
Packed FULL of Beta Carotene
Carrots get their orange color from the plant pigment beta carotene. Carrots are one of the best sources of beta carotene. The body uses this orange phytonutrient to:
- Fight cancer
- Keep the eyes healthy
- Boost the immune system
- Make vitamin A
TO PEEL OR NOT TO PEEL?
The carrot skin and just below the skin are a concentrated source of healthy substances like antioxidants and phytonutrients. When you peel them, you are peeling this away.
However, some kids prefer the taste and texture of peeled carrots. A vegetable your child will eat is better than one they won’t. Plus, even peeled, the carrot is still packed with lots of healthy nutrients.
RAINBOW CARROTS FOR EXTRA NUTRIENTS
Different colored carrots have different nutrients thanks to the plant pigments called phytonutrients.
- Red carrots contain the red pigment lycopene
- Yellow carrots contain the yellow pigment lutein
- Purple carrots contain the purple pigment anthocynins
Just like beta carotene, lycopene, lutein and anthocynins help keep your child healthy in different ways.
SERVE CARROTS WITH HEALTHY FAT
- Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin
- This means your child’s body absorbs more of it when it is eaten with a little fat, like the olive oil in this recipe
- If serving carrots raw, offer your child a dip, like hummus, to boost vitamin A absorption
TIPS FOR MAKING MAPLE ROASTED CARROTS
- Include extra carrots for your child to munch on while they cook.
- Use smaller carrots as they taste sweeter. However, large carrots will work too, but slice them in half lengthwise before you begin.
- Carrots with the greens attached work best. This way, your child can hold onto the stem as they “paint the carrots.” However, if you don’t have them, have your child hold onto the base of the carrot while “painting”.
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MAPLE ROASTED CARROT INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1: Prepare the carrots
Using child safe scissors, have your child trim the carrot stems and cut off the stringy root at the tip. Here is a link to the scissors we like.
Step 2: Paint the carrots
Have your child hold the carrot by the stem facing downward and “paint” the carrots using a pastry brush or clean paint brush. Then place them on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt.
Step 3: Roast the carrots
Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until fork tender. The exact time will depend on how big your carrots are. Let them cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
Maple Roasted Rainbow Carrots
- Pastry brush or new/clean paintbrush
- Child safe scissors
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper
- Small mixing bowl
- Tablespoon measuring spoon
- 12 carrots
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- sprinkle of salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper
- Wash and dry carrots
- Using child scissors trim the carrot stems to one to two inches and cut off the stringy root at the tip
- In a small bowl, mix together one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of maple syrup
- Hold the carrot by the stem facing downward over the baking dish. Dip a pastry brush into the oil and syrup mixture and "paint" the carrots. If you don't have a pastry brush, a new paint brush works well
- Place the carrots onto the baking tray and sprinkle with salt
- Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until fork tender. Let them cool and enjoy!
Did you make this recipe? Please rate this recipe and leave a comment. I’d love to know how it turned out for you!