Carrots are one of those overlooked veggies that are so good and good for you, yet most of the time they kind of stay on the sidelines, like in chicken soup or coleslaw, or are eaten raw with a dip. However, something wonderful happens when carrots caramelize—the natural sugars emerge and what you get is a sweet tasty and tender veggie, completely different than that woodsy crunch (though sometimes that crunch is exactly what you’re craving!). I personally am always on the lookout for new vegetable sides, as we all know how important veggies are, and how chock full they are of antioxidants, vitamins, and in carrots’ case, beta carotene, but we can’t live on sautéed zucchini and broccoli kugel! It’s so important to create new interesting veggie dishes to keep yourself and your family coming back for more.
Now, I know that some nutritionists and popular low-carb diets have given carrots a bad rap lately, due to the fact that carrots contain a bit more starch than other vegetables like lettuce or cauliflower. I say, that is just uncalled for! No one ever got fat from eating too may carrots, and nor will anyone gain weight from this recipe. We are talking about a natural, high in fiber, unprocessed, straight from the ground food item here, that has fantastic health benefits- anti cancer, anti heart problems, helps with digestion, helps your vision, and more. Enjoy your carrots conscience-free, and don’t miss out on this easy to use, family-friendly veggie!
6 very large carrots
2-4 Tbs. olive oil
3 frozen garlic cubes
2-4 tsp. Agave syrup, honey, or brown sugar (**may need more depending on sweetness of carrots)
Salt and pepper to taste
Dried cilantro or parsely, sprinkled on for color!
The first step is to julienne the carrots. I recently bought myself a special peeler that actually peels the carrots into loooong thin noodle-like strips, which is exactly what you want for this recipe. However, you can also do one of the following: 1) grate carrots very coarsely using box grater or food processor, 2) buy pre-grated carrots (love that!), 3) cut the carrots up with a sharp knife into long very thin matchsticks 4) use a regular peeler to make long peels around the carrot, rotating as you peel. Keep in mind that the size of the carrots once julienned or sliced will determine how long they need to sautee, and you definitely need to adjust so that you do not overcook and mushify your veggies!
Heat up 2 Tbs. oil in a large sautee pan, then add crushed garlic and stir for a few minutes until garlic turns golden. [Note: the reason I wrote 2-4 Tbs oil is because I find that once I add the carrots, they soak up the oil pretty quickly and a little more is necessary… if you are watching your weight very carefully, you can add a little chicken broth or water later instead of the additional oil so that the carrots do not dry out and/or burn.] Add carrots to pan, stirring gently every few minutes until softened but not mushy or translucent.
Then add spices and agave, taste and adjust as necessary. Enjoy!
p.s. I tell my kids these are orange noodles that let you see in the dark… no need for any more details!