Roasted Candied Rainbow Carrots with Orange-Maple Syrup is a mouthful of deliciousness. The carrots are bathed in a syrup made from fresh orange juice, pure maple syrup, and bacon grease all the while roasting to a supple tenderness. Delicious enough to eat with a simple meal but fancy enough for an elegant presentation at a dinner party with friends.
The Delightful Vibe of a Farmer’s Market on Saturday Morning
There’s an artistic delight in heading early Saturday morning to the farmer’s market. The colors, the textures, the smells, the noise, the people. Everything has its place along those jam-packed aisles. I absolutely love the vibe it delivers?! This past weekend, I ventured upon a booth that had these gorgeous rainbow carrots and next thing I knew, they were in my bag and on the way home to eventually find their place on my table.
No Need to Peel These Rainbow Carrots
There’s no reason to peel these lovely raw carrots before you roast them. The best way to remove the dirt and tiny hairlike roots is by using a soft kitchen brush or a clean bristle pad. Rinse with water and scrub up and down until they are nice and clean. Also, I always leave about an inch of the green stems, as I think it makes a pretty presentation in the serving dish.
Roasted Candied Rainbow Carrots with Orange-Maple Syrup
Carrots are nature’s candy for all of us who have an inescapable sweet tooth. There’s definitely something enticing about carrots, especially when they’re candied. Who could resist the gooey caramelization that coats these colorful jewels? A syrupy baste consisting of maple syrup, fresh squeezed orange juice, and bacon grease transforms a “Clark Kent” carrot into “Super-Carrot,” straight out of the telephone booth (or oven), cape and all. “Bacon Grease” – that salty, smoky bacon flavor is what truly enhances the sweetness of this dish. You can use butter if you prefer. Either way, I guarantee you are gonna love this dish.
Roasting Time, Oven Temperature and Parchment Paper
The larger carrots need a 15-minute head start in the oven. Therefore I use two baking sheets, one for the larger carrots and another for the smaller ones. Also, “a word to the wise, ” definitely use parchment paper. I didn’t in the photo below and let me tell, it took me all night to scrub my stinkin’ pans. I used a high oven heat of 450° F and roasted the larger carrots for a total of one hour and the smaller ones for 45 minutes. I know that seems like a lot of time and maybe my oven is not quite as hot as yours, so I would keep watch as you baste to see when they become tender.
Basting is the Key
Basting often is the key to this tempting side dish. I ended up brushing the carrots with the syrup mixture every 10 minutes or so while turning them over each time. This is what creates that nice sugary coating and guarantees your taste buds to find their ultimate happy place. When they come out of the oven, I give them one more dousing of the syrup, because, why not?
So-Called “Baby” Carrots are not Really Baby Carrots
I would not recommend the so-called “baby” carrots that come packaged in the produce section of your grocery store. They may be convenient and have a sentimental place in our “lunch box” memories. but the truth is they’re really NOT babies at all. And more importantly, there’s been a controversy circling these little orange mysteries for some time. It seems they get rinsed in a chlorine bath before packaged and sent to our grocer. Dr. Mercola writes about it in this particular article. I think you’ll find it interesting.
Go ahead, indulge in nature’s candy of Roasted Candied Rainbow Carrots with Orange-Maple Syrup. You could probably make a meal off of these alone. But they go fabulously on your table next to any of these main dishes: Pan Seared Sockeye Salmon, Roasted Leg of Lamb, Stuffed Pork Roast, Stuffed Cornish Hens, or Herbed Crown Roast of Pork. If you have any questions, try any of these recipes or just like what you see, please consider leaving me a comment at the bottom of these posts. I truly love to hear from you.Print
Roasted Candied Rainbow Carrots with Orange-Maple Syrup
Roasted Candied Rainbow Carrots with Orange-Maple Syrup is a mouthful of deliciousness. The carrots are bathed in a syrup made from fresh orange juice, pure maple syrup, and bacon grease all the while roasting to a supple tenderness. Delicious enough to eat with a simple meal but fancy enough for an elegant presentation at a dinner party with Friends.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 6 minutes
- Total Time: 16 minutes
- Yield: 6 side servings
- Category: Vegetable Side Dish
- Method: Roast
- Cuisine: American
- 3 tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
- 1 teaspoon Orange Zest
- 5 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
- 2 tablespoons Bacon Grease (or butter)
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 Bunches of Rainbow Carrots, whole
- Sea Salt, for sprinkling after roasting (optional)
- Parsley, chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450° F.
- Cut carrot tops down to 1 inch leaving some green for presentation.
- Using a soft bristle brush or a clean bristle sponge, rub the carrots to remove any dirt or tiny hairlike roots. You can peel the carrots if you like, but I think that the tender skin gives them more texture. And in my opinion, makes for a prettier roasted carrot.
- Combine the orange juice, zest, maple syrup, bacon grease and a pinch of salt. Place parchment paper on two separate baking sheets. Place the larger carrots on one and the smaller ones on another. Using a basting brush, apply the syrup mixture on all sides of the carrots.
- Begin roasting the larger carrots in the oven first – 15 minutes before the smaller ones go in the oven. Baste with the syrup mixture every 10 minutes or so while turning the carrots over with each application. Roast the larger carrots for 60 minutes total and the smaller ones for 45 minutes total or until tender.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt (optional) and parsley (optional).
- Serve immediately.
- This recipe calls for bacon grease, but butter works just as well.
- The larger carrots need a 15-minute head start in the oven. Therefore I use two baking sheets, one for the larger carrots and another for the smaller ones. Also, “a word to the wise, ” definitely use parchment paper or you’ll spend all evening scrubbing the pans.
- Basting often is the key to this dish. Brush the carrots with the syrup mixture every 10 minutes or so while turning them over each time. This is what creates that nice caramelized coating.
- Serving Size: 1 side dish
- Calories: 99
- Sugar: 14 g
- Sodium: 26 mg
- Fat: 4 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 15 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 14 mg
Keywords: candied carrots, carrots, glazed carrots, vegetable side dish, side dish, veggies, maple syrup, orange juice, bacon, healthy recipe, easy recipe