When I was younger, there were certain things I wouldn't eat in one form, but would love in another. I wouldn't have skim milk in my cereal, but preferred it to drink with my PB&J sandwiches. I loved to eat pepperoni from my hand, but would threaten you physical harm if you put it on my pizza. And I was basically Bugs Bunny when it came to raw carrots, but if you cooked them, consider me a ghost. Because I was no where to be found if there was one anywhere near my plate! I was a strange kid. Let's be honest, I'm a pretty strange adult, and there are still certain things I'm like that about. Tomatoes are the biggest ones that come to mind actually. Notice how there's not a ton of tomato based recipes here? You will now. Lol.
I actually remember the first time I had cooked carrots that I enjoyed. I was staying over my high school friend Whitney's house. I was going to church with her family the next morning and her mom welcomed me that evening with a pot roast (BOMB!), some other sides and glazed carrots. I remember saying "Oh, I don't like carrots" and her saying, "Well, you're getting some vegetables tonight!" *Insert Blinking Man Gif* Let me provide the detail that my parents weren't too keen on sleepovers or eating at others' houses when I was growing up. So I thought I could get away with not eating vegetables. But not that night. Her command and tone was so similar to Glenda's (my mom) that I didn't dare argue! And I'm glad I didn't. I don't exactly remember the rest of the meal, but I never forgot those carrots. They were so buttery and delicious that they've become the standard in my life for cooked carrots. When I see them offered on a menu, I turn my nose up as if to say, "But they're not Whitney's mom's carrots!" I was actually thinking of them the other day and it inspired me to create my own version of these carrots, that provided sweetness, complimented by a spicy savoriness and a touch of texture to have a full balanced bite. Enter, my sweet and spicy carrots.
This recipe's sweetness depends on Coconut Nectar. It's a product similar to honey, but is completely vegan and has a glycemic index of only 35! Considering various types of sugar have glycemic indexes of 47-80, this is a great alternative for anyone who needs to monitor their sugar intake, like those with or at risk for diabetes. It is also full of minerals, has 17 amino acids (essential to your health) and it contains vitamins C and many B vitamins as well. The spiciness comes from chili flakes which maintain their heat through the cooking process and can be altered to be more or less spicy by the person making the recipe. I added walnuts to this recipe because the one thing I always miss in cooked carrots is crunchiness. Carrots don't really crisp the way brussels sprouts or broccoli does when roasted, so the walnuts provide that texture here. Walnuts also provide healthy fats, protein and fiber here, making it great for meal prep, especially before the gym to get a boost of energy!
The best part of this recipe is it's a fast dish! the entire dish from start to finish takes about 30 mins. Meaning you can get this in the oven and on the table before anyone asks "What's for dinner?" Even if you live alone, because I know I ask myself that question when I procrastinate on feeding myself! Lol. See...Strange. For one final boost of assurance as to why you should make these: I had 3 people who do not typically eat carrots, at all, try these and exclaim they were "Actually pretty good" "Not bad!" "Are you sure these are carrots?!" I mean...it's not a Siskel & Ebert review, but still positive ratings!
There's also a YouTube video coming to my channel on 2/2! So be sure to head there and subscribe to my channel and give the video a thumbs up. I'll be posting videos there every Monday and Friday! Let me know what kind of content you'd like to see there. Now go make carrots!
Don't forget to tag me in your photos online @lizeeangel or using #lizeeangel. And as always, comment below and please, like, share and follow me on youtube, instagram, twitter, facebook and pinterest!
Nutrition: 135 calories, 6.5g fat, 15g net carbs, 2.7g protein
- 1 pound Baby Carrots
- 1/2 tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Nectar (Honey if not vegan)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Chili Flakes (adjust for desired spice level)
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 1/4 cup Chopped Walnuts