Maple Roasted Carrots Recipe & Ways to Eat the Greens21. August 2019
This year I had a bumper crop of rainbow colored carrots. I actually grew a RAINBOW! Pretty cool.
From left to right, Rainbow Mix (white to orange carrots), Cosmic Purple has reddish skin with orange flesh, and Black Nebula.
This year I grew Black Nebula, Cosmic Purple, and Rainbow Mix which is one carrot variety that has color variations from orange to white. You can read more about this pelleted Rainbow Mix carrot seed on my last blog post. If you have problems getting carrots to germinate, try pelleted seed and growing in a container. You're welcome! And if you're interested in non-orange carrots, read my blog post on the History of Carrot Colors.
From left to right, Black Nebula, Cosmic Purple, & the last 3 are all Rainbow Mix. As you can see, black carrots leave you with purple skin!
I’ve had great success growing carrots in containers with a DIY garden soil mix. This growing method has worked much better than when I grew carrots in my raised garden bed. I’ve gotten much longer and straighter carrots growing in containers. But there’s nothing wrong with a crooked carrot. In fact, the less than perfect carrots work great in homemade bone broth or for roasting. If you’ve ever grown a crooked or bumpy carrot, it can be a pain to peel. So just leave the carrot skins on, give them a good scrub, then toss into your recipe. The skins are loaded with nutrients and lend an earthier taste when roasting.
I mean, I couldn't easily peel this carrot below, right? But you can bet your booty that I took about a hundred photos and plastered them all over the internets. Pervert. There's always one in every bunch. I'm talking about the carrot, not me. Insert eye roll here.
Eating Carrot Greens
Did you know that carrot tops are edible? It’s true! So don’t throw those tops away. In fact, carrot tops are very nutritious. Carrot greens are loaded with vitamins A & C, calcium, iron, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. They are cholesterol free and low in calories too. Carrot tops are beneficial to eye health, circulation, digestion, kidney function, and blood pressure. Since they have known detoxifying properties, they can give your immune system a boost as well. How about a carrot top green smoothie to start the day?
Alone, carrot tops can taste a tad bitter. But you can pair the greens with something sweet like carrots and maple syrup or add to a vinaigrette. Or try sautéing the greens with olive oil or bacon fat with some salt and pepper and a dash of lemon juice near the end. I often add chopped carrot greens to salads, soups, homemade bone broth, or carrot top pesto. I follow my basic pesto recipe and use half carrot tops and half basil. The pesto has a slightly more earthy flavor and texture than if you just use basil. This is a great way to use something that often gets tossed. So be green and eat ALL of your greens!
Storing Carrot Greens
Carrot greens store a long time in the crisper. I put mine in slightly dampened paper towels, roll them up tightly, then place in a plastic newspaper bag. This helps to keep them from wilting, although they won’t last indefinitely stored fresh. Since my crisper was stuffed full of carrots and greens, I decided to dehydrate a lot of the greens. I stripped the smaller carrot greens from the large main stem. Then I followed my dehydrator’s directions for drying fresh herbs. Most of the greens were dried and crispy after three hours. Once dried, I lightly crumbled them up and stored in a mason jar. Now I’ll be able to add dried carrot greens to soups or roasted veggies throughout the year.
I stored my dehydrated carrot greens in a mason jar with our Eat Your Veggies canning labels.
Cooking with Carrot Greens
Carrot greens add a pretty touch to roasted vegetables or soups. If I have fresh carrot greens on hand, I’ll use them in any dish that calls for parsley. Chopped carrot greens make these maple roasted carrots look rustic. You can use dried carrot greens or other herbs instead.
Maple Roasted Carrots
- Carrots, scrubbed but not peeled (slice or leave whole depending on the size)
- 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- Dash of salt
- Handful of cleaned carrot greens, stem removed & leaves coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Scrub carrots well. I leave the skins on which gives the carrots an earthier taste. You may also peel the carrots if you prefer. Depending on the size of your carrots, you can slice them into coins, slice in half, or leave whole.
- Combine maple syrup, olive oil, and lemon juice in bowl.
- Stir in carrots, salt, and carrot greens until everything is coated.
- Add carrots to cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Cook 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then stir and flip the carrots. Roast approximately 15 more minutes, or until fork tender.
If you use black carrots, they will create a nice dark syrup and add a nice contrast to lighter carrots.
Carrot Top Pesto
In my photo above, the lighter pesto is all basil and the one on the bottom is half carrot top and half basil. Adding the carrot greens makes it a little earthier tasting. It's a good way to use something that usually gets thrown away that is also surprisingly nutritious!
- 1/3 cup toasted nuts (I often use sunflower seeds instead of nuts).
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 1 cup chopped carrot greens
- 1 cup basil
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
Combine nuts & garlic in food processor until pasty. Blend in the greens, then add the other ingredients until combined. Add more lemon, S&P to taste.
Want more carrot recipes? Here are a few more recipe ideas for roasted carrots and carrot tops. If you have a surplus of carrots from your garden, get to peeling (or not) & start cooking now!
Roasted Carrot Recipes
- Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots
- Cinnamon Butter Baked Carrots
- Honey-Balsamic Roasted Carrots
- Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad
- Parmesan Roasted Carrots
Carrot Top Recipes