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Maple Roasted Carrots Recipe & Ways to Eat the Greens

21. August 2019

This year I had a bumper crop of rainbow colored carrots. I actually grew a RAINBOW! Pretty cool.

Cosmic purple, kuroda, rainbow mix, & black nebula carrots | CanningCrafts.com

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.

Cosmic Purple, Rainbow Mix, & Black Nebula Carrots | CanningCrafts.com

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.

Twisted Carrots | CanningCrafts.com

 

Eating Carrot Greens | CanningCrafts.com

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?

Eating Carrot Greens | CanningCrafts.com

 

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!

Dehydrating Carrot Greens | CanningCrafts.com

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. 

 

Dehydrated Carrot Greens | CanningCrafts.com

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 Carrot Recipe | CanningCrafts.com

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
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. Combine maple syrup, olive oil, and lemon juice in bowl.
  4. Stir in carrots, salt, and carrot greens until everything is coated.
  5. Add carrots to cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Cook 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then stir and flip the carrots. Roast approximately 15 more minutes, or until fork tender.

PRINT THE RECIPE CARD

Maple Roasted Carrots Recipe Card | CanningCrafts.com

 

Maple Roasted Carrot Recipe | CanningCrafts.com

If you use black carrots, they will create a nice dark syrup and add a nice contrast to lighter carrots.

 

Carrot top pesto recipe on toast | CanningCrafts.com

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.

PRINT THE RECIPE CARD

Carrot Top Pesto Recipe Card | CanningCrafts.com

 

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

Carrot Top Recipes

 

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Carrot Green Recipes from CanningCrafts.com

Do you eat carrot greens? If so, how do you cook and store them? Let us know in the comments below.

Comments (12)

Renita on October 01, 2020

Just grew my first carrots ever. The greens are beautiful. I didn’t want to throw them away. Dehydration is awesome. Thx for the info.

Deborah on March 19, 2021

This sounds great! I’ve tried to grow carrots before but haven’t had any luck. They come up and then just go limp and die. I think I’ll try again this season. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

CanningCrafts on March 19, 2021

Deborah,

We have a great blog post on growing carrots in containers with a DIY potting soil. So if you have a tough time growing carrots, it could be that the soil isn’t loose enough. You can read our post here & perhaps get some gardening tips to have better luck growing carrots.
https://canningcrafts.com/blogs/news/planting-carrots-in-containers-with-homemade-potting-soil-recipe

Alison
CanningCrafts

Pat Richardson on April 09, 2021

Like your post. I was raised on a farm with large garden. We canned, froze or put in cellar the food we grew. You presented some things I didn’t know. THANKS!

Star on June 03, 2021

I make a carrot top chimichurri. Never thought to dehydrate them. Thanks for sharing.

Line on August 27, 2021

I use the carrot tops when I make salted herbs that I later use in soups, stews etc

Wendy on March 25, 2022

I add carrots and dried carrot greens to my daily smoothies – goodness all winter long! I dried my carrot greens as a bunch, hung from the herb drying line in the craft room.

CanningCrafts on March 25, 2022

Wendy,
That sounds like a great way to add carrot greens to your diet. Thanks for the healthy tip :)
Alison
CanningCrafts

Dorie on April 07, 2022

I didn’t know you can eat the tops of carrots I try to grow carrots from cuttings they only get so far then they die what do I bought wrong when should I put in soil ?

CanningCrafts on April 07, 2022

Dorie,

I’ve never grown carrots from cuttings, so I’m not sure what is going wrong for you. I know some gardeners grow from cuttings just so they can collect the seeds. Carrots are fairly easy to grow from seed though, especially if you use pelleted seed with a nice DIY soil mix. We have another blog post about making your own soil mix just for carrots & growing them in containers for superior results. It may be helpful for you.
https://canningcrafts.com/blogs/news/planting-carrots-in-containers-with-homemade-potting-soil-recipe

Alison
CanningCrafts

Beth on July 21, 2022

Great ideas, I’ve never considered using the tops. I’ll definitely be trying some of these recipes this year.

Dorie, I’m assuming by growing from cuttings you mean you cut the tops off and put them in water to root? Like Alison said that’s a good way to continue growing the tops for seed, but it won’t develop a new tap root. Carrots are a biannual plant, so at the very most they’ve got a 2 year life span. They are already 1 year down when you start with your cutting. And not having the majority of their root in the second year they have a hard time doing too well, so don’t feel too bad if it doesn’t work great for you to grow them. They would be susceptible to root rot too. It’s not exactly that you’re doing anything wrong, it’s just the nature of it.
If you’re wanting to grow seeds, try starting with a whole carrot. It’ll be a much healthier plant which in turn will give you much more seed.

Hope that helps. Good luck and happy planting!

Delly Rose on September 19, 2022

This is the 2nd year I have grown carrots and I have a bumper crop this year. I am using the greens for the first time this year and am enjoying them tremendously. I am going to hang my greens to dry and use them this winter. Thank you for the ideas and the recipes.

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