If you've ever bought carrots by the bunch, you may be familiar with having a few leftover carrots just sitting in the produce drawer of the refrigerator, slowly rotting away. But you don't have to let them go to waste! For an easy side at your next dinner, take those carrots out of leftover limbo and transform them into a healthier, crispy fry.
Carrot fries aren't so much a replacement for irresistible potato french fries as they are a surefire way to make carrots more exciting. You can make carrot fries by popping them onto a sheet pan and into the oven, or bust out the air fryer. Just chop them up into a shoestring fry shape and cover them in oil and seasonings. You'll also want to make sure your carrot fries turn out crispy, emulating that classic crispy fry bite as much as possible. Luckily, there are many ways to ensure a crispy carrot fry while having fun with your flavor options.
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The Key To Crispiness
Just like roasting any other vegetable, make sure to evenly coat your carrot fries in plenty of oil, at least a tablespoon. Give them plenty of space on the sheet pan before placing them in the oven, as overcrowding won't allow enough air to circulate while roasting. We want an even browning on all sides, so rotating the sheet pan and moving the carrots around on the pan halfway through cooking is vital. 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit should be enough time to cook your carrot fries. Keep an eye on them, as you don't want the carrots to go limp and mushy if they overcook.
If you're looking for more crispiness than an even browning can give, consider an additional ingredient. Cornstarch is a great addition to help emulate the crisp outer layer of a traditional potato french fry. Potatoes already have their own starch, unlike carrots, so tossing the carrot fries in cornstarch before baking helps add this crunchy layer.
Flavor Combos For Your Carrot Fries
Now it's time to go beyond the olive oil, salt, and pepper and get creative with seasoning your carrot fries. If you like cheesy, savory, finger-licking goodness, go for a mix of garlic powder and parmesan to emulate the flavors of classic cheesy garlic bread. But for a lighter, earthier touch, you can keep it simple with fresh or dried herbs like rosemary and thyme.
If you'd like to make things bright and sweet, drizzle a bit of honey or maple syrup. You don't need to go overboard here, as the carrots will bring out some natural sweetness on their own as they roast, and too much liquid could mush them up. But a sweet and hot combo of honey and red pepper flakes would make a perfect craving-satisfier for spice fiends. Play around with these ingredients and add cornstarch to find your perfect crispness and flavor combo for your carrot fries. Soon enough, you'll be buying carrots at the grocery store just to make carrot fries instead of using leftovers.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.