November 5, 2009
Vanilla and cumin—sound strange? I must admit that I would not have paired these flavors had I been more planned. But, as most of you know, there’s no opportunity for planning with a newborn. You get a window of time and, not sure how long it will last, you jump right into whatever it is you hope to accomplish.
The other night, with a pork loin into the oven, I needed to come up with a vegetable side pronto. The oven was already hot, so roasting was the obvious choice and perfect for the carrots I had on hand. I snapped into autopilot and sprinkled the carrots with olive oil, salt and cumin. Earthy cumin and sweet carrots are a go-to combo in my house. But, as much as I love them together, I always find cumin a teeny bit sharp. As I hurriedly coated the carrots, I got to wondering: would enhancing the sweetness of the carrots better balance the sharpness of the cumin? With no time to plan (or even measure), I added some honey and vanilla. And, with that, I found the answer to my question: a resounding YES!
I already mentioned that I didn’t have time to measure, right? (That may happen more than usual in the coming weeks!) But this is a forgiving recipe. There’s no need to get uptight about amounts. You just want to make sure to coat the carrots well before putting them in the oven, and then again 1/2 way through cooking.
These carrots were a hit with Isaac who, like me, appreciated the extra sweetness. They can easily be mashed to share with even the youngest eaters.
Vanilla Cumin Roasted Carrots
(can be adapted for kids 6+ mos)
1 bunch of organic carrots, washed and trimmed
organic olive oil
organic vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 375. Place carrots on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, honey and vanilla (just a small drizzle of the latter). Sprinkle with cumin and salt. (If cooking for young eaters, skip salt in this step. Instead, separately salt older kid and adult portions before serving.) Toss to coat thoroughly. Bake for about 30-35 min until carrots begin to turn brown in spots and are soft throughout.
*Note: Substitute agave syrup for honey if feeding to a child under 12 mos