These Christmas carrots with orange and maple are deliciously sweet but retain their crunch as a perfect accompaniment for Christmas dinner.
Here's the final recipe in this four-part series for an easy-peasy prep-ahead Vegetarian & Vegan Christmas Dinner. There are still a few more festive treats to come next week, but this completes the main course ideas!
Carrots just have to be there on the Christmas table, but are rarely given much attention, as just another vegetable to peel, chop and boil. Here I've tried something a little different, cooking them quickly in just enough water to part-boil, part-steam them, then finishing with a sweet and fruity orange and maple glaze.
Teamed with the centrepiece Porcini & Chestnut Mini-Wreath Roasts, Garlic & Rosemary Roast Potatoes, and Ginger & Sesame Brussels Sprouts you just can't go wrong for a delicious and fuss-free Christmas dinner.
What you need to make your Orange & Maple Carrots
Carrots obviously! I like the little baby Chantenay carrots, they are short and fat and just the perfect bite-sized carrot. But the long and thin baby carrots are also excellent, or even the multicoloured 'heritage' carrots that are sometimes sold at this time of year.
If you can't get hold of baby carrots, just use ordinary carrots instead, (they will need peeling, then cutting into batons).
Orange juice I would go for a smooth rather than 'with bits' juice. Definitely look for a pure juice rather than a concentrate, or your carrots will be far too sweet.
Dairy-free margarine I always use a good block margarine for cooking (rather than a tub of spread). My favourites are the Flora Plant block 'butter' or Naturli block if you can find it. Both are delicious and really 'buttery'.
Maple syrup There is quite a difference between the cheap syrup that has a bit of maple and lots of other ingredients to bulk it out, and the really pure Canadian maple syrup. If your budget allows do go for the pure stuff, it is significantly better.
Prep-ahead Christmas Carrots
You can easily prepare these the day before, topping, tailing and halving the carrots which will leave just 10 minutes of cooking on the day itself. Easy peasy!
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Christmas Carrots with Orange & Maple
- 500 g Chantenay / Baby Carrots
- 100 ml orange juice
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 25 g dairy-free margarine
- Clean, top and tail and halve the carrots, (or leave them whole if they are particularly small). Place them in a large, lidded saucepan and just cover with water, and a generous pinch of salt. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-6 minutes, then drain.
- Return the carrots to the pan, and add the orange juice. Bring to the boil, cover with the lid and boil for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the maple syrup and margarine to the pan and continue to bubble gently until the glaze has become syrupy and fully coated the carrots. Season with salt and black pepper and serve.
For more Christmas side dishes from blogging friends, take a look at:
- Chloe's How to Roast Potatoes from Feast Glorious Feast
- Gwen's Roasted Garlic Cauliflower from Delightful Adventures
- Camilla's Crispy Coated Roast Potatoes from Fab Food 4 All
- Chris' Vegan Potato Gratin from Thinly Spread
- Stacey's Pomegranate Wild Rice Christmas Salad from Stacey Homemaker