Nothing screams "Spring" more than delicious Orange Glazed Carrots! Tender, organic, lightly steamed with a light citrus glaze that can be made ahead! Feature these orange root vegetables at Easter or on your weeknight dinner table.
Carrots are inherently sweet and I find organic varieties have much more flavor than conventional or "baby carrots." This glaze recipe is pretty simple - it doesn't contain any added sugar or honey, so if you're watching your intake of sugar and/or glycemic index, this glaze recipe is relatively low-sugar.
Fresh or prepared orange juice?
You can use fresh squeezed or prepared juice for this recipe, but note that if you use fresh squeezed, the texture will not be silky smooth due to the pulp. Use pre-made, pulp-free--or make your own from frozen concentrate. I recommend prepared OJ for the best results.
I think I'm a carrot snob. I find "baby" and conventional (non-organic) carrots very bland, therefore, I highly recommend organic for this recipe. This glaze has a mild flavor designed to accent the natural sweetness of the carrot and in order to let the flavor of the carrot shine-through. Organic is the only way to go in my opinion.
Ingredients for Orange Glazed Carrots
- orange juice
- pinch of salt
Cornstarch is the thickening agent which provides a nice, transluscent sheen to this smooth sauce. Use this glaze on roasted or steamed carrots; just drizzle the sauce over them and serve!
How to steam carrots
Steaming vegetables is the preferred method for retaining nutrients and vibrant color. Use a steamer basket or, if you don't have one, place an aluminum colander over a large pot of boiling water.
(Don't use a plastic colander; they often melt over the high heat and produce a gas that offsets the flavor of the vegetable.)
The amount of water you need depends upon the size of the saucepan. I use a 1.5 quart saucepan and add 1 ½ cups of water.
- Peel and slice carrots
- Add water to large stockpot; place steamer in pot; add water and bring water to hard boil
- Place sliced carrots on steam basket
- Cover and cook for 8-12 minutes, or until fork-tender
If your saucepan lid doesn't completely cover the pan and steamer, just place it over the steamer (the lid doesn't have to fit perfectly; you just want to trap some of the steam from the boiling water.) Keep an eye on the water level and replenish if needed. While the carrots are steaming, prepare the sauce.
How to make Orange Glaze Sauce
Quick and easy! Melt the butter in a saucepan; sprinkle in the cornstarch; whisk; remove pan from heat; add one cup of juice then taste to see if you want more orange flavor; if so, add a little more; whisk; place saucepan back onto burner; turn heat to medium high; continue to whisk and cook the sauce until it begins to thicken; taste for salt; serve.
Make sure you don't overcook the glaze. As soon as the sauce thickens, remove it from the heat. Prolonged heat breaks down the cornstarch's thickening properties.
Make ahead glaze
This glaze or sauce can be made in advance. Just pour it into a glass jar and allow to cool; then replace the lid and refrigerate up to 3 days. When you're ready to serve, reheat the sauce on the stovetop; use a whisk to combine. You may have to add a little water, as the sauce tends to thicken in the fridge.
Drizzle over cooked carrots and enjoy!
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Orange Glazed Carrots
- Wire whisk
- Steamer basket
- 1 lb organic carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 stick butter unsalted
- 1-1⅓ cup prepared orange juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- pinch of salt to taste
Prepare the Carrots
- In a large stockpot, add 7-8 cups of water; place steamer basket in stockpot; bring water to boil
- Add sliced carrots to steam basket; cover and cook 8-12 minutes or until carrots are fork-tender
Prepare the Orange Glaze
- In a large saucepan on medium heat, melt butter
- Sprinkle in cornstarch once butter is liquid and whisk; remove pan from heat
- Add orange juice; whisk (start with one cup of OJ and taste; add remainder if you want more orange flavor)
- Return pan back to stove; increase to medium high heat; whisk orange mixture until it begins to thicken; taste for salt
- Drizzle orange glaze over carrots; garnish with parsley and/or orange zest