I’ve been making these carrot fries for my toddler for awhile now. They’re the perfect way to serve up carrots to little ones because they can grab them with their chubby little paws and gnaw away at the soft, tasty bits.
They’re fun for dipping, too, which toddlers loooove. My little gal has just figured out that she loves carrot fries dipped in hummus … though for some reason she tries to feed her forehead before her mouth and so she has a lovely pile of hummus all over her head by the time all is said and done, but hey. My kid is eating carrots and hummus, so I’m happy.
So, yes. Perfect for babies. But here’s the thing. Each time I cook up a batch of carrot fries, I find myself taste-testing one. Then a couple more. Then three or four more over the baking sheet, and then finally I give in and sit down with a scoop of hummus and before I know it, I’ve had a proper meal. These things are rarely around 15 minutes after they come out of the oven, and so it finally occurred to me … hey, adults enjoy these, too! And that’s okay!
They’re so simple to make. I mean, they’re basically just carrots cut into sticks, tossed in olive oil and seasonings, and roasted until they’re sweet and soft with a few scrumptious golden-brown edges that pretty much make you forget you’re basically just eating plain ol’ carrots. They don’t get crisp and crunchy like a typical french fry, but they’re still really kind of divine.
I’ll often make them with just salt and pepper, but for this version, I added cumin, smoked paprika, and a tiny bit of cayenne. The smoky flavors pair perfectly with the sweetly caramelized carrots, and when dipped in hummus? Laaaaaaaa! (That’s an angel singing, fyi.)
Good stuff. And, hey! Pretty darn healthy, too! Yay!
- 1 pound (about 6-7 medium) carrots, peeled and cut into approx. 4-inch x ½-inch strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt (plus more to taste)
- ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, add carrots and top with olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the smoked paprika and cayenne pepper if using. Toss until spices are well-distributed.
- Pour carrots onto baking sheet (I line mine with a Sil-pat, but it’s also fine without) and bake until carrots are tender and beginning to brown on one or two sides, about 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle with additional salt if desired and serve.