Kid-friendly Crunchy Carrot Fries Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Crunchy Carrot Fries

Recipe: Crunchy Carrot Fries

Crunchy Carrot Fries

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Elena Zajchikova/Shutterstock.com
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
6 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Crunchy Carrot Fries

Move over fast-food French fries; it's time to make way for Crunchy Carrot Fries, a healthier and more flavorful alternative. Perfect as a side dish or a wholesome snack, these baby carrot fries boast a crunchy texture and natural sweetness that put traditional fries to shame!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • sauté :

    to cook or brown food in a pan containing a small quantity of butter, oil, or other fat.

  • stir :

    to mix together two or more ingredients with a spoon or spatula, usually in a circle pattern, or figure eight, or in whatever direction you like!

Equipment Checklist

  • Skillet
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon
scale
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Ingredients

Crunchy Carrot Fries

  • 2 C (roughly, or more) baby carrots
  • 1 tsp paprika + more to taste **(for NIGHTSHADE ALLERGY sub 1 tsp onion powder)**
  • 1/2 tsp salt + more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper + more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder + more to taste
  • 1 T vegetable oil **

Food Allergen Substitutions

Crunchy Carrot Fries

  • Nightshade: Substitute onion powder for paprika. 
  • Soy: Substitute canola oil or other nut-free high-smoking point oil for vegetable oil.

Instructions

Crunchy Carrot Fries

1.
Measure + toss

Measure roughly 2 cups, or more, of baby carrots. Pour them into a skillet over medium heat. Then, measure and toss the carrots with 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.

2.
sauté + stir

Sauté for 6 minutes or until the carrot fries start to brown slightly.

3.
season + serve

Taste one of the carrots to test the seasoning. Then, adjust the seasoning to your liking. You can add more of any of the seasonings until the flavor is exactly how you want it to taste.

Surprise Ingredient: Carrots!

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Photo by Kindel Media

Hi! I'm Carrot!

“I'm at the root of this recipe! Get it? Root? Carrots are root vegetables! We grow up in dark and cozy soil. Our leaves get plenty of sunshine, though. If you grow us, it's so satisfying to pull us out of our underground home and know you'll be tasting our crunchy sweetness very soon. But you may want to wash us first! You can eat carrots raw or cook them first. Either way, you'll enjoy our flavor, texture, and color in salads, savory dishes, and desserts, like carrot cake!"

History

  • Before carrots were orange, they were purple, red, white, and yellow. In the 16th century (after the Middle Ages), Dutch carrot growers invented the orange carrot in honor of the House of Orange, the Dutch Royal Family (for Kings and Queens). They did this by crossbreeding pale yellow carrots with red carrots. 
  • Carrots soon caught on in England as both a food and a fashion accessory. For example, it's said that ladies in the 1600s would decorate their hats with carrot tops instead of feathers! 
  • The carrots we eat today were domesticated from a wild carrot native to Europe and southwestern Asia.
  • No one knows exactly how old carrots are, but history traces them back about 5,000 years. They were mistaken for parsnips before the carrot was identified as a distinct vegetable. Carrots and parsnips are related but from different families. Parsnips are white and look a lot like carrots. They're also root vegetables!
  • When carrots were first grown many hundreds of years ago, farmers prized them for their aromatic leaves and seeds—not just the roots! 
  • According to some sources, carrots are the second most popular vegetable in the world, behind just one other. Can you guess what's number one? Potatoes!
  • The longest carrot ever recorded was over 20 feet long! (The measurement included the taproot's long, skinny end.) The heaviest carrot recorded weighed over 22 pounds!
  • You may think rabbits love carrots naturally, and this is largely because of the popularity of the wise-cracking and charming cartoon rabbit character named Bugs Bunny. We see Bugs Bunny munching on a carrot in most scenes. In reality, if a rabbit ate a whole carrot, it would be like you or me eating 20 carrots in one sitting! Way too much! Here's another fun fact: The voice of Bugs Bunny, Mel Blanc, reportedly did not like carrots at all.

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Carrots belong to the Umbelliferae family, named for their resemblance to an umbrella when their leafy green stems are attached. This family includes celery, parsnip, fennel, dill, and coriander.
  • Carrots are root vegetables, meaning they grow underneath the ground. Their feathery leaves grow above the ground. Can you think of other root vegetables? A few of them are beets, onions, turnips, potatoes, radishes, parsnips, fennel, garlic, and jicama.
  • You can eat every part of the carrot. Typically we eat the root part of the plant, but the stems and leaves are edible, too! A carrot's root can grow anywhere from 2 to 20 inches long before it's picked!
  • Carrots like to grow in cooler climates, not tropical, hot places. For this reason, they are usually grown in the autumn, winter, and spring months.
  • Baby carrots sold in grocery stores started as long carrots that were sliced and tumbled into smaller pieces to make them "baby-sized."
  • Carrot seeds are tiny. Find a teaspoon. How many carrot seeds do you think will fit inside? About 2,000!
  • A carrot plant will live for two years, meaning new crops need to be planted from seed every two years.
  • There are two main classes of carrots: Western and Eastern. The Western class includes four types, classified by their root shape: Chantenay, Danvers, Imperator, and Nantes. Several cultivars (varieties created by selective breeding) exist under each type. Many varieties have different colors than the typical orange. How many colors have you seen? The next time you're in the grocery store, look for these diverse carrots.
  • The English word "carrot" comes from the Greek word "karoton."

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • One large carrot or a handful of baby carrots counts as one vegetable serving. Aim for three servings of veggies a day for kids and five servings for adults.
  • Carrots can be eaten raw, roasted, juiced, boiled, mashed, or steamed. However, they are most nutrient-dense when cooked and eaten with fat like butter or oil.
  • When you eat a carrot, how does it taste? Modern carrots have been bred to be sweet, which is why we often use them in baked goods like carrot cake! On the other hand, ancient carrots were bitter, not sweet.
  • Look for firm, brightly colored carrots with smooth, firm skin. Carrots that are limp or black near the top are not fresh.
  • Thicker carrots may be older and tougher to eat, whereas thinner carrots are typically younger, fresher, and sweeter.
  • Store carrots in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, where they will keep for a few weeks!
  • One of the tastiest, easiest ways to cook carrots is to toss them with melted butter, salt, honey, and garlic, then roast them at 425 F for 20 minutes.
  • You can grate raw carrots and add them to salads or chop them to add to soups or stews. If you boil or steam carrots, you then puree them to add to breads, cookies, cakes, or even tomato sauce to sweeten it. Carrots add natural sweetness to whatever recipe they're in (and a pretty orange color, too!).

Nutrition

  • Eyes! The color of a fruit or vegetable tells us what nutrient it contains (nature is amazing!). Orange vegetables and fruits have a particular nutrient called beta carotene. Beta carotene was named for the carrot itself! This nutrient converts to vitamin A inside the body, which is good for our eyes! Studies have shown that only three percent of beta carotene is released from the raw vegetable when we digest it. But this percentage can be improved when we juice or puree raw carrots or cook them with fat like butter or oil. Carrots have the most beta carotene of any vegetable!
  • Teeth! The crunchiness of carrots helps clean the plaque off your teeth and gums, just like your toothbrush! Of course, this doesn't mean eating a carrot at the end of the day can substitute for brushing your teeth! Carrots also have minerals that protect the teeth. 
  • Purple carrots include anthocyanin, an antioxidant, just like purple eggplants, blueberries, and other colorful fruits. 
  • As with all vegetables, eating carrots helps protect us from getting sick! 

 

History of French Fries!

Photo by kai foret/Shutterstock.com (crinkle cut fries)
  • The origin of the french fry or french-fried potato is disputed. A Chilean writer mentioned eating "papas fritas" ("fried potatoes" in Spanish) in 1673. However, we don't know whether they were the cut-up deep-fried potatoes we are familiar with or more like roasted or pan-fried country potatoes, fried potato skins, or something else entirely.
  • A museum curator in Belgium attributes french fries to Teresa of Avila from Spain, who lived in the 1500s, and a Belgian food historian believes they originated in France and were brought to Belgium in 1844. French fries ("pommes frites" in French) were a distinctive Parisian dish by the 19th century, and the modern french fry was created in Paris around 1855. 
  • The name "french fries" is also questioned. One story is that an American soldier called them french fries after tasting the dish in Belgium during World War I. Today, the name is often shortened to just "fries."
  • Considered a side dish, french fries come in various sizes and thicknesses. The thinnest fries are matchstick (shorter than shoestrings), followed by shoestring (julienne cut), curly, standard (batonnet cut), crinkle cut, steak (often served with beef steak), wedge cut, waffle-cut slices, and cottage slices (round with ridges). 
  • Russet potatoes are the preferred potato variety to use for french fries because they have more starch, are denser, and contain less moisture than other potatoes. Sweet potato fries have also become popular in recent years.

THYME for a Laugh

How do you know carrots are good for your eyes? 

Well, have you ever seen a rabbit wearing glasses?

That's Berry Funny

What vegetable are all others afraid of? 

A Scarrot!

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call a baby potato? 

A small fry!

THYME for a Laugh

Did you hear about the carrot detective? 

He got to the root of every case.

That's Berry Funny

What’s a vegetable’s favorite martial art? 

Carrotee! (Karate)

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