It’s the day before Christmas Eve, and I’m officially in holiday mode as I plan the upcoming Christmas meals. If you’re looking for a last-minute, extra-special recipe for your holiday table, these pomegranate-balsamic-honey glazed carrots will be a wonderfully delicious addition to your vegetable sides. I’ve sprinkled them with fresh mint leaves for a dash of festive green and a lovely subtle minty flavor that reminds me of candy canes.
Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables. Since they’re root vegetables, they grow underground and absorb a lot of nutrients from the soil. Just what we need during these long winter months. I love serving them raw for lunch in a tossed salad, but they’re also fun to dress up with flavors.
This sautéed carrot dish is simple to make. The glaze of pomegranate juice, balsamic vinegar, and raw honey accentuates the sweetness of the carrots. Fresh mint adds a refreshing and distinctive flavor. Cayenne pepper then takes the flavor up a notch. I tasted the carrots before and after adding the cayenne pepper. The glazed carrots are good, but just a pinch of cayenne pepper really takes it over the top.
Ok, let’s jump into how to make this side dish. I found the original recipe in a magazine, but I’ve tweaked it here and there to use real food ingredients.
For the glaze, we’ll start with just a quarter cup of pomegranate juice. Read about all the amazing health benefits of pomegranates here. I prefer to juice fresh pomegranate seeds rather than use bottled juice from the store. Fresh juice has greater nutritional value. You can do this in a blender and you’ll only need to use the seeds from half of a pomegranate with a little water.
Watch this video to see how to cut open a pomegranate the safe and easy way.
Once you have deseeded your pomegranate and juiced the seeds (I juiced them in my Vitamix), add the honey and balsamic vinegar to your pomegranate juice. Set the mixture aside to be used as your glaze later.
A note about balsamic vinegar: I recommend Bionaturae that is gluten-free and made in a dedicated gluten-free facility.
Now we’re ready to cook!
Heat some butter and extra virgin olive oil in a 12-inch skillet. Add your carrots to the pan and season with salt. Toss and then let them cook for about 5 minutes. Then turn them over and let them brown on the other side for about 2 minutes. Stir and cook for another 3 minutes.
Next add chicken broth, cover, and cook for 2 more minutes. Now we’ll add the glaze and season with cayenne pepper. Remember, don’t skip the cayenne. It really makes this dish incredible.
Cook and stir for a minute, turn off the heat, and then add a tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with fresh mint and toss gently so the carrot sticks don’t break. Garnish with a little more mint and serve warm.
The carrots look so bright and beautiful when served. And the taste? It’s complex and deliciously earthy.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday and get to enjoy a lot of your traditional favorite foods and some new dishes (like this one), listen to your favorite holiday songs, and enjoy precious time with family and friends. Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
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- ¼ cup fresh pomegranate juice
- 2 teaspoons raw honey
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, I like Bionaturae
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
- 2 pounds carrots, cut into thin 2-inch sticks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup gluten free chicken broth, homemade or store bought
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, sliced
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- For pomegranate juice: Add the seeds from half of a pomegranate to your Vitamix container, add a little water and secure lid.
- Set Vitamix to pre-programmed Smoothie setting and start the machine. It will automatically shut off once the cycle is complete.
- In a small mixing bowl, add honey, balsamic vinegar and ¼ cup of pomegranate juice. Stir vigorously to combine. Set aside mixture to be used as your glaze
- Heat butter and extra virgin olive oil in a 12-inch skillet. Add your carrots to the pan and season with salt. Toss and then let them cook for about 5 minutes. Then turn them over and let them brown on the other side for about 2 minutes. Stir and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Next add chicken broth, cover, and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Now add the glaze and season with cayenne pepper.
- Cook and stir for a minute, turn off the heat and add a tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with fresh mint and toss gently so the carrot sticks don’t break. Garnish with a little more mint and serve warm.
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