These quick & easy, oven-baked carrot and zucchini fries will make a great, healthy addition to your next football gathering and even help your picky eaters to enjoy vegetables!
So I've been informed that it's officially fall, but it may be a while longer 'til I bring out the blazers, cardigans…oh the cardigans. I own them in nearly every shade imaginable, I kid you not. Some ladies have problems with shoes... Some purses.. I have problems with both AND cardigans. Lord, help me! Well, it's more like help the Hungryman who acquiesces to my addiction.
In terms of food, are you ready for pumpkin galore bc you'll def be seeing tons of recipes on Pinterest. I just started my own Pumpkin board - a decade too late, I know. And I've already kickstarted the craze with these no bake, gluten free Pumpkin and Raisin Peanut Butter Cups sweetened only with California raisins.
But because I'm a firm supporter of the underdog, I thought I'd put the spotlight on another delicious and nutritious orange vegetable - carrots. And I just so happened to stumble upon the most gorgeous red-orange ones at the farmers market.
I knew I wanted to turn them into carrot fries because:
- It's football season and I welcome the challenge of adding some color and nutritional value to the classic grub.
- The Hungryman does NOT do raw carrots while I, on the other hand, can eat them plucked straight from the garden. The best ones I ever tasted were when I was doing my dietetic internship rotation at the American Botanical Council - plucked straight from the soil.
- It's a great excuse to enjoy grown-up ketchup - hello, sriracha!
I kept things very simple - carrots. coconut oil. salt.
But not just any salt. Season With Spice's Sichuan Pepper Sea Salt to be exact! Mark and Reese have become good friends of ours, and through their hard work and passion for wanting to make high-quality Asian spices readily available to everyday cooks like you and me, they just launched their store in downtown Buffalo, Minnesota! We're so proud of them and hope to pay a visit in the near future.
There hasn't been a single blend from Season With Spice that we didn't like. Spicy Korean Baked Chicken Wings and Vietnamese BBQ Shrimp Noodle Bowl are just two of the many ways we've enjoyed their products. Come busy weeknights, I like to sprinkle some of their spices on my vegetables before sautéing or roasting. They're also great to add to marinades for beef, poultry, seafood, tofu...
In under 30 minutes we had sweet and savory carrot fries - crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with just a hint of coconut. I kept the peel on, and it def added to the crisp factor. If you like your fries really crisp, I suggest coating the carrots with a teaspoon of arrowroot (or cornstarch or potato starch) before tossing them in oil and seasoning.
And because I like variety (which is why I love sharing food), I invited zucchini fries to the party. I followed the directions from Pinch Of Yum, with the exception of adding Season with Spice's salt rather than a plain one. Next time I'm going to add more Panko bread crumbs because for some reason, the sticks didn't get coated as evenly as I had hoped. In any case, they were still very delicious!
So next time you want to grab for those fried, greasy (and sometimes soggy) potato fries, remember that you can make these healthy vegetable fries in no time in the comfort of your home. Watching football in my PJs is how I like to spend my weekend. How about you? 😉
- 1 pound of carrots peeled or unpeeled
- 2 teaspoons of coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon of seasoning of choice I used Season with Spice's Sichuan Pepper Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot optional: for even crispier fries
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- Slice carrots into even sized sticks (thin or thick as desired).
- Toss the carrot sticks with oil and seasoning. Spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (do not overlap the sticks).
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until crisp-tender, flipping them halfway (time will depend on thickness).
- Serve immediately.
Liz - Meal Makeover Mom says
MJ, do you use virgin coconut oil for this recipe? Do you melt it first in the microwave? I've done this with diced sweet potatoes, but never with carrots. I am definitely going to try this. My son does not like raw carrots. I wonder if he'll eat 'em cooked like Hungryman.
Yup I used virgin coconut oil! However, I've heard some people prefer refined coconut oil bc its flavor and aroma are not so pronounced. I like things coconut-y ;). It's still pretty warm here in TX so my coconut oil is in its liquid form. If yours is solid, which I'm assuming it is since you live wayy up north ;), yes, I recommend you melt it before measuring and adding to the recipe! Tim ate most of these carrots so I have high hopes for your son!
Sarah @ SnixyKitchen says
I also have a cardigan problem - I may own the exact same one in multiple colors (and I even own multiple of the exact same color cardigan..).
I love this carrot fry idea - they sound addicting, flavorful, and totally healthy!
Haha! Seriously..you and I are similar in SOO many ways! Ditto to both ;). Tim absolutely detests raw carrots, and he finds these fries to be so much more tolerable.
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
I do love fall clothing 🙂 I also love the look of these! Yum!
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says
Glad you went with the underdog veggie: the carrot! Love this. . this is how I always bake our sweet potato fries .. and beautiful photos, Min!
Thank you so much! It was def a nice change of pace from our regular sweet potatoes ;).
Dietitian Jess says
Carrots are definitely an underdog and don't get as much orange veggie love as they deserve! This recipe sounds simple and delicious 🙂
Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana says
Ooh, I love the tip about coating in arrowroot powder, I will have to try that! I'm curious about your favorite cardigans! I need to wear a cardigan in my office because it is so cold, so I'm always looking for suggestions 🙂
Hello my sweet dear friend!! Although I own them in all lengths, I've really been gravitating towards the longer styles that I can wear with my leggings. I know what you mean!! I ALWAYS carry a cardigan in my purse everywhere I go. My fav store at the moment is LOFT, but def can't go wrong with JCrew cardigans ;). Hope you're doing well! We seriously need to talk soon!!
Eee I dip my fries in sriracha too! That spice mix looks awesome! Fries who own spice stores = friends in high places 🙂
No wonder we are friends ;). And yes, Season with Spice is so awesome! You should def check out their specialty blends ;).
gretchen | kumquat says
these are so lovely!! i'd happily sit on the couch and watch football eating these... (beautiful photos, min!!!)
Come sit on my couch! We can watch and eat together in our pjs ;). Thanks, Gretchen for the compliment. I really want to spend more time practicing but haven't been able to do so lately. I feel like my photos have been a bit stagnant..I feel the itch to experiment haha
Julie @ Lovely Little Kitchen says
Never thought of carrot fries, but they look delicious. Love all your creativity in the kitchen. And I share your cardigan obsession too!
Thanks, Julie! Your creativity inspires me too ;). Ooh and glad to know I'm not alone haha #canneverhaveenough
This recipe looks delicious 🙂 I can't wait to try it. I was just wondering at what temperature do you set the oven at?
Thanks, Christine! Eeks! totally forgot to mention - 425F. Hope you enjoy 😉