Grilling carrots takes a little a bit of knife skill and some patience. Carrots don’t come in one size, so you do need to slice them down to be uniform.
Carrots are crunchy and sweet by nature. That is what is delightful about them. When grilling carrots you want to retain some of that crunch for freshness. Grilling also brings out more of the inherent sweetness. I personally like a little snap to my grilled vegetables. If you want the vegetables to be softer increase the grilling time. Be sure to watch the carrots so that they don’t get scorched. The natural sugars can burn.
Nutritional Value of Fresh Carrots
We have all been told to eat carrots for better eyesight. But, “don’t eat too many because you will turn orange”. I thought that last part was an old wives tale. One of my college friends ate lots of carrots every day while trying to lose weight and her skin actually did have an orange glow to it. It seemed coincidental, but her doctor confirmed that it can happen. Who knew?
Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene. That is what gives them their color. It is also what makes them high in anti-oxidants that we need to fight damaging, disease causing, free radicals.
Carrots are a great source of vitamin A, supplying us with over 550 percent of the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA). Vitamin A is essential for eye and skin health. These sweet root vegetables are also a great source of dietary fiber. Read more about the nutritional value of carrots here at Nutrition and You.
If you want soft, mushy carrots, don’t bother cooking them on any type of grill. Charcoal flame heat seriously dries them out. Gas grilling is a bit less offensive. The George Foreman Grill is gentler and better suited for grilling carrots, as it maintains an even heat.
I experimented with different timings and pre-grill prep. What I discovered is that the carrot pieces need to be uniform. After washing and peeling your carrots, take the time to cut them into long, thin planks resembling slabs of bacon. This helps them stay put on the grill, cook evenly, and get some nice char marks.
Basic Foreman Grilled Carrots Recipe
This recipe gives you slightly al-dente, sweet, grilled carrots. Refer to the second recipe for how to jazz up grilled carrots.
- 4 Whole carrots, peeled and tops/bottoms removed
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- Fresh lemon juice
Total time: 38 min – Prep time: 30 min – Cook time: 8 min
1. Wash and peel the carrots. Slice a small section off of one side so the carrots will sit flat on the cutting board (for ease and safety). Then, slice into 1/4” thick planks along the length of the carrots.
2. Place carrots on a plate and drizzle with just enough EVOO to lightly coat and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Allow them to sit for 20 minutes up to an hour.
3. Heat your basic George Foreman Grill until hot.
4. Place the coated carrots across the grill ridges and close the top. Grill in batches for approximately 8 minutes. Check for doneness and the texture you prefer. Set the carrots aside on the plate. Serve as is with salt and pepper or serve with the balsamic glaze described below.
Balsamic Glaze for Grilled Vegetables
- 8 Ounces of good, dark balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 Cup honey
- Sea salt
1. Into a sauce pot or pan, pour the balsamic vinegar and heat on medium while mixing in the honey and a pinch of salt.
2. Allow the mixture to come to a slow boil while stirring occasionally. The glaze will reduce by about half. This may take 10 to 20 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and drizzle over your grilled vegetables.
Grilled carrots are a great summer and fall side dish, when they are in peak season. Adults and children both enjoy carrots because they are naturally sweet, crisp, and quite high in nutrition. Carrots go nicely with other grilled vegetables, rice, or as a side to chicken and turkey dishes. They can be served warm or at room temperature after grilled.
A nice balsamic glaze adds another dimension. If pressed for time, consider just drizzling some butter, olive oil, or a touch of maple syrup over your carrots. After grilling, carrots can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days and added to salads, slaws, cooked rice, or sliced and added to soups and stews as a crisp garnish.