The 2 Juices That Will Give You More Flavorful Cooked Carrots

When cooking carrots (or any root vegetables), many will choose between roasting, boiling, and glazing. Each version is good in its own right, but there's a time and place for certain cooking methods. Boiled carrots are probably the blandest of the three; with sparse seasonings, they leave you with the purest veg flavor. Roasted carrots are more flavorful because they are usually well-seasoned, and the roast gives them a pleasant looking char and a more developed taste and texture.

Glazed carrots are a happy medium of the two aforementioned cooking methods, as they imparting flavor while the carrots soften in the liquid. The process of glazing vegetables involves cooking them in a seasoned broth or juice, which adds flavor as the mixture reduces into a glaze or sauce. Furthermore, you'll find that no matter what liquid you cook them in, carrots tend to become sweeter and more caramelized as they soften. This is because sugar forms from the natural starches inside the carrots. However, there are two juices that professional chefs swear by when they're cooking their carrots.

Orange juice and carrot juice

If you truly want a carroty flavor, simply cook your carrots in carrot juice. Using a cup of fresh or purchased juiced to glaze your carrots will give you more carrots per carrot — if you follow. When you cook carrots in carrot juice with the lid off, the same caramelization that occurs in the carrots takes place in the juice as it reduces. The juice becomes sweet, thicker, and more intense, becoming the perfect base for a potent glaze. Add a knob of butter or go through the extra step of using browned butter for a deeper taste.

Orange juice is another great option, as it's very sweet and the signature orange color suits carrots perfectly. Orange juice accentuates the earthy, vegetal flavor of the carrots, and also makes a perfect glaze as it reduces due to the natural fruit sugars. 

Some recipes call for cooking the carrots in seasoned water first so that they soften significantly before the glaze is made. To make the glaze more interesting, there is also the option of adding ginger and brown sugar, which aids in reducing the juice to a glaze consistency. You could even use orange or carrot juice to cook a grain dish that includes carrots in them, like chef Michael Anthony does in this farro with carrots recipe.