Did you know that, unlike most things in nature, carrots are orange for political reasons? I don’t mean like, of their own volition, (calm down all you ‘plants have feelings too’ zealots.) I mean that all carrots used to be purple or yellow or white, until around the 16th century, when Dutch carrot farmers started solely planting a mutant orange breed. Why? Because around this time, there was this dude named William the Silent, who inherited the rule of Orange, France, and with a little political wile, lead the Dutch revolt against the Spanish, which led them to eventually win their independence in the form of the Dutch Republic. So by the 17th century, these farmers started planting the orange ones more frequently as a tribute to quiet Bill, and pretty soon, orange carrots were the norm. (The original freedom fries I guess?) While the unimaginative historians at the Carrot Museum website think this story has been a bit embellished over the years, most agree that the orange carrot has been very politically charged for the Nederlanders, and was later considered a symbol of sedition when some Dutch patriots revolted against the House of Orange. It was then considered audacious to flash your orange roots at the market.
While those racy orange carrots contain a ton of Beta Carotene, the other colors bring their own array of healthful compounds, like the purple carrot’s anthocyanins, also found in blueberries. If you can’t find rainbow carrots, that’s ok, orange ones work (and taste) exactly the same. The orange ones are in fact a bit sweeter. When you cut into a purple carrot, it’s actually orange on the inside, so pretty! The white ones are kind of ‘meh’ visually, but they look more like potatoes, in case you are trying to trick yourself into thinking that these are fried potatoes from your favorite fast food restaurant. The secret ingredient to crispy carrot (or sweet potato fries) is a little bit of organic corn starch! Too much and they will be pasty, too little and they won’t get as crispy. My favorite way to eat these is with a little ketchup mixed with Sriracha (a 4:1 ratio.) You can just buy a pre-made Cajun seasoning at the store (easy), or make your own by combining the spices listed below.
Cajun Rainbow Carrot Fries
makes 2 servings
4-5 BIG rainbow carrots (about 9 inches in length)
1 tbs organic cornstarch
a big dash of each: cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, oregano, and thyme
2 tsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tbs olive oil
preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut the carrots into thin fry sticks, about 1/4″ x 1/4″ thick. You know what fries look like. Place them in a big bowl.
Sprinkle the corn starch over the cut carrots and give them a quick toss with your hands to coat them.
sprinkle the spices evenly over the carrots, then drizzle them with the olive oil.
Spread the carrot fries out evenly on a greased baking sheet. (I used more olive oil.) Don’t crowd them or else they will steam instead of bake.
Pop them in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, turning once half way through.
You can keep an eye on them toward the end and adjust your cooking time for softer or crunchier fries.
Eat them right away, they soften after too long out of the oven. Be warned, you will be done in 3 minutes flat, you might want to make a double batch, they are so addictive!