Plain vegetables may be healthy for you, but not everyone loves the taste of them on their own. Fortunately, it’s not necessary to compromise on flavor in order to have a nutritional meal.
In fact, there are many tasty ways to take one of the most classic side dishes and turn it into something even picky eaters will love. Even as a beginner cook, you can still make a delicious peas and carrots recipe that’ll be the perfect side dish for your friends and family.
Whether you have canned peas and carrots, frozen peas and carrots, or peas and carrots that are fresh from the grocery store, there are tons of ways to make these healthy veggies more flavorful. You just need a little inspiration and the right ingredients.
Peas and Carrots Health Benefits
Combining peas and carrots into your meal provides a variety of health benefits. Peas and carrots are both good sources of dietary fiber, which helps keep your digestive tract in good health.
They also provide a variety of carotenoids, including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, that can help protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts.
Carrots are a great source of Vitamin A, while peas have an abundance of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. Peas also contain a good amount of Vitamin C for immunity-boosting benefits.
How to Make Peas and Carrots Taste Better
There are numerous ways to transform plain ol’ peas and carrots into a delicious side dish that even your kiddos will enjoy. Here are some of our best tips for making peas and carrots taste better.
Use Fresh Veggies
Fresher is always better when it comes to cooking. If you can, try to use fresh carrots and fresh peas whenever possible.
Fresh vegetables will be more flavorful and have a better texture than pre-packaged veggies. However, frozen veggies are usually quite fresh, too!
Spice It Up
Spices are always a good idea if you want to add more flavor to your vegetables. Garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, parsley, oregano, paprika, and chili powder/chili flakes are all excellent choices.
Add Lemon Juice
You’d be surprised how much a squeeze of lemon can really enhance the flavors of your vegetables. Not to mention, it adds a nice zing! Fresh lemon juice is always best.
Add Fresh Herbs
Add depth of flavor with some fresh herbs! Fresh basil leaves, fresh dill, and some chopped parsley all make great additions to peas and carrots. Just sprinkle them on to taste after they’ve been sauteeing for a few minutes and have softened.
Use a Little Oil
A little extra-virgin olive oil is like liquid gold for cooking practically anything! It’ll give your veggies a nice crispy outer texture and rich taste.
Just grab your saute pan and heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Then add your peas and carrots and let them sizzle, and saute until softened.
Pouring in some broth while cooking your peas and carrots will allow the veggies to absorb all of their rich flavors. Any broth, like vegetable broth, chicken broth, beef broth, etc., will do. It just depends on the flavor you’re going for.
Add Maple Syrup
The sweetness of the carrots tastes fantastic with maple syrup! Peas can also be naturally sweet, so it’ll enhance this green veggie as well.
Just add a little drizzle of maple syrup at the last few minutes of cooking on the stove, or roast the veggies in the oven with it drizzled on to give the veggies even more time to absorb all the deliciously sweet flavor.
Cook with Butter
Butter has a way of making anything taste delicious, so it’s any cooked veggies’ best friend! Melt butter in a pan over medium heat and let the peas and carrots cook in it until completely cooked. It’ll give you rich, flavorful, and buttery peas and carrots that will basically melt in your mouth!
Add Other Mix-Ins
Just because you’re making peas and carrots doesn’t mean you can’t add other tasty mix-ins to enhance the flavor! You can start out by sauteeing some onions and garlic to create a flavorful base before adding in the peas and carrots.
You could also add more vegetables like mushrooms, broccoli, or bell peppers to make it a vegetable medley! Just keep in mind that certain vegetables take longer to cook than others.
Pair It With Something Tasty
When all else fails, you can’t go wrong with pairing your peas and carrots with another tasty side or impressive main dish!
Pork chops always taste great with peas and carrots, as do roasted chicken breasts. You could also pair it with rice or mashed potatoes for a delicious combination!
Why do peas and carrots go together?
The reason why peas and carrots were put together in the first place is because they are both in season at the same time. This gives them compatible flavors that make them taste super good together, especially after so many years of being cooked together!
Are fresh or frozen peas healthier?
Believe it or not, frozen peas can actually be more nutritious than fresh. This is due to the fact that they are frozen as soon as they are picked, a process that locks in all of their vitamins and minerals. Fresh peas, on the other hand, can lose half of their Vitamin content within a day of picking.
Can dogs eat peas and carrots?
Yes! Peas and carrots are safe for dogs to eat in moderation. They can provide a variety of health benefits. They’re full of important vitamins and potassium, which are good for a dog’s muscles, nerves, and kidneys.
Their fiber can also help dogs stay regular. When feeding your pup peas and carrots, it’s best to cook them first so they are easier to digest.