The appearance of brightly colored foods and decorations filling store aisles can only mean one thing: Easter is here! This year, the beloved springtime holiday lands on April 4, which also happens to be International Carrot Day.
To celebrate the Easter Bunny’s all-time favorite food, McCormick has released a collection of savory and sweet carrot-forward recipes to get you inspired.
“We have seen a significant rise in searches online for carrot recipes over the past couple years, particularly around Easter,” says Kevan Vetter, McCormick’s executive chef. “The carrot is having a moment and being appreciated for its many possibilities and flavors.”
Here are some reimagined takes on favorite classics that make carrots the star.
* Air Fryer Maple Glazed Carrot Fries. Sprinkled with cinnamon and ginger, these Air Fryer Maple Glazed Carrot Fries are topped with bacon and finished with a maple glaze providing the perfect sweet and savory holiday side dish. Tip! You can bake in your oven or try with other veggies by swapping the carrots with parsnips or halved Brussels sprouts.
* Vegan Carrot Bacon. In under 20 minutes and armed with a vegetable peeler, you’ll be able to satisfy your bacon craving with these crispy ribbons of carrots. Vegan Carrot Bacon is spiced to perfection with garlic, onion, paprika and mustard – don’t say you weren’t warned when everyone begs you to make these again and again.
* Carrot Shaped Waffles. Okay, these Carrot Shaped Waffles don’t actually call for any carrots, but they do celebrate them! Hop on down the bunny trail toward an Easter-themed brunch staple the whole family will love. Fluffy on the inside and crispy where it counts, pure vanilla adds a warm sweetness to this colorful, whimsical treat.
* Carrot Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (can also be made vegan!). Carrot Cake, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, is made especially delicious with a cream cheese frosting. Try the classic preparation or go vegan with a few easy plant-based substitutions. Either way, this cake can be layered or jazzed up with sprinkled pecans as a crunchy topper.
* Cinnamon Carrot Ice Cream with Cookie Crumble. Inspired by classic carrot cake, this Cinnamon Carrot Ice Cream with Cookie Crumble is perfectly spiced with cinnamon, vanilla and ginger. This dessert dream come true can be topped off with a simple, yet oh-so-sweet cookie crumble for an easy, but decadent finish.