Candy Carrot Coins … Naturally Gluten Free for Thanksgiving (or Any Time)

This post is linked to Gluten-Free  Thanksgiving Baking ChallengeSlightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Real Food Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Fight Back Friday, and Friday Foodie Fix–Carrots.

Veggies often get short shrift when it comes to the holidays. I’ve never seen a holiday magazine that had “20 To Die For Holiday Veggie Recipes” on the cover … have you? That would be nice, but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t happened yet. But we still need our veggies. And, while there will be casseroles with veggies on the Thanksgiving table and perhaps even a nice salad, why not go for a simple veggie recipe that has an indulgent name, but is still healthy, and will appeal to kids and adults alike? Candy Carrot Coins. Doesn’t that sound indulgent? And aren’t they colorful and appetizing? This recipe is also gfe—gluten free easily. In this case, it’s a naturally gluten-free recipe. Those are my favorites. There’s no conversion required and no doubt whether the ingredients are gluten free or not. In this case, we’re talking real food ingredients: carrots, water, salt, butter, and honey. It doesn’t get much simpler than that … or much better. Incidentally, if you’re anti-candy—or even using the expression for this healthy dish— you can certainly just refer to them as Carrot Coins—that sounds good, too!

With just the right amount of “sweet” and requiring little preparation, Candy Carrot Coins make a great addition to any special meal. Of course, you can make them for your family any time and everyone will feel like they’ve had a special treat, but unless you have a large family or big-time carrot eaters, you may want to halve the recipe.

I’m offering these Candy Carrot Coins as my contribution to the Gluten-Free Thanksgiving event that Shauna and Danny (Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef) are hosting this year. Dozens of bloggers are all contributing gluten-free recipes for this lovely, virtual dinner. For many, it has been the first time they’ve intentionally cooked gluten free. Emails have been flying back and forth the last few days between participants to ensure that all ingredients were gluten free. What a great event for gluten-free awareness! Shauna and Danny and others included the recipes and tips that everyone wants to know for a wonderful gluten-free Thanksgiving. Oh, and they are having an amazing giveaway for those who want to blog about having a gluten-free Thanksgiving. Imagine how many resources will be online once all these posts are up … that’s way cool!

Currently, Shauna and Danny are on tour in Colorado for their terrific new book, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, so if that’s your home state, be sure to check out their schedule and see if you can connect with them. If you can’t meet them on tour and haven’t yet gotten your copy of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef , you can read all the reviews and order it here if you’d like

Before you head to the table to enjoy some Candy Carrot Coins, you probably want to keep reading for this gfe recipe and lots of other events in our gluten-free world to join in and be thankful for. (I’ll keep the Carrot Coins warm for you.)

Candy Carrot Coins
(Click here for a printable version of this recipe.)

1 pound carrots
water for saucepan (see instructions)
1/s tsp salt
1 tbsp butter (dairy or non-dairy)
2 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp water

Peel carrots, cut off ends, and slice into about ¼-inch to 1/2-inch thick rounds. These are your carrot “coins.” Set aside.

In a large saucepan, add water to 1-inch level. Add ½ tsp salt. Bring to a boil.

Add carrot coins. Bring water to a boil again and reduce heat slightly, stirring often. Cook about 15 minutes or until tender, but not mushy. (You don’t want carrot coins to have a mushy texture if you want the best taste, and because they will fall apart and no longer be coins.) Drain.

In a large skillet, melt the butter on medium-low and then stir in honey and water. Cook for about a minute. Add the carrot coins and stir well to coat with honey mixture. Cook on medium-low about 4 minutes until carrots are glazed well. Serve.

Adapted from Family Fun magazine 

Shirley’s Notes: Carrot coins should be shiny and attractive. If they are not shiny enough for your liking, you can drizzle a tiny amount of honey over the top of the serving bowl immediately before serving. The amount of honey in this recipe is not a large amount at all, but it adds just the right sweetness and flavor to naturally sweet carrots. This recipe makes a lot in my opinion. For serving a large crowd, I usually divide the carrot coins into two serving bowls and place one on each table for guests, unless we are eating buffet style. 

Stephanie (Wasabimon) also contributed this helpful article for Bay Area Bites on celebrating Thanksgiving gluten free. Stephanie’s article includes some amazing dinner rolls from Jeanne Sauvage of The Art of Gluten-Free Baking

Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) is continuing her Ultimate Thanksgiving Prep Series with this post on stuffing with a secret ingredient. This is a series that can really help you get your “ducks in a row” for a successful and delicious Thanksgiving!

Here at gfe, you  can read more tips, check out more Thanksgiving favorites (including my Never Fail Pie Crust), link up your own favorite recipes (if you like), and enter to win one of two awesome cookbooks  (Stephanie O’Dea’s Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, and Kelly Brozyna’s The Spunky Coconut Cookbook–6 copies total) here at our Gluten-Free Holiday event!

If you are gluten free, get out the word and show folks how easy and delicious it is to eat gluten free! Last, don’t forget to give thanks as you celebrate this wonderful holiday that is all about family and friends and counting our blessings. Have a happy Thanksgiving all!

P. S. Can you identify the  sterling silver serving utensil in the photo? We received it as a wedding gift from a distant relative of Mr. GFE’s 28 years ago and have never found out its true purpose. We use it like a slotted spoon (for veggies) or as a serving spatula (for lasagna). But, we’d love to know what it really is intended for. It’s engraved and beautiful, so we enjoy it, but it’s always perplexed us a bit, too.

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


76 Responses to “Candy Carrot Coins … Naturally Gluten Free for Thanksgiving (or Any Time)”

  1. Kim on November 15th, 2010 8:48 am


    We love carrots, so this recipe is right up our alley! We normally just steam them, but this would be a nice treat for Thanksgiving. :)


    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 9:32 am

      Hi Kim–How wonderful to see you, dear! :-) We haven’t connected enough of late … too busy, darn it! :-(

      I hope you’ll enjoy these if you make them. They are so simple, but so good really. Years ago, I used to make them using brown sugar, but I like them with honey more. It’s not much honey, but with the carrots’ natural sweetness, it’s just right. I’m sure you could use your steamed carrot rounds as your starting point versus boiling them.


  2. glutenfreeforgood on November 15th, 2010 9:04 am

    I laughed out loud at your proposed holiday magazine cover. You’re right, nothing like that on the newstands, except maybe Vegetarian Times. Or Vegan World (I made that up). Anyway, I love your stove-top addition to Shauna and Danny’s event. And who doesn’t love carrots!? My gosh, that’s a fall favorite.

    And I’m guessing your honey came right out of the hive for this. I can only imagine how divine that is!


    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 9:36 am

      Hi Melissa–Glad I gave you a good laugh! Let’s all be on the lookout for a magazine cover like that, shall we? And, hey, I like the name Vegan World. I think vegans are like us “gf’ers,” they’d like for the world to be their way. I get that! These make such a pretty, delicious, and healthy dish. :-) And, yes, you are right, that’s our bees’ honey. After I read your comment, I added a link to my post where we were processed our honey this year. It’s important to give those hard-working bees credit!! ;-)

      Thanks, dear! xoxo,

  3. Lexie | Lexie's Kitchen on November 15th, 2010 12:12 pm

    Perfect! Love carrots and the simplicity of this dish. We can get too carried away, making dishes complex and forget about the kids who appreciate simple. Mine would gobble these [pirate] carrot [treasure] coins down! I have pirate-crazy boys … can you tell :)

    • Maggie on November 15th, 2010 7:02 pm

      Great idea Shirley and Lexie! While reading the post I thought, Callum could totally help me make these. And then I read Lexie’s comment! This might get him to eat cooked carrots! Pirate Treasure carrots. I love it! Thanks girls.

      • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 10:01 am

        Hi Maggie–I hope these will become a new favorite for Callum! :-) You know that kids helping make veggie (and other) dishes makes the likelihood of them eating them AND like them go way up, right? And, with the pirate treasure factor, well, the odds are in your favor. ;-) (I still remember your adorable pirate cupcakes!) Yes, sometimes we do “sell” veggies to our kids, but who cares if the end result is the kiddos eating their veggies.


    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 9:41 am

      Hi Lexie–Thank you! I think sometimes we make dishes too complex for even ourselves, adding time in the kitchen we don’t need. But, kids do love these, especially when you add in a treasure coin factor! ;-) I actually did think about those treasure coins that my in-laws always have put in our Christmas stockings. These carrots are better! I love that you have pirate-crazy boys! I raised one of my own. LOL Did you know that you can make a perfectly respectable (and safe!) sword out of plywood? Just cut to the right size and shape and paint. Hours of enjoyment came from that genius thought of my husband’s! We still have that sword and bring it out if visiting kids need some outdoor decompression activity. ;-)


  4. Paula - bell'alimento on November 15th, 2010 12:26 pm

    Carrot Coins are a perfect side dish! Can’t ever go wrong with honey ; )

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 9:45 am

      Hi Paula–Thanks so much for taking the time to comment so nicely, and welcome to gfe! :-) We keep bees, so honey is often our “go to” unrefined sweetener. Yes, it’s just lovely in this recipe.

      Loved your post with your brownies and your little guy working so hard—adorable!


  5. Kim @ Cook It Allergy Free on November 15th, 2010 1:18 pm

    My Mom has always made a similar version of these! I love, love, love them! I recently started roasting them instead of steaming them using these ingredients. They do not look near as beautiful as yours, but they do taste yummy! And I love that they are part of the Gf baking challenge! LOL Nice to see something healthy on that wonderful list!

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 9:47 am

      Hi Kim–Roasting sounds like a fantastic idea! I love roasted veggies … so much sweeter and flavorful. Well, for a holiday meal and the coin factor ;-) , I was definitely going for presentation. But, for Mr. GFE and myself, I’ll definitely give your roasted version a go next time. Those actually would have fit into the Baking Challenge even if they aren’t a true baked good. I’m feeling vindicated though … there were a few other non-baked entries. LOL


  6. Kim @ Cook It Allergy Free on November 15th, 2010 1:33 pm

    Ooh! And I totally meant to say thank you for sharing my series with your readers. I so appreciate that!

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 9:49 am

      Kim–It’s always my pleasure to share your great stuff! :-) You are constantly sharing my posts and info on FB and Twitter. Trying to return the favor AND help out my readers. That series is a gem, dear!

      xo again,

  7. Linda on November 15th, 2010 1:55 pm

    Now that I think about it, we don’t eat cooked carrots by themselves. They’re just not a favorite, so I always add them to other veggies. I bet we would like these with the honey, though, and they are pretty!

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 9:52 am

      Hi Linda–Isn’t it funny how we get into cooking and eating habits and don’t always consider other great options? we all do that. These lightly glazed carrots really are delicious. They complement other meal items well. And, any leftovers can get thrown into pot pie or soup … the little bit of honey is not enough to throw the other flavors off IMHO, but one can add more savory spices if needed. You know how I love “recycling” my leftovers. ;-)

      Thanks so much! Enjoy!

  8. Annette on November 15th, 2010 2:36 pm

    We ate these all the time growing up. My mom called them happy carrots. :D

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 9:54 am

      Hi Annette–So nice to see you! :-) When I read your comment, I smiled a big smile! Smart mom there … happy carrots indeed. LOL Who wouldn’t eat their happy carrots? I know I couldn’t pass them up. Well, whatever name works, huh? Have you introduced Eli to happy carrots? Maybe it’s time. ;-)


      • Annette on November 16th, 2010 10:03 pm

        I have made them for him but he has “issues” with cooked carrots. He’ll eat them raw all day long but as soon as I cook them he won’t touch them. Oh well. His sister loved them though.

        • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 10:09 pm

          Hi again, Annette–Oh too bad, but glad his sister loves them. :-)


  9. Alisa Cooks on November 15th, 2010 2:41 pm

    I love, love, love carrot coins sweetened with honey! Those look great Shirley! Last year I made them like this, but with parsnip coins too!

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 9:55 am

      Hey Alisa–Ah, already a fan–cool! You know I only recently discovered that I like parsnips, so I love the idea of parsnip coins. I think I’ll make a mix of the two soon–thanks so much for that idea, dear!


  10. Kay Guest on November 15th, 2010 5:21 pm

    Hey Shirley! Could your pretty sterling silver server be exactly that, just a beautiful thing to look at that is useful at the same time? You know, kind of like most of the women that you know… I WILL make your carrots AND your tortilla chip dressing/stuffing recipe. Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all the gluten free community of cooks. Kay Guest

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 9:58 am

      Kay–I love you … you are always just so sensible and positive! Too sweet … sterling silver that is useful compared to my beautiful friends. ;-) Still, I’m curious … LOL

      I’m so glad you have found another dish along with the tortilla chip stuffing (I need to remind folks on that one again!) to grace your Thanksgiving table. :-) Thanks for the super sweet Thanksgiving wishes! You are a gem … back at you, dear.


  11. Diane-thewholegang on November 15th, 2010 10:55 pm

    I love cooked carrots but half of my family does not, more for me! I have the perfect honey to make these. I’m adding carrots to my grocery list as I only have a couple left.

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 10:03 am

      Hi Diane–LOL on having the perfect honey. I know the source! ;-) Maybe this recipe could convert your family. Make some and set them on the counter and see what happens. They glisten, they look so pretty, and they taste good … they might convert your family. Be sure to call them by name, too. :-) Candy Carrot Coins are very appealing!


  12. jackhonky on November 16th, 2010 4:26 am

    I love carrots and yours sounds so simple to make! I usually make a glazed carrot dish similar to yours, but I add some soy sauce for depth and fresh rosemary.

    It funny how the vegetables do get shoved to the side so often on Thanksgiving, but sometimes they are my favorite dish! It was because of Thanksgiving that I discovered my love of brussels sprouts! Before that I didn’t care for them at all…

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 10:07 am

      Hi Jack–Welcome to gfe! :-) Based on your love of carrots, you will especially love these, but I do like the sound of your dish, too. Must try that soon! I only recently learned to eat Brussels sprouts myself, when they were fresh and cooked properly. That made all the difference in the world to their taste. Before then, I was like you … no way I was eating BS. ;-)

      Must check out your blog today. Haven’t had time to make my rounds from Shauna and Danny’s event yet. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!


  13. Natalie on November 16th, 2010 5:12 am

    Mmm yummy! I am looking for lots of ways to enjoy vegetables and this will join my recipe list. I think it is so cool that you have your own bees and raw honey. I like the idea above of adding parsnips too!

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 10:09 am

      Hi there, Natalie! Thank you, dear. :-) I know exactly what you are saying. I love veggies when prepared by others, but sometimes get lazy at home. Simple and tasty veggie dishes make me do better. ;-) I want to try Alisa’s idea on the parnsips, too.

      Thanks re: the bees and our honey … we do love them both!


  14. Michelle on November 16th, 2010 11:12 am

    We made these carrots the other night with gluten free tuna cakes and they were yummy! I don’t even like carrots that much, but the sweetness really complimented the carrots and they were delicious as leftovers the next day.

    I will have to try some of the variations on this recipe.

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2010 1:16 pm

      Hi Michelle–Looks like you are new here at gfe–welcome! :-) I took a quick look at your site and your health journey–wow, what an inspiration you and your husband are! I look forward to taking a more leisurely look later.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the carrots and even the leftovers. ;-) I like the idea of having them with some gf tuna cakes–sounds yummy to me! Let us know what you think when you try the other variations, too. Feedback always helps all of us. Thanks so much for your positive report!


  15. Gina - The Gluten-free Gourmand on November 16th, 2010 6:39 pm

    You’re right – I’m always surprised to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner and I hardly see any green on the table! We always need our veggies. These carrots look beautiful. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Starlene on November 18th, 2010 11:42 pm

    Oh! I have a recipe similar to these, except I add pumpkin pie spices with just 2 teaspoons of honey for a pound of carrots (I linked to my recipe). So yummy!! Also I did a google search and found lots of slotted spoons but none like yours. Very unique and interesting! Too bad you can’t ask that distance relative, although he or she may no longer be with us after such a long time! :-)

    • Shirley on November 19th, 2010 12:52 pm

      Hi Starlene–Great to see you! :-) Pumpkin pie spice? That’s brilliant! And, I have no doubt that less honey could be used. Very nice way to make them … thanks for sharing!

      Thanks for trying to identify our piece of silver! I’m not sure what to call the slotted spoon, but we do enjoy it. Yes, the distant relative has passed. Truth be told, we would have thought it was just a gift that had been “re-gifted” if it didn’t have our surname initial on it. Wondering if there was some special deal on odd pieces of silver when she went shopping. LOL


  17. Tia on November 19th, 2010 12:14 am

    Well, it will be a little different than what I originally left, but here goes.

    We like carrots. We like honey. Should be good. Gonna try it. (Condensed version.) ;)

    Also, got to looking on line because I love a good challenge. It looks like your sever might be an asparagus spoon from an era of much simpler silver patterns. My MIL made us register for silver, so I looked on their site. Needless to say, we only have the first few pieces she bought us for our wedding present. That and china. So, as long as we have no visitors and Max doesn’t want to eat, we can break them out. I’m not buying anymore. But we have some great servers and other silver items from Sam’s parents wedding presents. Since they are divorced, they all got passed down to us.

    Tia :P

    • Shirley on November 19th, 2010 12:55 pm

      Hey Tia, thanks so much for taking the time to leave another comment! I know how frustrating it can be when comments disappear. I usually just don’t try again, so your dedication is appreciated! :-)

      Asparagus spoon? Fascinating! It doesn’t look it would be “friendly” for serving asparagus, but hmmm. I say use the good stuff any time you want. It’s sad when dishes and silver just sits in the china cabinet or buffet. BTW, teas are a great way to use these items and have a lot of fun! Maybe one day we’ll have a gf girlfriend tea at your house! ;-)


  18. Parisa on November 22nd, 2010 12:50 am

    I am always looking for new gluten free sites and I am glad I came across yours.

    I was thinking of a way to incorporate more veggie dishes at Thanksgiving and this is the perfect idea! Thanks.

    • Shirley on November 22nd, 2010 5:02 pm

      Hey Parisa–Welcome to gfe! :-) Thanks so much for the kind words … I’m glad you found me, too. ;-)

      This is a dish that I forget about from time to time, but then am so happy when I remember it. It’s so easy to make and adds much to the meal in color, taste, and nutrition. Hope you enjoy it for your Thanksgiving and that you have a great holiday!


  19. Debbie on November 23rd, 2010 12:06 am

    Hi – looking forward to making the carrots, and just want to say.. “fish turner!” That’s my guess.

    • Shirley on November 24th, 2010 9:58 pm

      Hi Debbie–It looks like you are new here–welcome to gfe! :-) I hope you enjoy the carrots and thanks for the guess on my hoity toity silver piece. Hmmm, fish turner … as a fish lover, I like that—thanks!


  20. Annette on January 17th, 2011 11:55 pm

    Shirley! I made these tonight but left the carrots very crunchy and used coconut oil instead of butter and Eli loved them. Yay!

    • Shirley on January 18th, 2011 12:47 am

      Hi Annette–That’s such great news! Thanks so much for coming back and letting me know. :-) Now I must try making them with coconut oil … yum!


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