Spa Recipe: Honey-Roasted Carrots from Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee

Serve up some farm-fresh fixings this season with this nutritious--and delicious--snack.

Blackberry Farm

As the holiday season gets into full swing, rich dishes quickly start to take their toll on clients, leaving them feeling sluggish and heavy. Fortunately, calorie-laden cookies aren’t the only treats that can satisfy during this time. For a creative twist, why not try these warm and soothing honey-roasted carrots?

This recipe comes from Blackberry Farm, a 58-room resort set on 4,200 acres in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, near Walland, Tennessee. Here, the focus is on food, wine and wellness, with activities from cooking demos to chakra balancing. The property has won numerous awards, and now it’s about to unveil its revamped spa. Slated to open in May/June next year, the facility will house 17 treatment spaces, plus updated fitness facilities such as a yoga studio and saltwater pool.

At Blackberry Farm, local ingredients are the order of the day, in the restaurants and the spa. According to Josh Feathers, executive chef of the Main House, while this recipe can be made with any type of carrot—summer, baby or regular—it helps if they’re locally grown, for maximum flavor.

But this dish does more than just taste delicious: carrots are a major source of the vital antioxidant beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by the body, helping to maintain healthy skin and eyesight. “To get the full potential from carrots and enable the body to absorb the carotenoids, I always recommend preparing or processing them in some way, whether through juicing, shredding or, in this case, cooking,” notes Feathers. “Plus, the fat from the olive oil also aids in the absorption of the carrots’ nutrients.”

So when it comes to easy-to-prepare nibbles, these really are all sweetness and light!

Honey-Roasted Carrots

2 cups peeled baby carrots
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
Dash of sherry or red wine vinegar
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. honey (preferably wildflower)
2 tsp. fresh thyme sprigs

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Combine the carrots, oil, garlic, sherry/vinegar, salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, covered. Remove the cover and stir once, making sure the carrots have begun to soften. Add the honey and thyme to the pan, tossing to coat. Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until caramelized. Serves several people as a side dish or snack.