Maple-Carrot Puree with Pomegranate and Walnuts

This is probably not the best way to introduce a dish that really is worth making, but I have a problem with that filter, so here goes:

The first time I made this, I bit into the carrot puree and thought, “Oh, congratulations. You made maple-carrot baby food.” Then I started wondering if babies could have maple syrup – I know about the honey prohibition, but what about maple? Is maple off limits?

I began considering other uses for my maple-carrot puree, but then a funny thing happened. The pomegrantate arils were already removed from the pom flesh, the walnuts were already toasted. I decided to finish the dish.

And you know what? Pureed carrots, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts are magic together. Magic, I say.

However, I did want to get the consistency of the puree to a better place, so I made a few changes to the method. First, rather than roasting the carrots uncovered, they are now covered and roasted, and 1/4 cup of water is added into the baking dish along with the olive oil and maple syrup.

When the puree time comes – after the carrots have cooled for 20 to 30 minutes – work in batches, pureeing about a quarter of the carrots in each batch, along with a quarter of the liquid from the baking dish, and add an additional tablespoon of water.

You could add the entire 1/2 cup of water called for to the baking dish, though I like having (the illusion of?) a little more control over the consistency during the pureeing stage.

I foisted the revised batch of maple-carrot puree on my family, most of whom will also be eating it on Thanksgiving, and it passed the adult-food test. Oh, and they appeared to really like the flavors, too. No one called it magic (I fault myself for not leading them down that road – I could have conducted a post-taste survey with “magic” being the best rating, “baby food” being the worst), but my mother did ask for the recipe, so that’s a good sign. Hey Mom, here it is!

As an added bonus, this is a vegan dish and gluten free, too, so it’s perfect for any holiday potluck. Keep the carrot puree separate from the pomegranate arils and walnuts, then cover and reheat in the oven, or reheat in a saucepan on the stove top (if needed, add just a little bit of water or maple syrup to keep the puree from drying out), and top with the garnish at serving time, or leave the arils and walnuts in a dish on the side to be sure everyone at your celebration can partake.

But do make sure that they know that the arils are really the conductors of magic for this dish. They should really be sure that they don’t pass by the arils.

Maple-Carrot Puree with Pomegranate and Walnuts

Yield: Serves 4 to 6 (easily doubled or tripled)


  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled, trimmed, sliced in half lengthwise, then sliced crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup (preferably Grade A Amber)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water for pureeing
  • the seeds (arils) of one pomegranate {see pomegranate note}
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts {see walnut note}


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium baking dish with a lid, combine the carrots, olive oil, maple syrup, 1/4 cup water, thyme, and ground ginger, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast the carrots until they are easily pierced with a fork, approximately 45 minutes.
  4. Remove the carrots from the oven and allow to cool for 20 to 30 minutes before pureeing.
  5. In a food processor or blender, puree one-quarter of the carrots and accumulated liquid at a time, adding in 1 tablespoon of water as necessary. The puree is meant to be thick, so it may require a little scraping down of carrots back toward the blade for each batch. If you prefer your puree to be less thick, simply add more water until it's the consistency that you're after.
  6. Return the puree to a clean baking dish and reheat, covered, in the oven at 350 degrees until it's at your desired serving temperature (about 15 to 20 minutes did it for us). Alternatively, you can reheat it in a saucepan on the stove top, then transfer it to a serving bowl.
  7. Sprinkle the pomegranate arils and toasted walnuts over top of the dish, and serve it forth.
  8. Pomegranate note
  9. It's easiest to remove the seeds (arils) while the fruit is submerged in a bowl of water. Slice the pomegranate in half, submerge each half and slide your fingers under the seeds, they'll drop to the bottom of the bowl, then pour the mix through a fine mesh colander, and remove any pith from the seeds before serving.
  10. Toasted walnuts note
  11. Roasted until golden brown at 350 degrees F, 12 to 15 minutes for whole walnuts, 6 to 8 minutes for halves/pieces, allow them to cool, then use a clean kitchen towel to remove the skins.

Estimated cost for one batch of Maple-Carrot Puree: $8.38. Or $2.09 per serving for 4 people, a little less than $1.40 per serving for 6. The carrots cost $1.00 per pound, the olive oil costs $.09 per tablespoon, so $.18, the maple syrup costs $7.99 for one cup, so $3.00 for the 6 tablespoons. I used dried thyme from the garden, but purchased dry thyme will cost around $.06, ground ginger will run us around the same. Pomegranates are on sale for $.99 at a grocery store near our house, but I bought mine before the sale was on, so it was $2.00, and walnuts cost around $1.08 for a half cup.

3 Comments to Maple-Carrot Puree with Pomegranate and Walnuts

  1. haha! baby food or not, it looks and sounds delicious!

    • Amy McCoy says:

      Haha! Thanks, Megan!!! I am looking forward to having it again on Thursday, which is pretty impressive, seeing as I’ve eaten an awful lot of carrot puree over the last week! ha! Magic pomegranates! That’s what it has to be!

  2. YUM! this is a fall flavor extravaganza! sounds delicious!

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