Several means of softening carrots are available, none of which requires extensive cooking time or difficult preparation. Testing the carrots during cooking allows the cook to measure the amount of softness, preventing the carrots from overcooking and becoming mushy and tasteless.
Cut the carrots prior to cooking them. This will shorten the cooking time and make it easier to process them once cooked. The vegetable may be diced in small cubes, sliced into circles of varying thickness or roughly cut into chunks. Whether the carrots are peeled or not remains a personal preference.
Place 2 cups of water in a small saucepan and bring to a low, simmering boil. Add 1 cup of carrots into the pan and salt if desired. Cook the carrots for five to eight minutes or until they reach the desired softness. Test by poking the carrots with a knifepoint or fork.
Steam the carrots by placing them in a steamer basket inside a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Fill the pan up until the water reaches the bottom of the basket. Bring the water to a low, rolling boil and place the lid on the saucepan. Steam for eight to 10 minutes.
Roast the carrots in a 350- to 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Rub the carrots with a light coating of butter or oil before placing them in the uncovered pan. For additional flavouring, add fresh herbs such as dill or rosemary to the vegetables.
Microwave the carrots by putting them in a microwave-safe dish and pouring a layer of water into the dish, just enough to coat the bottom. Cover the dish with a paper towel and microwave on high for six to eight minutes. If the carrots are not soft enough, cook again for one or two minutes more.