Is it safe to freeze carrots for a week? My family just harvested carrots from our backyard garden. I have been planning to use them to cook something for my son’s school fair two days from now but the fair has been postponed to next week. Will freezing the carrots help retain some of their freshness?
That is one of the possible frustrating scenarios whenever we plan to use fairly fresh vegetables in our recipes. Your carrots will not adjust with the uncontrollable changes in your schedules but you can still save your plan.
It is highly advisable to blanch the carrots before you store them in your fridge. Enzymes are present in the carrots, causing them to ripen naturally. Simply freezing them will only slow down the carrots’ ripening, while blanching them will hinder the activities of the enzymes.
Can You Freeze Carrots
Although carrots are popularly orange, variety in colors exists such as white, purple, and red. Aside from their attractive color, their crunchiness is one quality that we want to preserve.
Freezing carrots will help retain their freshness. However, it is highly important to blanch them before freezing.
Blanching inhibits ripening as it destroys the enzymes in carrots whereas solely freezing them will just slow down the ripening. It involves cleaning the carrots first by removing both sides of the vegetable and peeling off their skin. The carrots are then sliced and rinsed with cool water.
Unsliced small carrots can be blanched for up to five minutes while the sliced or diced ones must be blanched for note more than two minutes. After heating down, store the carrots in a sealed container then put them in the fridge.
Frozen carrots can last up to two-three weeks in the fridge. Just remember that the longer they stay in the fridge, the lower their quality gets.
Once you decided to finally use the carrots for cooking, you will need to thaw them for at least 24 hours by putting them in the refrigerator. Frozen blanched carrots are more colorful and tasty. Since enzymes are absent after blanching, you can prevent nutrient loss, thereby making your carrots more enjoyable to eat.
How to Preserve the Freshness of Carrots
Carrots are probably among the most ‘attractive’ vegetables to eat due to their color and crunch. But how can you maintain their vibrant color and crunch even in storage? Here are the quick and easy steps to do so.
- Thoroughly clean the carrots. Chop the bottom parts and carefully peel the skin off. Rinse with water.
- Chop the carrots into strips or dice. Small carrots don’t need to be chopped.
- Proceed to blanch. You can blanch small carrots for up to five minutes. The chopped ones, on the other hand, should not exceed two minutes in blanching.
- Once done, let the carrots cool. Do not immediately put them in the freezer. You can submerge them first in a bowl of ice cubes.
- Use clean containers. You can also use resealable freezer bags. Just make sure that air is squeezed out regardless of what container you decide to use.
- Put the containers in the freezer. The ideal storage length is 2-3 weeks. Thaw the carrots before consumption.
It’s time to eat the frozen carrots in your fridge. Here are some simple recipes you can start with.
This easy glazed carrot recipe is affordable yet tasty. With the combination of sweetness and spice, this is a side dish you’ll never get tired of munching even if the main course is served.
This is a refreshing and low-calorie Indian carrot soup you can’t resist. Perfect for the health-conscious with a busy lifestyle.
Yes, vegetables are suitable for dessert recipes too. This carrot cake will definitely satisfy your sweet cravings without the guilt that usually follows. Not too sweet but definitely tasty.
Yes, you can freeze carrots. You should blanch them first before freezing to ensure that they don’t ripen while in the freezer. Blanching destroys enzymes and prevents nutrient loss- which means your carrots will be better tasting when it’s time for cooking!