Knowing how to freeze carrots may sound simple but it adds whole new possibilities to your cooking.
Carrots are easy to include in many great recipes; main dishes, side dishes, and even desserts. They add a flavorful sweetness and bright, vivid orange color to your meals.
But that’s not all, carrots are also packed with essential nutrients. Always having them in your home can help you to regularly add them to your meals.
So if you’re interested in preserving fresh, flavorful carrots, read on to find out the best ways to freeze them.
Can You Freeze Fresh Carrots?
Like the majority of vegetables, carrots are safe to freeze.
As they are available all year round (but best between mid-May to end of September), you can buy them as needed.
Carrots have a relatively long shelf life. Once you’ve brought them home, they can last for two to three weeks in the fridge, giving you plenty of time to prepare and enjoy them.
However, if you don’t get around to using them or happen to have too many on hand, you have the option to freeze them for later use.
Do Carrots Freeze Well?
Yes, they do. As with any vegetable with a dense body, carrots hold up well in the process of freezing.
If your frozen carrots are stored correctly, they will last for ten to twelve months. Longer than that, and they will start to show signs of spoilage.
To check to see if your carrots have gone bad, look them over to see if there are any white molds or dark spots. Also, if they have become mushy with a slimy texture or have a rotten smell, you should throw them away.
Before freezing carrots, a standard step to take is blanching them. This will help preserve their taste, color, and most importantly, their nutrition for longer.
You can also preserve them unblanched by chopping them into smaller pieces, putting them in containers, and storing them in the freezer.
Defrosting frozen carrots is simple too. You can leave them in the refrigerator overnight or throw them in unthawed to anything you’re cooking.
Whichever method you choose, you should use frozen carrots in cooked dishes to get the best result. Simply follow these steps, and you will find the most effective freezing method.
The Best Ways to Freeze Carrots
Freeze Raw Carrots
First, wash fresh carrots thoroughly under cold tap water. Like any other root vegetable, carrots can have dirt and soil on them after harvesting, so rinsing them beforehand is recommended.
Chop off the top and bottom, and peel. Slice the carrots into rounds.
You can also cut the carrots into cubes or julienne them, depending on how you plan to use them in the future.
Fill a pot with around ⅔ of water or just enough water to submerge the carrots. Get a bowl of ice water ready on the side.
Bring the pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add in the cut carrots and wait for 3-4 minutes. The goal here is to heat the carrots, NOT cook them.
Next you need to transfer the carrots into the ice bath using either a slotted spoon or draining the whole pot into a colander. The colander is quicker but will create more work and heating time if you plan on doing more batches.
Moving the carrots to the ice water quickly slows down and eventually stops the cooking process.
When the carrots are sufficiently cooled, take them out and dry them with a paper towel. Drying helps to remove unnecessary moisture that could crystalize and form frost when freezing.
After that, spread the carrots in a single-layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Next, instant-freeze them by putting the baking sheet temporarily in the fridge for 2 or 3 minutes. That way the carrots won’t get clumpy when you actually freeze them.
Take the baking sheet out, then put the carrots into a resealable freezer bag. Flatten the bag to help ensure any excess air is removed.
Finally, label and date them to keep track of how long they have been stored, then freeze away.
Freeze Shredded Carrots
Pre-shredded frozen carrots add convenience to your future cooking. With bags of frozen shredded carrots ready in the freezer, you can throw them into any dish to add more texture and flavor. They work great in sauces, soups, oatmeal, cakes and more.
To get these ready, first cleanse your carrots thoroughly so that there won’t be any dirt or residue left on them.
Shred your carrots by hand or using a food processor if you have a large amount. A small piece of advice is that you should use sharp-bladed tools to do this. A dull blade is less safe and can increase bacterial growth when shredding, making your carrots spoil faster.
Then you just follow the same steps as before: blanch, dry, store, and freeze them and you’re done!
One thing to be mindful about is that when freezing, keep the carrots away from any common fruits and vegetables like apples, bananas, or tomatoes. These guys are ethylene gas producers, making other veggies, like carrots, spoil faster when stored near them.
How to Freeze Carrots Without Blanching
Unblanched carrots won’t be able to keep their original texture and color as well as blanched carrots do. But their nutrition values won’t change that much.
And, despite removing the blanching process, they can still last up to 10 months in the freezer!
Here’s how to freeze carrots without blanching them first:
- Put the carrots into a water bowl and use your hands to scrub all of the dirt off. A tip to help you wash them extra clean is to put a bit of white vinegar into the water bowl.
- Next, cut off each end of the carrots. Slice the carrots into even rounds so that every piece will freeze evenly.
- Place the carrots onto a baking sheet, then put them in the freezer. Come back after 24 hours and take them out.
- Put them in airtight bags and label them so you know how long they’ve been stored for.
- Finally, put them back into the freezer and you’re finished.
Carrots are one of the most versatile vegetables, so it’s well worth learning how to freeze carrots. It’s a great kitchen skill to have for any cook out there.
A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen. Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it. Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.