How To Freeze The Carrots : The Proper Way To Do It At Home
If you have more carrots than you currently need, you can freeze the rest for future use. When stored well, carrots can stay good for as long as 12-18 months. If you want to know how to freeze carrots, then you’ve come to the right place.
I discovered this freezing method through some extensive theoretical and experiential research. This was after I dealt with several bags of carrots after harvest. Since I can’t use all of the carrots in one meal, I froze some of them for future use. If you’re interested to know the proper way to do this yourself, check the materials you’ll need and the steps you’ll need to follow below.
What You’ll Need
Carrots are one of the most nutritious vegetables you can use for your meals. Several nutrients that you can find in this vegetable include vitamin A, biotin, and vitamin K. The antioxidants found in carrots can help lower the risk of several diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
The best carrots to freeze are the young and fresh medium length carrots. They should have a bright color, smooth appearance, and a firm texture. Never use carrots that are limp, cracked, and old.
You’ll need a colander to drain the water out from the carrots effectively. As possible, use a colander with sturdy nonslip feet so it can stay in place in the sink. Also, make sure that water drips through the holes of the colander well. Alternatively, you can use a paper towel or a dry clean towel to drain the excess liquid from the carrots.
If you like to peel the carrots efficiently, use a vegetable peeler. Unlike a regular knife, a vegetable peeler is safer to use and won’t gouge on your carrots. The best vegetable peelers are mostly made of stainless steel blades and comfortable handles.
A good sharp knife comes in handy when you’ll be trimming the ends and cutting the carrots into smaller pieces. Since carrots are quite hard, use knives with a sturdy blade. You don’t want the knife to give up on you in the middle of cutting your carrots.
What I use is an 8-inch Dalstrong Chef knife which is incredibly sharp. If you use it the right way, the heft of the knife will do most of the job for you.
The cutting board will serve as the place where you’ll be cutting the carrots. You don’t want to cut carrots directly on the table, do you? To avoid cross contamination, use a cutting board intended only for vegetables and not something you’ve used to cut your meat.
You’ll be needing several freezer bags to serve as the container for your carrots in the freezer. The plastic bag will protect the carrots from freezer burn. You know freezer burn can negatively affect the flavor and texture of your carrots.
If you run short of freezer bags, you can use an airtight plastic container. Never use glass containers since they are prone to damage inside the freezer.
Baking Sheet (Optional)
You may want to flash freeze the carrots if you have no plans of using the whole batch at once. The flash freezing option prevents the carrot slices from sticking to each other when they are frozen solid.For Blanching
Depending on the size of your cooking pot, you may need to fill the pot with water about 2/3 of its capacity to boil. Another set of water will be needed for your bowl of ice cubes. While the hot water will kill the enzymes and bacteria in the carrots, the ice cold water will stop the cooking process. You can use filtered water to make sure that no water contaminants are present.
You need a large pot to boil the water and the carrots. If you don’t have a large pot in your kitchen, you can blanch the carrots in batches. The material of the pot doesn’t matter for this task: stainless steel, aluminum, or copper.
To prepare a bowl of cold water, you need lots of ice cubes. You can use all cubes in the tray of ice. You may need to prepare more if you’ll be working in batches because chances are, some of the ice will start to melt for the second batch
You need a large bowl to serve as a container for your ice and water. As much as possible, find a bowl that’s similar to your pot in size so you can be sure that all the carrots from the pot can settle well into the bowl. You can use any type of bowl you have at home.
A slotted spoon comes in handy when you’ll be scooping the carrots from the pot into the bowl of ice water. Make sure that you’re using a heat-resistant spoon, like this one. You don’t want any plastic chemicals leaching into your carrots.
1. Prepare The Carrots
Get your fresh carrots and wash them under running water in your sink. If you’re using newly harvested carrots, make sure that you scrub the carrots well from any dirt. If you have bought the carrots from a store, a simple rinse will suffice.
Now peel the carrots using a vegetable peeler. With a knife, trim the ends of the carrots and cut the carrots into 1/4-inch cubes or thin strips on a cutting board. You may leave the baby carrots as they are without cutting them up.
2. Blanch The Carrots
Fill the large pot with water about 2/3 of its capacity. Boil it over high heat. While waiting for the water to boil, fill your bowl with water and ice cubes, then set aside.
As the water in the pot reaches a rolling boil, add the sliced carrots. Small whole carrots need five minutes while carrot slices only need two minutes to blanch. The heat will destroy the enzymes and bacteria that cause carrots to lose nutrients, color, and texture in the freezer.
Once the specified time is over, use a slotted spoon to scoop the carrots into the bowl of ice cold water. Let the sliced carrots sit on the cold water for two minutes or five minutes for baby carrots. The cold water will halt the cooking process.
3. Dry The Carrots
Once the specified time is up, transfer the carrots from the bowl of ice cold water into a colander to drain for a couple of minutes. Another way of drying the carrots is to scoop the carrots from the cold water and sitting them out on several layers of paper towels. If you have a dry tea towel, place the carrots onto the towel and shake them to dry by gathering up all the ends.
If you wish to use the entire bag of carrots at once, skip step 4 and proceed to step 5. If not, do step 4.
4. Flash-Freeze The Carrots
This particular step is optional. If you have no plans of using a whole bag of frozen carrots, flash-freeze them to prevent them sticking to each other. To flash-freeze, place the carrots on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Put the baking sheet into the freezer and wait for 1-2 hours. You can tell that they’re ready to be packed once they’re frozen solid or you can’t break them with a knife.
5. Freeze The Carrots
Place the carrots into the freezer bags. Before you seal the bag, remove as much air as possible. If you’re using an airtight plastic container, make sure that you leave at least 1/2 inch headspace because carrots tend to expand when frozen.
Tips From The Experts
1. Label The Freezer Bag
To keep track when the carrots will expire in the freezer, label the plastic bag. The Kitchn suggests using a permanent marker, like the Sharpie. A permanent marker can write on any kinds of packaging. Make sure that you label the package empty so you can write legibly, rather than a chicken scrawl you’ll likely not even be able to read after a while.
2. Freeze Carrots At The Peak Of Freshness
For best results, All Recipes suggests freezing fresh carrots. When buying in stores, look for firm, crisp, and smooth carrots. The color should be vibrant and the green tops fresh.
You can tell that the carrot is old if the crown has a dark coloring. You can find many fresh carrots in its peak season, which is fall.
Now that you know how to freeze carrots properly, you can reduce the amount of wasted vegetables in your pantry. To keep the nutrients and the color of the carrots, don’t forget to blanch, cool, and dry completely before you freeze them. Make sure you start with fresh carrots to get the best results and label the package so you can be guided in terms of the storage date.
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