You asked and we answered. With this technique for freezing carrots, it’s always carrot season.
Maybe carrots were on sale at your local grocery store, and you bought one carrot too many. Or maybe you love carrots so much that you want to always have a bunch on hand, even if it means freezing them.
Whatever it is that brought you here, the question is always the same. And that question is: Can you freeze carrots? For the long and the short of it, stick around and read on below.
Can You Freeze Carrots?
If you just want the long story short before you get to the down-and-dirty details, here it is:
Absolutely yes, you can freeze carrots. To do this, select young and tender carrots in the supermarket. Cut the tops off, then wash and peel the carrots. Blanch in boiling water, cool in an ice-water bowl, then label the date and store in the freezer.
As you and I both know, there’s more to consider when freezing carrots than can be explained in one paragraph. That’s why we have scoured the Internet for practical tips and compiled everything you need to know (and nothing you do not) below.
How to Freeze Carrots
The process of freezing carrots can be divided into three steps. First, you must choose the right carrots in the store. Then you have to prepare them for freezing. Finally, you need to freeze them and use them up while they still smell and taste their best.
Select the right carrots at the store:
In an article on freezing carrots, the National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia recommends selecting young and tender carrots, preferably of medium length and of the Nantes variety (Nantes carrots are also known as “coreless carrots”).
But how do you know that carrots are young and tender? Especially if… you know, you don’t consider yourself the greatest carrot expert in the world?
The good news is that you don’t have to wait for spring to freeze Nantes carrots; this variety of carrots is in season year-round. With that said, you do need to know how to select the best carrots at the farmer’s market or grocery store.
According to WikiHow, you should look for carrots with deep, even coloring from top to bottom. The leaves should be bright green, and the carrot itself should have no cracks or splits. The carrot should look lively and plump, as if you just picked it from the vegetable garden, be heavy for its size, and feel firm to the touch.
Prep and blanch the carrots for freezing:
Like most other vegetables, carrots must be blanched before freezing.
I know what you’re thinking! Is there any way to go without the blanching? It would be easy for me to say to you here, “Why, of course you can! They’re your carrots, after all.”
But the fact of the matter is that blanching is the one step you shouldn’t skip. Unless mushy and tasteless carrots are your thing, of course.
Why? The University of Minnesota Extension says it’s because blanching slows down or completely inactivates the enzymes that can cause flavor, color, and texture loss in the freezer.
To blanch carrots, follow the five steps below:
- Fill a pot with 1 gallon of water per 1 pound of carrots. Bring the water to a full boil over high heat.
- Prep the carrots in the meantime. Cut the green leaf tops off, then wash and peel the carrots.
- Place the carrots in a blanching basket. Submerge them in the vigorously boiling water.
- Wait till the water begins to boil again. Count 5 minutes for whole carrots or 2 minutes for sliced or diced carrots.
- Remove the carrots from the heat. Cool the carrots quickly by plunging them into a bowl of ice water.
Once you’ve blanched and cooled the carrots, you can freeze them.
Seal, label, and freeze the carrots:
Pat the carrots dry with paper towels or a clean, lint-free cloth. Not freezing them wet is what’s important here. Otherwise, the water will crystallize on the surface and affect the texture of the carrots.
Seal the carrots in freezer bags or airtight food containers and label them with today’s date. As the FDA explains, carrots will keep indefinitely in the freezer. However, they will dry out over time and lose their flavor and aroma. To get the best quality, use them within 10 to 12 months of freezing.