Carrots are a great food to freeze when not in season because they last longer than most veggies. You can either blanch your carrots before freezing them or unblanched them before storing them. Carrots that have been blanched will stay longer in the freezer and, when thawed, will preserve their original flavour.
Freeze carrots for up to 9 months without being blanched. Because they maintain their natural sweetness, blanched carrots are better for the freezer than unblanched ones. However, carrots that have not been blanched lack the flavour of those that have. Because of this, you should always blanch carrots before freezing.
What does Blanch Mean?
To partially cook vegetables in boiling water is to “blanch” them (this cooking process can also be called parboiling). You should drop vegetables into ice-cold water to cease cooking after boiling.
Can Carrots be Frozen without Blanching?
The good news is that it can freeze carrots without being blanched. Rinse them off and put them whole into baggies if you’re in a rush.
It’s crucial to keep in mind, though, that leaving them raw will alter their flavour and texture. That implies that they will be mushier once they are thawed, which may be okay, depending on how you want to use them.
How to Freeze Carrots without Blanching?
Put your carrots in boiling water with or without kosher salt to blanch them before freezing. I suggest cooking the smaller entire ones for five minutes. You should spend only 2-3 minutes balancing cut or sliced food.
Instead of cooking them, the idea is to flash-heat them to preserve the nutrients and eradicate pathogens. Please don’t leave them on for too long, then. Place the vegetables in ice water immediately to stop the cooking after blanching.
Blanching a carrot before storing it is a great technique to maintain its flavour, but it can take some time. You can freeze unbalanced carrots for up to 10 months at a time if you’d prefer not to blanch your carrots. Unbalanced carrots can be preserved by first chopping, slicing, or pureeing them, depending on your preferences. Your unbalanced carrots will stay well-preserved and frozen once you’ve appropriately prepped them until you’re ready to use them.
Benefits of Carrots for Health
Carrots are loaded with antioxidants and provide several health advantages. These are the key points:
- The most well-known carrot superpower is undoubtedly this one. They benefit your eyes. They include a lot of beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A to support the health of your eyes. Additionally, beta-carotene lessens your risk of cataracts and other eye conditions while also assisting in sun protection for your eyes.
- Lutein, which is present in yellow carrots, is advantageous for your eyes. According to studies, the most common cause of vision loss in the U.S., age-related macular degeneration, is helped by or prevented by it.
- It may reduce your chance of developing cancer. It has been demonstrated that antioxidants help your body fight off dangerous free radicals, which may reduce your risk of developing cancer. Carotenoids and anthocyanins are the two main categories of antioxidants found in carrots. While anthocyanins are in charge of the red and purple colouring of carrots, carotenoids are what give them their orange and yellow hues.
- They support the heart. First off, every one of those antioxidants is beneficial for your heart. Second, carrots’ potassium content can support healthy blood pressure levels. Thirdly, they contain fibre, which can assist you in maintaining a healthy weight and reducing your risk of developing heart disease.
- Lycopene, which helps prevent heart disease, is also present in red carrots.
- They strengthen the immune system. Carrots include vitamin C, which helps your body create antibodies to protect your immune system. Vitamin C helps your body absorb and utilise iron while warding off infections.
- They can aid with constipation relief. Eat some raw carrots if you’re having problems going to the restroom. Due to their high fibre content, they can aid in maintaining regularity and easing constipation.
- They can aid with diabetic management. Carrots are among the non-starchy vegetables people with diabetes are advised to eat in large quantities. Carrots’ fibre content can aid in regulating blood sugar levels. Additionally, they are abundant in beta-carotene and vitamin A, which have been linked to a decreased incidence of diabetes.
- They can make your bones stronger. Both calcium and vitamin K, found in carrots, are crucial for healthy bones.
Reference: Nutritional and Health Benefits of Carrots and Their Seed Extracts
Why Should Carrots be Blanched Before Freezing?
It may seem painful, but blanching carrots (or other comparable root vegetables) before freezing is a smart idea. Any microbes that might be left on the surface are removed by blanching.
The carrots are only partially cooked, shortening the time required to prepare them from frozen. It prolongs the shelf life of frozen carrots by slowing the enzyme action that results in flavour, colour, texture, and nutrient loss.
Individual carrots (or sliced carrots) that have been properly blanched and flash-frozen can be kept in the freezer for up to a year. But before freezer burn can occur, I try to complete mine within six to eight months.
How to Use Frozen Carrots?
Frozen carrots work best for hot recipes, particularly soups and stews that could use extra moisture. The carrots don’t need to be thawed before use. They are immediately usable after being frozen.
For cold foods like raw carrot salads, avoid using frozen carrots. The finest carrots to use here are always fresh, raw ones. Once defrosted, frozen carrots may become mushy and lose their firmness.
How to Store Carrots in the Freezer?
The use of baggies is the recommended method for storing frozen carrots. In this manner, you can stack them and lay them flat to save room.
This facilitates the defrosting procedure as well. But if you want to lessen your concern over freezer burn, you might use a vacuum sealer.
How to Freeze Carrots?
Wash and Cut
Before you cut or peel carrots, wash them in cold water to remove any dirt or bacteria from the produce.
Peel all of the carrots’ skin after chopping off both ends of each carrot. It would be best to slice the carrots into chunks of 1-2 inches, or whatever size you choose, once they have frozen.
Carrots should be added to a pot of boiling water and boiled for two to three minutes. You only need to cook them until they are soft and delicate, not completely done.
When you add them from your freezer to whatever you are cooking at the time, you will have finished cooking them.
Prepare a bowl of iced water and have it available. After the carrots have boiled for two to three minutes, drain the water from the kettle and place the carrots in the ice bath.
The carrots are prevented from cooking by this method, which also aids in their cooling. Remove the carrots from the ice bath after two to three minutes and pat them dry with a paper towel.
On a baking sheet, spread out your carrots, so they are not touching. They won’t stick together in the freezer as a result of this.
Make sure they are frozen by freezing them for around three hours. This is crucial because placing them in a bag while still soft will freeze together into a large clump.
When the carrots are frozen, remove the baking sheet from the freezer, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag, and then store the bag in the freezer until you need it.
Let as much air out of the baggie as possible to prevent moisture from condensing and give your carrots freezer a burn.
Tips for Freezing Carrots
Although freezing carrots is a straightforward method that anybody can do, the following advice will help:
Select Unspoilt, Fresh Carrots
For freezing, choose recently harvested, fresh carrots. . will preserve the fresh veggies’ rich nutritional content and crisp texture while the processes of Blanching and freezing greatly increase their shelf life.
Blanching is Important
A crucial stage in the freezing of carrots is blanching. Carrots may get mushy if you don’t blanch them before freezing them.
Combine Different Vegetables
For a frozen vegetable medley, combine carrots with other hardy veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and sliced potato to save time.
Peeling is not Required
Peeling is an optional step in this recipe that only depends on your preferences. Peeling is generally done for the texture and appearance of the sliced veggies because the blanching process will eliminate any bacteria that could still be on the carrot’s skin.
Freeze Any Cooked Carrot Leftovers
The tastiest frozen carrots will come from blanched fresh carrots, but you may also freeze leftover cooked carrots for up to three months in a freezer-safe container.
While can keep blanched carrots in storage for up to nine months, carrots are best frozen for three months. You can freeze both whole and grated carrots. However, remember that shredded carrots will retain water after thawing, losing some freshness. In such circumstances, you can purée them or add them to soups.
You can blanch carrots to increase their nutritional content and stop bacterial growth. You should eat unblanched carrots within three months, but if you follow these instructions, you can store them for up to nine months. Additionally, if you clean and dry them, they will keep better in your freezer.