Knowing how to store carrots is just as important as knowing how to select the right carrots when you’re at the market, but whether you’re freezing, chilling or pickling these delicious vegetables, there is a right way to do things.
How to Store Carrots?
If you are going to buy carrots for relatively rapid use – meaning in 2-3 days – you can store them outside the fridge. While this might cause the carrots to dehydrate slightly, if you clean and skin them thoroughly once you do decide to use them, they should retain most of their flavor and nutrients. Interestingly enough, you can avoid harvesting carrots until the ground begins to frost, removing them only when you need them. The ground is the best place to store them, and they will continue to grow!
If you want to bring in your harvest and keep them for an entire winter, you can bury unwashed carrots completely in sand. This will prevent any growth of bacteria or spoilage in the vegetables and can last for 5-6 months if you keep them in a dry and cool area.
Generally speaking, however, people prefer to keep fresh carrots stored in the fridge or freezer, particularly if you bring in a large harvest for the winter.
How to Store Carrots in the Fridge?
Carrots can generally be stored for up to a month in the fridge, provided you store them properly. Once you buy fresh carrots, slice off the carrot greens and any other areas on the carrot that may seem discolored. Sometimes the tips of the tapered carrots should also be removed.
You should then put these cleaned carrots in a container in your fridge, completely covered in water. You will need to change the water in this container every 4-5 days. Avoid storing these carrots near other ripening fruits, as the release of ethylene gas will speed the ripening process of the carrots.
How to Freeze Carrots?
If you want to freeze carrots over a long winter, you should begin by cleaning and peeling the carrots, then slice them into smaller pieces. Put these smaller pieces in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Be sure that you don’t let the vegetable sit in the boiling water for too long, or they will begin to cook. This blanching process is only intended to kill any bacteria or enzymes present in the vegetable.
After the two minutes in boiling water, remove the carrots and put them in a large container with ice water to cool them rapidly. Remove them from this water after a few minutes and thoroughly dry the carrots. Then, place the carrots in a freezer bag. They will keep for between 9 months and 15 months, depending on the temperature of your freezer. Even after that time, the carrots won’t be rotten; they will just begin to lose their flavor.
How to Store Pickled Carrots?
If you prefer to make your own pickled carrots – which can last for years – you begin by cleaning, peeling, slicing and blanching the carrots. Then, you will simmer the carrots in a hot liquid mixture of cider vinegar, coriander, mustard, ginger, celery salt, and turmeric. There are many different ways to make a brine for pickling vegetables. Once you pour the warm mixture over the carrots, allow it to settle to room temperature. Then, divide the liquid and carrots into 3-4 mason jars, seal tightly, and store in the refrigerator.