Carrots are a very popular type of vegetables that can be cooked and served in a variety of ways. A vegetable like the carrot is known for being full of vitamins, nutrients, and other healthy ingredients, which our bodies need and require to be fit. Carrots can be eaten for lunch, or dinner, and also make for a good side dish with a main meal. They can be added to salads or even made into a carrot soup. Consumers often have differing opinions about how carrots should be served to their guests, friends, and family but there a variety of choices when it comes to how to cook and prepare the carrots. With carrots, they can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed, and even grilled depending upon one’s individual preference. Fresh carrots may be seasonal in certain places, which would make them cheaper to buy in bulk from the supermarket or a local outdoor market. If you can buy them in large quantities during their high season, but aren’t sure if you will be able to eat them all and will have leftovers, can the carrots remain good to eat and use after a period of long-term storage? The ultimate question remains; can you freeze carrots?
Can You Freeze Carrots?
The answer to this important question is yes, you can freeze carrots successfully. However, it’s necessary to note that it’s best to freeze those carrots that are going to be cooked for best taste, quality, and overall flavor. The actual steps that need to be taken before freezing the carrots are also important to accomplish beforehand. These steps include choosing, chopping, blanching, and pre-freezing the carrots before the final freezing process can begin. This process is very similar to those other freezing processes for similar kinds of vegetables such as broccoli and squash.
Preparing The Carrots
Before you prepare the carrots for freezing, it’s necessary to choose the freshest carrots you can find which are also the best quality too. On the day that you harvest, pick up, or buy these fresh carrots should be the same day of when you start the freezing process for the same carrots. Using dry, cracked, or wet carrots would lead to less than satisfactory freezing results when compared to fresh carrots.
After buying the carrots, remember to wash them thoroughly under cold runny water. Then, you need to cut their ends off, peel the rough parts off and start chopping them up into even pieces. It’s up to the individual consumer in which way the carrots are chopped up. They can be chopped up into round pieces, small slices, or kept whole instead after peeling. Peeling each carrot should only take about a minute or so.
The last part of preparing the carrots for freezing involves blanching or pre-cooking them. Blanching the carrots means boiling a pot of water, putting the sliced or chopped carrots in there for five or so minutes, and then removing them to cool off. If you plan on leaving the carrots in the freezer for an extended period of time (longer than one month), it would be necessary to blanch them first for improved results. However, if you’re only going to keep the carrots in the freezer for less than a month, blanching would not be necessary. Blanching is part of the pre-freezing process because it helps to prevent the discoloration of the carrot, which is due to the influence of enzymes and types of bacteria. Cooling the carrots down after boiling them is a very important step to accomplish before beginning the freezing process.
The Freezing Process
Before you can freeze your carrots for the long-term, it’s important to do an initial freezing first. You should get a cooking sheet and lay out your carrots evenly on a flat layer. Then, you can place the cooking sheet covered with plastic wrapping or aluminum foil into the freezer and keep the carrots there until they are all frozen. Once the carrots are all frozen, you can move on to the long-term freezing.
For the best results, it’s important to adhere to the following steps:
- Transfer the frozen carrots from the baking sheet to individual freezer-safe bags that are made up of single or multiple servings of the vegetables.
- Remember to remove any excess air from the freezer bags before you seal them tightly. The carrots may expand a little bit so it’s important to give them some space in the bag as well.
- Label with a permanent marker. Write the date of the second freezing for each freezer bag to keep track of how long each bag of carrots has been frozen for.
- Put the freezer bags of carrots back into the freezer where they can be frozen for a straight time period of nine to fourteen months total.
The Thawing Process
To thaw out the frozen carrots, simply place the freezer bags in the refrigerator for a period of up to twenty-four hours. Then, they will be ready to be served to your guests, friends, and family. Frozen carrots should only be used for cooked dishes such as for soups, stews, and as apart of main courses. Remember to never re-freeze carrots that have already been frozen and thawed out once before.
Coming back to the original question, yes you can freeze carrots. You can use these frozen carrots in various dishes. Enjoy this delicious vegetable and bon appetit!