Freezing carrots isn’t that difficult, although it requires some work. If you’d like to know how to freeze this red veggie, read the rest of the article and you will know everything you need to.
How to freeze carrots
Before you freeze
Before you even start you should know that freezing carrots does work pretty well only in certain circumstances. What are those circumstances? Frozen carrots work well only in cooked dishes, like soups, stews, etc. If you’d like to freeze carrots, thaw them and eat raw, it’s not the best idea. Their texture will change and in most cases you won’t be satisfied with the outcome. If you, however, want to use those carrots in cooked dishes, feel free to freeze them.
When choosing carrots to be frozen, make sure you take only the best ones, as they will freeze pretty well. Dry or cracking carrots won’t freeze that well, so don’t bother freezing them, as you in most cases won’t be satisfied with the results you’ll get. Also, choose fresh carrots first. If you cultivate carrots in your own little garden, freezing them in the same day they were harvested is a great idea.
Image used under Creative Commons from swong95765
Now it’s time to wash those carrots, peel them and chop. Before chopping, consider what you’ll do with those carrots and chop them accordingly. In most cases you will want to be able to transfer frozen carrots directly into the dish you’re cooking, without any additional prep. You can leave the smallest carrots whole, but make sure to at least cut the bigger ones in quarters if you don’t need to cut it into slices or cubes.
Blanching is a pretty straightforward process that is intended to suppress some of the enzymes and bacteria (that are present in veggies and fruits) that are responsible for change of taste, color and texture of the given veggie or fruit. This step is optional, but if you plan to keep carrots in the freezing for a longer period of time, it’s a good idea to blanch them, so they will last longer without huge loss of quality.
How to blanch carrots? First, bring a pot of water to a boil, then put those sliced carrots into boiling water. How long should you keep them in there? It depends on how large the slices/cubes/parts are. The larger they are, the longer should they be kept in the pot. For small slices, about 2 to 3 minutes will be enough. For small carrots or large parts, they should remain in the water for up to 5 minutes. Then it’s time to quickly cool down the veggies. To do this, use a pot or sink of cold water and maybe add some ice cubes to it. Dry the carrots thoroughly and they’re ready for the next step to come.
This is another step that’s optional. Pre-freezing is intended to allow you to scoop as many carrot pieces for a freezer bag as you need at a time. If you won’t pre-freeze them, they’ll glue to each other and you’ll have to use the whole bag of carrots at a time. If you, however, exactly know how many carrots you need for a certain dish and each freezer bag will contain a serving-size portion, you can omit this step.
Pre-freezing requires little work. Take a baking sheet and transfer carrots onto it. Make sure the particles don’t touch each other. Once done, put the baking sheet into the freezer and keep it in there until carrots have frozen. Once done, get the cookie sheet out of the freezer. Pieces/stripes/cubes you’ve frozen are ready to be packed.
We’re almost there! Now you only need to transfer the carrots (blanched or not, pre-frozen or not) into a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as you can and seal it. If you haven’t pre-frozen carrots, consider putting into each bag as much carrots as you would need for a single dish. This way you won’t struggle with scooping carrots from the bag and trying to get only as much as you need. Label the bag and put a date on it and put it into the freezer. Carrots can be stored there even for longer than a year without huge loss of quality.
The whole process of freezing carrots isn’t that complicated. It has two optional steps (blanching and pre-freezing) which I suggest you should try out and examine the outcome. If one of them doesn’t really help much, I wouldn’t bother, but to know that, you need to try those steps out on your own. I hope this little guide have helped you to learn how to freeze carrots.