freeze carrots

How to Freeze Carrots

Carrots are great for you and as a root vegetable are a great addition to your freezer to help keep your family full and healthy long after you harvested them.  Carrots can be stored effectively for a while by being left in the ground, but oftentimes you’ll want the ground or pots and containers for something else.  So when you’ve harvested your carrots and want to preserve them for later freezing those carrots is a great way to do that.  Freezing is by far the best way to preserve the taste and texture of your carrots for several months. It is easy to freeze carrots.  Here’s all you need to know about how to freeze carrots.

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Can you freeze carrots?

Yes, you can freeze carrots for later use. You can freeze carrots to use as cooked carrots or freeze the scraps to use in making vegetable soup to help reduce waste. For the best results in most cases, you will want to blanch your carrots to help preserve their colour, texture, and nutrition. Blanching is easy and only takes a few extra minutes but will help keep your carrots as fresh as possible.

Can you freeze carrots whole?

Carrots can be frozen whole but they will take much longer to thaw making them hard to work with. While freezing them whole is quick it can make life more difficult when it is time to use them and you have no choice but to thaw them before you can chop and use them for cooking soups, stews, and other recipes.

How to freeze carrots

Freezing carrots is easy to do and a great way to preserve them for later. The hardest part is deciding how you want to freeze them.  And I’ll cover that shortly.  So here’s how to go about freezing carrots.

  • Prepare your carrots by washing and peeling away the outer skin to be sure that all dirt is gone. This is super simple if you scrub under running water rather than trying to use a vegetable peeler (this also saves on waste.  Although if you peel your carrots, then you can compost the carrot skin – my guide to beginner composting is here).
  • Before freezing your carrots, decide what you will be doing with them. For some things like using your carrots for soup, you can cut them into any shape and free them.

How to blanch carrots

Blanching carrots is easy.  Place your washed and cut carrots into a pan of boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes.  Then remove it and place it in a pre-prepared bowl of ice water.    This bit is REALLY important.  This STOPS the cooking process, so you don’t end up with mush.  Do NOT wait until you have pulled the carrot out of the pan before you go looking for ice.  Have it ready.  The carrot will keep cooking until the iced water stops the process.

  • Once your carrot is blanched and iced.  Remove it from the water.
  • Pat it dry with a clean tea towel.   (You can use a paper towel, but I’m trying to be more environmentally conscious and not use one-time usage paper towels.  I did find these awesome bamboo reusable towels, which are brilliant – but you can also use a regular tea towel, just make sure it’s clean!)
  • The less moisture on the outside of your carrot the less likely that it will crystalize and start the freezer burn process.    It will also keep them from sticking together or to your tray.
  • Now, place your carrot on a lined baking tray in a single layer and freeze for 3-4 hours. This will mean that the pieces of carrot freeze separately to make it easier to grab only what you need if you are not freezing into single packs for your favourite recipes.

I use reusable baking paper sheets like one – which means less waste and they’re fabulous to use in both the oven and the freezer.

  • If you have grated your carrot (for use in carrot cake or soups for instance), then you will want to flip and stir them after the first hour to keep them from freezing together for the best results. After your carrot has frozen, move the pieces to an air-tight container.
  • If you are looking to use your carrots for cooking and eating as a side dish you can either slice them into rounds or opt to dice your carrots. Both of these work well to add to soups and stews, and to make roasted or steamed carrot side dishes.
  • For longer storage move your carrot into vacuum-sealed bags that eliminate air that leads to freezer burn.

If you know what you will be doing with your carrot you can place the amounts you need for your recipes into vacuum-sealed bags and freeze them flat for convenience.

Freezing carrot puree

Carrot puree is great for adding vegetables in small amounts to other food like adding to your tomato sauce where it will go unnoticed. If you have picky eaters this is a great way to get them to eat more vegetables. Start by boiling your carrots until soft then puree in a blender.

Add your pureed carrots to an ice cube tray and freeze until solid (for about 4 hours.) Move your carrot cubes to an air-tight container to drop into soups and sauces.

Freezing carrots without blanching

Blanching is the best way to freeze your carrots to help preserve the colour texture and flavour of your carrots but that doesn’t mean it is the only option. Many people have great success in freezing carrots without blanching. The general rule of thumb here is that they will not last as long even in the deep freezer so plan to use your unblanched frozen carrots as quickly as possible

How to use frozen carrots

To use your frozen carrots you can opt to use them right from the freezer for cooking or to thaw them beforehand. To thaw your carrots simply place them in an airtight container in the fridge overnight or on the kitchen worktop at room temperature for a few hours.

Frozen carrots are cooked so they will not have the same crunch as raw carrots for snacking but still make an amazing addition to your meals and can be used for things like making a delicious carrot cake.

FAQs about freezing carrots

Got questions about freezing carrots? Or want to know more about how to freeze carrots and we haven’t answered your questions?  Check out our frequently asked questions about freezing carrots below, or ask us yours in the comments.

Can you freeze uncooked carrots?

Yes, you can freeze uncooked carrots.    However, if you don’t blanch them before freezing, then the texture, taste, colour and nutritional value of carrots deteriorates.

How long can you keep frozen carrots

The usual limit of time for keeping frozen carrots is 3 months.  The more preparation you put into them the longer they will keep.  So be sure to blanch them.  Dry them as much as you can.  Store them in airtight containers, or vacuum packs inside the freezer. 

Can you freeze carrots that you buy from a shop?

Yes.  You can freeze the carrots that you buy.  Just make sure you clean them, deal with them as I suggest above and freeze them as soon as you can after you buy them.

Can you freeze whole raw carrots?

Yes, you can free whole raw carrots, but I don’t recommend it.  They take longer to freeze and longer to defrost.  It is much better to cut your carrot to the shape that you’ll use it in afterwards before you freeze it.

Do carrots need blanching before freezing?

No.  You can freeze carrots without blanching.  

How else can I preserve carrots?

Carrots work really well as dehydrated crisps – they’re an excellent vegetable to dehydrate for snacks – there’s more in our guide here.

Final Words on How to Freeze Carrots

Carrots are not only an easy vegetable to grow (here’s our guide to growing carrots in pots) but also an easy and great vegetable to freeze.  They’re very versatile in terms of the shape and size that you can freeze, but you will want to try and blanch them first to help to preserve the colour, texture and vitamins in them.  Good luck and let me know how you get on!

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