How To: Freeze Carrots

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This guide on how to freeze carrots will teach you exactly what you need to know to freeze carrots easily at home! You’ll love having prepared carrots in the freezer for future use.

Don’t know about you, but I overplanted carrots this year. Big time. So when I finally harvested in November, I was in a bind.

I had over a hundred pounds of carrots and not a single place to put them – we don’t have a cold storage room or root cellar! SHITE!

I made dill pickled carrots, dehydrated carrots, canned carrots, and still, I had a fridge full of carrots. It was time to get down to business.

This how-to-freeze carrots guide is dedicated to business.

Frozen diced carrots in a jar.

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Tips + Tricks

No. 1 –> Only thaw what you need for dinner – not only does previously frozen food spoil more quickly than fresh vegetables, but it is not recommended to refreeze thawed goods, so it’s best to only thaw or take out what you need.

No. 2 –> For this guide, I shared the easy steps to prepare, blanch, and flash-freeze carrots. This is not the only method! If you choose to, you can simply use a slotted spoon to scoop the chilled carrots directly into a vacuum seal bag and seal them in portion-sized bags. This works great for reheating in the sous vide!

No. 3 –> A sturdy, sharp knife really comes in handy for this recipe. If you struggle with consistency in your slicing or chopping, try a mandolin, food processor, or chopper. Those tools are the easiest way to make consistently sized pieces!

No. 4 –> Wondering about shredded carrots? Blanch those skinny guys for about 2 minutes, before dunking them into a large bowl of ice water, then spreading them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet or baking tray to freeze.

Sliced frozen carrots in a mason jar.

Why Freeze Carrots

Freezing carrots is an often overlooked but great way to preserve fresh carrots for long-term use. Whether you’re harvesting a bumper crop of fresh carrots or buying in bulk, freezing your carrots is an excellent way to save money and time when meal prepping, and while maintaining freshness and nutrients for future use.

While carrots, like other root vegetables, tend to have a long shelf life if properly stored, many people, us included, do not have proper cold storage facilities! Freezing carrots gives me one more way to store my bounty.

Having frozen chopped carrots on hand makes for easy meals, too. There’s nothing easier than pulling out a bag of carrots that are prepped and ready to go for dinner!

Key Ingredients

Carrots: Choose firm, fresh carrots with no signs of pest damage. As always when preserving foods, preserve your raw carrots as soon as possible – higher quality at the beginning of the process will ensure higher quality at the end of the process as well.

For this batch, I used some orange Danvers carrots and deep purple carrots from my garden, but any carrot will work!

A pile of fresh garden carrots.

How To Freeze Carrots

Prepare the carrots:

  1. Place a steam basket in a large heavy-bottomed pot and add water to just below the level of the basket. Cover and place over medium-high heat to bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, scrub carrots under cool running water. Peel with a vegetable peeler, if desired – see section below for more information.
  3. Slice carrots into rounds or dice into cubes. I like to go with about a 1/2″ cube or 1/4-1/2″ slice.
Dicing carrots.

Blanch the carrots:

  1. Once the pot reaches a boil, carefully transfer diced or sliced carrots into the steam basket and process for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl by filling it with cold water and ice cubes.
  3. Transfer the blanched carrots from the steam basket into the ice bath. Allow cut carrots to cool completely in the ice bath.

Flash freeze the carrots:

  1. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooled carrots from the ice bath to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spread in a single layer and place in the freezer for 2-4 hours or until completely frozen.
  2. Break apart the carrots and transfer frozen carrots to zip-lock-style freezer bags or airtight containers and remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag. Label the bags and return them to the freezer for long-term storage.

Batch + Storage

Batch:

There is no limit to how many carrots you can freeze using this simple process, aside from your available freezer space! That said, diced carrots take up less space than sliced or whole ones!

Storage: 

Keep your frozen carrots in for up to a year, although they’ll likely be best within 6 months, especially if you’re using zip lock bags.

If you’re placing portion sizes in a vacuum seal bag, you’ll be able to keep your frozen carrots for well over a year without any degradation in quality or risk of freezer burn.

Is Blanching Necessary?

Blanching before freezing is an effective method to stop the enzyme activity that would otherwise continue to break down the carrots and cause flavor loss and discoloration

The blanching process also:

  • cleans the surface of the vegetables of dirt and microorganisms
  • brightens the color of the food prior to freezing and after thawing
  • helps to retain vitamin and mineral content in the carrots

Do you NEED to blanch carrots before freezing? No. They’ll freeze without the added step, but the quality of the carrots will suffer; visually, flavor-wise, and nutrient-wise. I highly recommend taking a couple of extra minutes to ensure your efforts result in the highest quality end result.

There are 2 ways to blanch carrots (or any vegetable):

  • Steam blanching: Place a steaming basket in a large pot of water, add an inch of water, and bring it to a boil. Once steaming, add the prepared carrots to the steam basket, cover, and steam blanch for 3-4 minutes.
  • Water blanching: Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a boil. Add the carrots to the boiling water and boil the prepared carrots for 2 minutes.

I prefer to steam blanch whenever possible – it requires less water, which takes considerably less time to come to a boil. Although the steaming process takes an extra minute or two, the entire process takes less time. As an added bonus, it’s easier to do multiple batches if using the steam blanch method – simply pour the carrots out of the steam basket, return it to the pot, and add another batch of carrots, ensuring there is sufficient water in the pot for subsequent batches.

Is Peeling Necessary?

Most resources indicate that you should peel your carrots prior to freezing, but I’m a bit of a rebel. I prefer to peel store-bought carrots but I do not peel carrots that have come from my own garden.

When I use my own carrots, they are fresh from the garden and the skin hasn’t had time to dry or thicken, while store-bought carrots tend to have tougher skin that I peel off.

If you’re not peeling, give the carrots a really good scrub under cool running water to remove soil, debris, and bacteria before slicing and blanching.

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Frozen diced carrots in a jar.

How To: Freeze Carrots

Allyson Letal
Learn how to freeze carrots. It sounds simple but there are a few tips and tricks that can help make something as easy as freezing carrots even easier! Freezing carrots is a great way to preserve their freshness and nutritious benefits. | cravethegood.com
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Preserved
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 46 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lb fresh carrots

Instructions
 

  • Place a steam basket in a large heavy-bottomed pot and add water to just below the level of the basket. Cover and place over medium-high heat to bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, scrub carrots under cool running water. Peel with a vegetable peeler, if desired – see section below for more information.
  • Slice carrots into rounds or dice into cubes. I like to go with about a 1/2" cube or 1/4-1/2" slice.
  • Once the pot reaches a boil, carefully transfer diced or sliced carrots into the steam basket and process for 3-4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl by filling it with cold water and ice.
  • Transfer the blanched carrots from the steam basket into the ice bath. Allow carrots to cool completely in the ice bath.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooled carrots from the ice bath to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread in a single layer and place in the freezer for 2-4 hours or until completely frozen.
  • Transfer frozen carrots to zip-lock-style freezer bags or airtight containers and remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag. Label the bags and return them to the freezer for long-term storage. Alternatively, use a slotted spoon to scoop the chilled carrots directly into a vacuum seal bag and seal them in portion-sized bags.

Notes

is blanching necessary?

Do you NEED to blanch carrots before freezing? No. They'll freeze without the added step, but the quality of the carrots will suffer; visually, flavor-wise, and nutrient-wise. I highly recommend taking a couple of extra minutes to ensure your efforts result in the highest quality end result.
There are 2 ways to blanch carrots (or any vegetable):
Steam blanching: Place a steaming basket in a large pot of water, add an inch of water, and bring it to a boil. Once steaming, add the prepared carrots to the steam basket, cover, and steam blanch for 3-4 minutes.
Water blanching: Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a boil. Add the carrots to the boiling water and boil the prepared carrots for 2 minutes.

is peeling necessary?

Most resources indicate that you should peel your carrots prior to freezing, but I'm a bit of a rebel. I prefer to peel store-bought carrots but I do not peel carrots that have come from my own garden.
When I use my own carrots, they are fresh from the garden and the skin hasn't had time to dry or thicken, while store-bought carrots tend to have tougher skin that I peel off.
If you're not peeling, give the carrots a really good scrub under cool running water to remove soil, debris, and bacteria before slicing and blanching.

Batch:

There is no limit to how many carrots you can freeze using this method, aside from your available freezer space! That said, diced carrots take up less space than sliced or whole ones!

Storage: 

Keep your frozen carrots in for up to a year, although they'll likely be best within 6 months, especially if you're using a ziploc bag.
If you're placing portion sizes in a vacuum seal bag, you'll be able to keep your frozen carrots for well over a year without any degradation in quality or risk of freezer burn.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25lbCalories: 46kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.04gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 78mgPotassium: 363mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 18944IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 0.3mg
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