If you have an abundance of garden carrots or want to reduce food waste and save your carrots for the future, try one of these 4 ways to freeze your carrots!
There are many ways to preserve carrots long term including leaving them in the ground, storing your fridge (if you don't have a ton), or pack them in a sealed container with leaves, sawdust, or mulch and store in a cool dry place.
But for me, the freezer is the storage method of choice and here are the 4 ways I freeze carrots!
Can you freeze carrots raw?
Yes, you can, but the freezer life is not as long as if you process them via blanching or steaming.
I personally freeze carrots raw when I make prep raw and freeze meal packs or if I am making mirepoix (diced onion, carrot and celery that is the base of many soups and stews) for my freezer.
I always freeze shredded carrots raw as well. You can blanche them, but I find it is more work and not necessary for shredded carrots that I use for baking.
But for the majority of my carrot freezing, I steam blanche them.
Steam or Boil and Blanche?
Both work. I find steam blanching less work, and quicker and so that is my method of choice.
You can use any pot, add 2-3 cups of water to the pot and add your peeled and cut carrots to a steamer basket.
Steam your carrots for 2-3 minutes. I like to go on the side of undercooked because I cook the carrots on the day I use them, and don't want them mushy. You do not need an ice water bath after.
Method 1 - Shredded Carrots
Shredded carrots are frozen raw and will be thawed and used for baking things like carrot cake, and carrot muffins later in the winter. You can even toss them into soups.
I like to store shredded carrots in 1 cup portions that are ready to use when baking season hits. You can use zip top bags, or use 1 cup Souper Cube silicone trays.
To shred your carrots, you can use a box grater. If you have a large volume to process, you may want to consider using a food processor with a shredding attachment. I own this Breville Sous Chef food processor and love that it has the option to shred coarse or fine.
Method 2 - Plain Sliced Coins
Freezing plain carrots is a great way to have ready to use carrots for side dishes or soups throughout the winter.
Again if you have a large volume to process, consider uisng a food processor with a slicer attachment. My Breville Sous Chef food processor has this functionality - you can even adjust the thickness of the slice.
For this method, use steam blanching. Add 2-3 cups of water to a pot, add the sliced carrots to the steamer basket and steam for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the basket and lay out on a sheet pan or clean towel to dry a bit and cool down.
A cold water bath is not required. Take care not to overcook your carrots so they are not mushy on reheat.
Seamed carrot coins freeze well in freezer zip bags (don't use storage bags - there is a difference - look for bags that say freezer use like these gallon size freezer bag).
To extend the freezer life of your carrot coins, you can also vacuum seal them. I use the Zwilling Fresh & Save System because the bags are reusable AND you can take what you need, and reseal the bags.
Method 3 - Ready to go side dishes
If you want to help your future dinner game, try freezing your carrot coins with your favorite ingredients as side dish packs!
Some ideas of what to freeze with your carrots:
- garlic + butter
- roasted garlic + butter
- chives + butter
- honey + garlic
- sesame + soy sauce
- maple + butter
- rosemary + butter
To reheat, either microwave with a tiny splash of water, or add to saucepan on medium heat and gently heat and stir. You could bake them as well - they won't crisp up the same way fresh carrots do, though.
* If you choose to use 2 cup Souper Cube trays like I do, you will have to add about a teaspoon of water to the wells so that the carrots freeze together.
Method 4 - Make Carrot Soups!
As with many of the veggies I harvest, I turn them into meals and then freeze (see 5 ways to Turn Summer Zucchini into Freezer Meals).
With carrots, soups are the go to way to do this. Here are some carrot based soups to freeze:
- Instant Pot Curried Carrot Lentil Soup
- Thai Carrot Soup
- Carrot Ginger Soup
- Roasted Carrot & Tomato Soup
So, there you have it, 4 ways to preserve your summer garden carrots! Let us know in the comments which way you are going to try!
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