If you have more carrots than you can use right now, you’re probably looking for a way to get them. The easiest way to store most vegetables for a long period of time is to freeze them. And so it is with carrots. So if you come across this article with the question “Can you freeze carrots?” encountered, you now know that the answer is yes, you can.
Before we dive into specific ways of freezing carrots, let’s keep one thing in mind: frozen and thawed carrots work best in cooked dishes. Freezing the carrots changes their texture. This is especially noticeable in recipes that use raw carrots. In other words, shredded, thawed carrots don’t work nearly as well in a salad as shredded fresh carrots. This change in structure is not such a big deal in cooked dishes. It is therefore recommended to use frozen carrots only in cooked dishes.
How to freeze fried carrots
Roasting is good preparation for freezing the carrots. This is what I do in my meal prep routine. The labor involved is similar to freezing blanched carrots and the carrots only need to be reheated to be ready to eat. And this is how it works:
- Preparation. Wash the carrots, remove the ends and peel the carrots. Now it’s time to decide how you want to freeze the carrots. Whole carrots take longer to thaw and are more difficult to evenly reheat, especially large carrots. I recommend either slicing the carrots into inch-long slices or slicing them lengthways.
- Brush carrots with olive oil and spices. Here you season the carrots according to your taste. Take a large bowl and add a tablespoon of olive oil or more depending on how many carrots you want to freeze. Now add your favorite spices. I usually use salt and a pinch of pepper, but feel free to experiment with other seasonings. Now it’s time to throw in the carrots and give them a good stir. Make sure each carrot is coated with the olive oil and the spices.
- roasting time. Preheat your oven to 430 degrees F (or 220 C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy cleaning) and place the carrots on the sheet. Lay the carrots in a flat, even layer. Once the oven has reached the correct temperature, place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. Use a toothpick or fork to check the carrots are done.
- cooldown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Since the vegetables are cut and spread out in a flat layer, they should cool quickly.
- Transfer the carrots to freezer bags or meal prep containers. Label the bags or containers with a name and date, if needed.
- Throw the veggies in the freezer.
Read Also: Can you freeze string cheese?
How to freeze blanched carrots and carrots
Freezing blanched vegetables is the most popular and universal way to freeze vegetables. Here’s how to do it:
- Preparation. Wash the carrots, cut off the ends and peel the carrots. If necessary, cut lengthways or slices.
- (Recommended) Blanch. Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath for the blanched carrots. The ice bath is simply a bowl of cold water and some ice cubes. Now it’s time to blanch the carrots. Blanch whole carrots for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on size. Stripped or sliced carrots require 1 to 2 minutes to blanch. Once the time is up, take a slotted spoon and place the veggies out of the boiling water and into the ice bath for a few minutes. The ice bath stops the cooking process. After a few minutes, drain the water.
- Dry. Now we need to make sure the carrots are as dry as possible before packing. Drops of water left behind result in too much ice/snow in the freezer bag or bin. Spread the vegetables out on a tea towel and let them sit on it for 20 to 30 minutes. Then pat the carrots dry with paper towels.
- (Recommended) Before freezing. If you want the carrots to be frozen individually (ie not clumped), prefreeze them. Take a cookie sheet and place the carrots on top, being careful not to let the pieces touch each other. Place the sheet in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours until the vegetables are frozen. Take the cookie sheet out of the freezer.
- Transfer the carrots into freezer bags or freezer containers. Label the bags with a name and date if needed.
- Place the bags in the freezer.
How to thaw frozen carrots
- Overnight in the fridge. Throwing frozen food in the fridge the night before you need it is the gold standard. Works on carrots too. Thawed carrots take less time to cook than frozen ones. This is a good option if you want to reduce the cooking time of a dish.
- On the stove. Use a non-stick pan over a low heat to defrost the vegetables. Gradually increase the heat to cook the vegetables. A few tablespoons of water might help when reheating. If the carrots have been frozen and blanched, they will take longer to cook than if they were previously fried. When cooking blanched carrots, you should also add some olive oil.
- Toss the carrots right into the meal you are cooking. If it’s a soup or stew, there’s usually little to no downside to adding frozen carrots when cooking the meal. Be sure to add a few minutes of cooking time to allow for thawing and reheating of the carrots.