Easily Freeze carrots from the garden using our quick food processing guide especially for carrots.
The important things to keep in mind while freezing carrots from your garden are that you need to clean them properly and follow the right procedure to preserve the carrots. It feels very rewarding to use those carrots off the season. What’s important to note is that you would need young carrots with little or no core. You can leave small carrots whole.
Preparation before freezing the carrots from the garden:
You would need some tools to prepare the carrots after they have been dug out and washed with a garden hose to do away with most of the soil and mud. It goes without saying that good soil preparation is a must for carrots and growing potatoes so that they grow well and are easy to pull out too.
The following utensils and tools are required in order to freeze carrots from the garden.
Chopping board and knife
- Iced water, a couple of jars
Pot or deep pan for boiling, you can use a cooker too
Sieve or sieve/slotted spoon
Bowl for mixing
Storage bags or containers
Set the water to boil
Put a large deep pan or pot or cooker to boil half the capacity full of water. The water should have salt mixed in. Also keep aside a mixing bowl, do not pour the iced water in it yet else it may heat up till you complete the rest of the steps.
Cut the carrots you got from your garden to freeze
Wash the carrots in your sink, under running cold water. Scrub away dirt and use a heavy hand to rub off little roots if possible. Now, trip the carrots removing the extra tails and white hair-like roots. You can use a vegetable peeler for a better effect. The root areas are harder to clean and the peeler comes in handy. These are the places that hold soil the most. Now dice the carrots in small round discs (as seen in the image below), prefer not to slice them vertically.
Cook and condition the carrots for storing long term
Ready your iced water at this stage. Put the first lot of carrots when the water has come to a boil. Cook these for 2 or 3 minutes while the water boils. Prefer not to cover them with a lid while they boil. When using small carrots whole, cook for 4-5 minutes as the thicker material requires more cooking. You can blanch your carrots in boiling water at this stage, blanched carrots will preserve quality, color, taste, and nutrition.
You can use blanched carrots for up to 12 months and non-blanched for 2 months. So make your choice. Now remove the carrots after putting out the stove. Put the carrots right into the chilled water with a sieve or slotted spoon.
This process will stop the cooking immediately so that the carrots are not spoiled. Let the carrots rest in the iced water for 2 minutes (4-5 in case of whole baby carrots). Add more ice or replace the iced water if it starts to become warm for the next lot. Do this till you have finished the full lot.
Drain the carrots:
Drain the water by placing the carrots on a sieve or parchment or wooden drainboard. Now put them in any suitable container and freeze them. This is an intermediate step and not the final freeze. Let them freeze for 2 hours. They should feel solid.
Place your garden carrots in a freezing bag
Now take them out of the freezer and place them in a zip lock bag or a freezer container. Leave a little space for them to expand. Place them back in the freezer. You can store them for a full season or even up to 12 months. If you chose not to blanch your carrots, you can use them for up to 2 months. You should now directly use them in your dishes without thawing when required.
Some common questions related to freezing your carrot harvest from the garden:
- Question: Can you freeze carrots without blanching them first?
- Answer: Yes, there is no need to go through the blanching process. However, Blanching carrots will preserve quality, color, taste, and nutrition. Blanched carrots will last 12 months in the freezer while nonblanched will last 2 months.
- Question: What happens if you freeze carrots without blanching?
- Answer: If you freeze the carrots from your garden without blanching, you can use them only for up to 2 months, while blanching will make them last 12 months. Blanching will not increase or decrease the nutritional value by any significant margin.
- Question: Can you freeze fresh carrots from the garden?
- Answer: Yes, This is what our guide is for, you can easily process and freeze carrots from the garden. In fact, we recommend you do this to enjoy the taste and nutrients of homegrown carrots even when out of season.
- Question: Why are my frozen carrots rubbery?
- Answer: Due to transpiration, your carrots can get rubbery. In other words, The carrots in the freezer will lose moisture out in case the seals are loose or they are not containerized properly.
- Question: Can I shred carrots and freeze them?
- Answer: Yes, if your recipes require shred carrots, you can shred them instead of dicing. remember to reduce boil time to a minute due to smaller pieces. You can directly use shredded carrot without thawing.
- Question: How do you vacuum seal and freeze carrots?
- Answer: While at the last step of freezing, use a vacuum pouch or bag and vacuum the carrots instead of using a regular zip bag. Your vacuum carrots will last a little longer and taste better due to minimum loss of moisture.