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How to Keep Carrots Fresh

A close look at fresh clean carrots on a chopping board.

Carrots are a great vegetable that often gets overlooked. I personally am not a fan of many vegetables, but carrots are a favorite of mine. You can eat carrots cooked or raw and are delicious either way. They are crisp come in various shapes.

They are hearty vegetables that can last a long time when you care for them properly. Continue reading this article to find out how to keep carrots fresh. 

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What are Carrots?

This is a close look at a cluster of fresh whole carrots on a  wooden table.

A carrot is a root vegetable that can be yellow, purple, red, or white. They are usually orange. When carrots are fresh, they have a crispy texture. The part of the carrot that you can eat is called a taproot. The plant grows in the spring and summer. The taproot stores a lot of sugar which allows the plant to flower. The carrot is the most popular root vegetable and is enjoyed in many countries. Carrots are perfect as a snack by themselves or in a salad, or with many other foods. 

How to Keep Carrots Fresh

Carrots are a great vegetable, and there are many reasons why you should keep them in your kitchen. First, they are relatively inexpensive, even when you pick organic versions. Second, it is cheaper to buy carrots in bunches. 

The best way to keep carrots fresh is to trim the green top from the carrot. You can save them to eat them later, but you cannot store the green tops with the taproot. If you do not keep them separately, the leafy greens take all the moisture from the carrot, making them dry and limp. After you have taken off the greens, put the carrots in a container full of water and place them in your refrigerator. 

If you want to keep whole carrots fresh, storing them in water is the best way. You can also store baby carrots that are packaged in a bowl of water too. Then, when the water becomes cloudy, dump that water and add fresh water to the bowel. Carrots can last for weeks in your refrigerator this way.

How to Store Carrots

The difference between keeping carrots fresh and storing carrots is when you keep the carrots fresh, you can eat them right away, precisely as they are. However, when you store carrots, you may have to do something with them before you can eat them. 

Short Term Solutions

A close look at a bunch of carrots splashed with water.

If you want to store carrots for a short period of time, you can do so in the refrigerator. They can be store for up to one month this way. After that, you can store them in a container of water, but you must change the water every four to five days. You should not keep carrots next to fruit that produces ethylene gas, like pears and apples. This gas speeds up the process of ripening in other vegetables and fruit. 

Another way to store carrots in your fridge is to wrap the carrots in a paper towel. Then place the carrots in a plastic bag. This will prevent condensation from forming on the carrots. You can also place the carrots in a perforated plastic bag. But, again, you want to keep moisture away from the carrots because excess moisture will cause them to rot. 

Before you store the carrots, remove the green tops. You can store the green tops by wrapping them in a damp paper towel to keep them moist. However, they will not stay long wrapped in a damp towel, so you should eat them soon after you purchase them and before they wilt. 

Long Term Solutions

These are a bunch of frozen carrot slices on a plate.

If you want to store your carrots for longer than a month, you can do this in a few different ways. First, you can leave the carrots unwashed and covered in damp sand. If you keep them cool, ventilated, and in a dark place, the carrots can last five to six months. 

Another option is to leave your carrots in the ground until you are ready to use them. You want to make sure they are covered by mulch if you leave them in the ground. Then, you can keep your garden carrots there until the ground begins to freeze. 

You can freeze carrots, also. If you freeze them properly, you can keep them for up to one year. You must peel and cut them and then blanched them before you put them in the freezer. After blanching the carrots, you must allow the carrots to cool and air dry, you can put them in a resealable plastic bag. You can also vacuum seal a plastic bag and store them that way. 

If you have a root cellar, you can keep your unwashed carrots in it. 

When Storing in Your Refrigerator

A man putting the bunch of carrots in the fridge.

There are some tips to keep in mind when you plan to store carrots in your fridge. First, you want to make sure you keep them in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Second, you could consider storing them in your refrigerator the way you plan to use them.

If you plan to have them for a snack, when you bring the carrots home from the store, clean them and cut them into sticks, so they are ready to snack on any time. You can also cut the carrots into pieces if you plan to use them for soup. You will only be able to store the carrots for one or two weeks this way. 

What to Look For in a Carrot

When you select carrots, you want carrots that are firm, smooth, and mostly straight. You also want carrots that are bright. The deeper the color of the carrot means the more beta-carotene it contains.

You want to avoid carrots that are forked and have a lot of cracks. You do not want carrots that are rubbery or limp. If the carrot has its green stem, you want them to be bright and not wilted. If they do not have their green stem, look at where the stem was and make sure it is not dark. If it is, that means the carrot is old. The larger the diameter of the carrot means it has a large core and is sweeter.

Canning Carrots

This is a close look at a woman in the act of canning some carrot slices.

A great way to store carrots in the winter months is canning. You can store them in the fall by canning them, also. Canning can be simple, but it does require specific equipment. Carrots do not have a large amount of acid, and that is why you need this equipment. 

FAQs

How Do I Prevent Slimy Carrots?

If you want to keep your carrots crisp and not slimy, you should prevent them from being moist. When they are in a bag, this will cause moisture. You want to take your raw carrots or baby carrots out of the bag and let them get air. You want to put them in an airtight container. You can then place them in the crisper to store carrots and other veggie choices. 

Will Carrots Last Longer Inside or Out of the Fridge?

If you have raw carrots or fresh carrots, you should store them in the fridge for about three to four weeks. If you have sliced or cut carrots, you can also store them in the fridge, but they will only last about two to three weeks. 

What Happens to Cause My Frozen Carrots to Get Rubbery?

If you do not blanch your carrots properly before putting them in a freezer bag, they may get rubbery. When you blanch the carrots, it stops the enzyme activation process. However, if you blanch them for too long, they will get rubbery. You want to be sure to blanch your carrots for only about five minutes. If you blanch them for longer, the carrots become overcooked. The carrots are also useless to you. 

How Do I Keep Shredded Carrots Fresh?

When you have shredded carrots, you can store them, just not for long. You can keep them overnight in your fridge. You can put them in a container or plastic bag. It does not matter which one you use; it is up to you.

You should know that storing them overnight may cause them to be in a puddle the next morning. You can pour this liquid in a mixing bowl, or in whatever recipe you are making. If you are storing shredded carrots for longer than one day, it is not a great idea.