Carrots are very nutritious, and they are also much cheaper if you buy more of them at a time.
If you know you won’t get through the lot before they start to go off, you will be pleased to know that you can freeze them. This saves you from trying to creatively mix them into every dinner possible, too.
While you can freeze carrots with very little problem, there is something which you should keep in mind.
What To Consider When Freezing Carrots
Carrots which have been frozen need to be used in cooking. This is because the texture of carrots changes as they are frozen and defrosted.
They do lose some of their characteristic texture, and this is especially true of raw carrots, which lose some of their crunch.
If you’re planning on using defrosted carrots in a salad, it’s worth knowing now that it won’t nearly be as satisfying or as tasty as if you used fresh carrots.
How To Freeze Carrots
In order to freeze carrots, it is worth thinking about what you want to use them for when you finally defrost them, as this will dictate which method of freezing them is best for you.
You can cook them before you freeze them, if you prefer, or if you’re not sure how you’ll use them, you can freeze them after blanching them in order to preserve as much texture and flavor as possible.
Wash the carrots, and make sure they are dry before going any further. It is also worth noting that whole carrots or even large pieces are difficult to defrost evenly, and they will take longer to reheat, so bear this in mind.
How To Freeze Roasted Carrots
Roasting carrots is one of the best ways to bring out the natural sugars of these lovely vegetables (see also article on freezing parsnips), and freezing them afterwards also saves you some time in the long run, as you’ll only need to defrost and reheat them.
Prepare the carrots as you usually would. Remove the ends, peel, and cut them into the desired size.
Cover the carrots with your favorite spice mix and a generous helping of olive oil, making sure that each one is covered in both. The easiest way to do this is to put the lot into a bowl and mix it up to make sure everything is coated evenly.
Preheat the oven at 430°F or 220°C. While it’s warming up, grab a roasting tin and line it with foil. Put the carrots into the tin, making sure there’s only one layer.
When the oven has heated, put the roasting tin into the oven, and let them roast for roughly half an hour, until golden and a fork goes through one easily.
Once they’re done roasting, take them out of the oven and leave the tin to cool for about half an hour.
Once they are cool, decant the carrots into a rigid airtight container, or a freezer bag. Label with the freezing date, and freeze!
How To Freeze Blanched Carrots
Blanching is a great way to freeze many vegetables (see also Can You Freeze Roasted Vegetables), and carrots are no exception. You’ll need to cut off the ends, peel, and cut them to your desired size.
Remember, the smaller the pieces, the quicker they will defrost.
Get a large bowl and fill it full of water and ice. Grab a saucepan and fill it with water, and bring it to a bow.
Boil the carrots for about 3 – 5 minutes if you’re blanching whole carrots. If you’re blanching sliced carrots, this will only take a minute or two.
Once done, use a slotted spoon to transfer the carrots into the ice bath, which will stop any residual heat from cooking them.
When the carrots are completely cool, take the carrots out of the ice bath. You’ll need a clean dish towel to lay them on, and you should let them dry for at least 10 minutes.
Pat any remaining moisture away from the carrots, making sure they are completely dry before you try to freeze them.
If you’d like to be able to take out only as many carrots as you need from the freezer with no trouble, consider flash freezing them.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lay the carrots in a single layer, making sure they don’t touch. Put the sheet into the freezer, and take it out after 2 hours.
Decant the frozen carrots into a resealable freezer bag or an airtight container, label it with the storage date, and freeze it.
How To Thaw Frozen Carrots
There are several options to choose from when it comes to defrosting frozen carrots.
Defrost Them In The Fridge
You can transfer the frozen carrots straight into the fridge, and they’ll be ready for the next morning. This will also mean that the total cooking time will be less, as the carrots are already defrosted when you come to use them.
Cook Them From Frozen
If you prefer, you can decant all the carrots into a non-stick saucepan. Put the heat on as low as it will go, and gradually increase it as they start to warm up.
If you’re worried about the carrots getting too hard, you can add a tablespoon or two of water to help keep them soft.
Add some olive oil to the pan, but not too much. You want to defrost them, not to fry them!
You can also put the carrots straight into a dish, and this is especially helpful for casseroles or soup.
Make sure to cook the whole dish for a couple of minutes longer than you normally would, in order to make sure they defrost and cook properly, as well as evaporating any excess moisture.
How To Reheat Thawed Roasted Carrots
The best way to reheat thawed roasted carrots is to pop them in a non-stick pan with a little oil. Start them off on a low heat and let them warm up gently, and once they’re to your desired temperature, they’re ready to serve.
Freezing carrots (see also Can You Freeze Carrot Cake) is a good way of preserving them, especially if you cook them beforehand. This will save you some time when it comes to preparing them after you’ve defrosted them, making a tasty side dish or healthy snack.
As long as you use thawed or frozen carrots in cooking and don’t use them for salads, you should barely notice a difference between fresh cooked carrots and thawed cooked carrots.
The texture changes are less noticeable than if you tried to use them fresh, and while it is possible to use them fresh, you won’t get that lovely texture.