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Got a batch of carrots and not sure if you’ll manage to use them all before they go off? Or are you looking for a way to maximise your meal prep so you always have healthy options to hand even on those days where you have barely time to think? Look no further and learn how to freeze carrots so you’re always one step ahead of the game!
What do I need?
To freeze carrots at home you don’t need any fancy equipment. In fact, you can get by with a knife, a pan and some freezer bags. Ideally, however, it’s good to have ready:
- Vegetable peeler (optional)
- Chopping board
- Large slotted spoon or strainer
- Baking tray
- Freezer bags – check out these reusable (and more sustainable) reusable packs. Or you could even grab one of these souper cubes – perfect for portioning food before freezing
How do I freeze carrots?
You can also jump to the recipe card for a printable step by step guide.
- First, prepare your carrots. Give them a good scrub and then prepare them as you like – cut into batons, sliced or diced. Whether or not you peel them is up to you. If you are going to use them in a soup or other recipe where the appearance won’t matter too much I recommend leaving the peel on, as it not only saves time, but adds a few extra nutrients.
- Next, you need to blanch the carrots. Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil. Carefully add the carrots to the water using a strainer or slotted spoon. Cook them for 3-4 minutes.
- While the carrots are boiling, prepare a large bowl of cold water and plenty of ice. Remove the carrots from the pan with the strainer once the time is up and transfer them into the ice bath. Leave them for a further 5 minutes.
- Drain the carrots and spread them on a baking tray, so they aren’t touching. Place the tray of carrots into the freezer for around 1 hour, until they have solidified around the edges.
- Transfer the carrots into a freezer bag and place them in the freezer until ready to use.
What is blanching?
Blanching is the process of cooking something in very high heat for a brief period of time before transferring it to a bath of ice water. Most commonly this is done via boiling in water, but it can also be done through deep frying. Blanching actually does a few things. With many vegetables, it actually intensifies the natural colour (which is very true with carrots). It also helps to soften the food without fully cooking it – great if you are looking to make a stirfry or something that involves fast cooking. Or if you want to use the veggies in a salad but want to retain the ‘crunch’.
The act of putting the food straight into an ice-cold bath of water is an essential part of the process. This is often referred to as ‘refreshing’ or ‘shocking’. The main purpose it serves is to stop the food from continuing to cook through any retained heat.
Do I have to blanch carrots first?
Blanching carrots before freezing helps to actually retain many great qualities – including colour, texture and even nutritional value. However, you can most certainly freeze them without blanching them. You’ll need to use them up faster (within 2 months). And do bear in mind that even if you don’t blanch them first, they won’t be the same as they were before you froze them. They won’t be great for munching on raw so aim to use them for purposes when they will go on to be cooked ‘in’ something such as a soup or a stew.
If you want to serve your carrots as a side dish after freezing (such as good old roasted, boiled or pan-fried carrots) then blanching is the way to go, as it will help retain the vibrant colour.
How long do they last in the freezer?
Carrots that have been blanched first will last for up to 12 months in the freezer. If you skipped this step then it’s best to use them within 2 months of freezing. Note that defrosting and then refreezing is not advised and will adversely affect the result.
How can I use frozen carrots?
While you can’t eat pre-frozen carrots raw (as they just won’t hold up the same), you can use frozen carrots in pretty much any way you would use normal carrots! Even better – you don’t need to defrost them first. Use them in your recipes straight from the freezer. Some great ideas are:
- In a soup, stew or another dish where they would be tossed into a recipe with other ingredients – This is so unbelievably easy as you can simply add the frozen carrots as you would usually add the uncooked carrots.
- Sauteed – Pan-fry carrots in a preheated pan with olive oil. Cook for around 5-8 minutes until soft and a little caramelised on the edges and season well.
- Roasted – Pop the frozen carrots on a roasting tray with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and garlic or chopped herbs. Cook in the oven at 200C/400F for 10-12 minutes.
- Steamed – Add the carrots to a steamer pan or basket over some boiling water and cover and steam for around 10-12 minutes until tender. Season well before serving.
Now you are a pro at freezing carrots, why not try these recipes?
Products that work well for this recipe
20 Pack Reusable Food Storage/Freezer Bags
Joseph Joseph Waste Collecting Peeler
Stainless Steel Strainer Set
Learn how to freeze carrots and make sure you always have healthy options on hand, however tight your schedule. Easy & quick, maximise your meal prep today!
The best news? You can use these carrots from frozen, making them a true time saver!
- carrots (as many as you would like to prepare)
- First, give your carrots a good clean and then peel them (optional). If you don’t mind how the carrots look with the peel left on then you can absolutely skip that step.
- Prepare your carrots as you would like them – sliced, diced or cut into batons. You can prepare a few in different ways if you want to be ready for every occasion.
- Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil and then carefully lower the carrots into the pan on a slotted spoon or strainer. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
- When the carrots are done (you are blanching them, not fully cooking them), use the slotted spoon or strainer to transfer them into a large bowl of ice cold water. Leave until cold or at least 5 minutes.
- Drain the carrots well and then transfer them to a baking tray so they are spread out evenly and not touching (work in batches if needed). Place in the freezer for around an hour until solid.
- Transfer the frozen carrots to a freezer bag or air-tight container and return to the freezer until ready to use.
- Frozen carrots can be kept for up to 1 year, providing the temperature is kept consistent.
- Blanching (the steps of par-boiling and then refreshing in ice water) is highly recommended for the best results. If you do insist on skipping this step then they will only keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. Additionally, the texture and colour of the carrots will be affected. Unfortunately, any hopes you may have had of crunchy, raw carrots after freezing just won’t pan out.
- The uses for frozen carrots are endless. Use them in soups, stews, pan-fried, roasted or even steamed. See the main post for more ideas and tips.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Meal Prep
- Method: Boil / Freeze
- Cuisine: Vegetables
- Serving Size: 100g
- Calories: 41
- Fat: 0.2g
- Carbohydrates: 10g
- Protein: 0.9g
Keywords: meal prep, vegetables, vegetarian, vegan, carrots, freeze