Did you know that the carrot is originally a Persian vegetable? They can also come in up to 5 different colors: orange, purple, red, white, and yellow! Even if you didn’t know these facts before, the long, crunchy, bittersweet root vegetable has been a world favorite for as long as anyone can remember. But even these vegetables still need a little tender loving care despite their superstar status. Otherwise, if you don’t know how to store carrots properly, you won’t be able to enjoy their health benefits.
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- How to Store Carrots
How To Store Carrots
How long can carrots go unrefrigerated?
Whilst the fridge is certainly best for storing fresh carrots, it is totally possible to keep them on the countertop, in the pantry, or even in a root cellar.
However, you need to bear 2 things in mind when doing this.
Firstly, keep them away from other vegetables. Like most vegetables, carrots produce ethylene gas when they mature. This gas speeds up fruit and vegetables’ ripening and rotting process. So, not only will your carrots go bad quicker, the other fruit and veg around it will, too.
Secondly, don’t store them in a plastic bag. This is because moisture collects inside of this and can cause mold to grow, causing your carrots to be unsuitable for eating.
Do carrots need to be kept in the fridge?
Carrots do not need to be kept in the fridge, but this is certainly the best place for them. Storing carrots that are fresh here will make them last for 3-4 weeks.
Inside the fridge, you can even store carrots inside a plastic bag, providing you puncture some holes in it or keep it wide open to allow for air circulation to keep them fresh.
If you have leftover cooked carrots, they can be stored in here, too. Put them inside an airtight container, and make sure they’re used within 3-5 days.
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Can carrots be stored in the freezer?
They absolutely can.
However, don’t think you can just place them in the freezer without any preparation. This is because the freezing process damages the cells, meaning the carrots will be mushy and unusable once thawed. This is why you shouldn’t freeze them whole and fresh from the grocery store.
What you need to do is, first, prepare them how you’d like to freeze them: peeled, sliced, cut into rounds, etc. Then, blanche them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Afterward, drain, and cool them in ice-cold water.
After draining the cooled carrots, thoroughly pat them dry and put them into freezer bags, pushing out as much air as possible. Then, leave them in the freezer for up to 1 whole year.
Cooked leftover carrots can also be stored in the freezer for just as long in an airtight container.
How Long do Carrots Last For?
|Unrefrigerated||In the refrigerator||In the freezer|
|Fresh carrots will last for…||3-5 days||3-4 weeks||Up to 1 year (after blanching)|
|Cooked carrots will last for…||–||3-5 days||Up to 1 year|
How to Tell When Carrots Have Gone Bad
Look. Some carrots may develop some dark spots on them. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve gone bad, and those can be cut off before using.
However, if you see any mold growing on them, then they’ve definitely gone bad and should be thrown out. Do not attempt to cut off the mold, as the mold’s roots go surprisingly deep into food.
Feel. Carrots go soft and floppy when they start going bad. However, this doesn’t mean they’re unusable (see below).
However, if they feel slimy, then they have gone off and should be placed in the garbage.
Smell. Rotting carrots give off a strong smell. When fresh, whole carrots shouldn’t give off any smell at all.
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How do you know if baby carrots are bad?
Baby carrots go bad in the same way as normal carrots. Although, it’s difficult to bend something so short!
The surest signs are any visible mold, any slimy texture, or pungent smells.
Do carrots go bad if left out overnight?
It depends on where you left them.
If left in a cool dry area, away from other fruit and vegetables, they should be A-OK. Carrots can last 3-5 days unrefrigerated.
Leaving them inside a plastic bag will increase the chance of mold growing on them as moisture collects inside this. Also, leaving them near other ethylene-producing fruit and veg will speed up the rotting process.
Do carrots really help your eyesight?
Carrots contain beta-carotene which the body converts into vitamin A, which directly benefits your eyesight.
Vitamin A is certainly important for a child’s eyesight development. Between 250,000 and 500,000 children a year lose their sight around the world because of vitamin A deficiencies, according to the World Health Organization.
Some research has found that increased vitamin A intake can help improve the symptoms of “night blindness”. This is where people cannot see, or can only see very badly, in low to no light. But, those that responded the best were taking vitamin A supplements rather than binging on carrots. So, carrots are not the best things to improve your nighttime vision.
Lastly, whilst carrots help vision development, unfortunately, they cannot help recover any lost or damaged vision in adults.
What can I do If I have floppy carrots?
If you find that your carrots are soft and floppy, but show no other signs that they have gone bad, such as mold or a slimy surface, then they can be saved!
The floppiness is a result of the carrot being dehydrated. They’re around 80-95% water after all!
To regain their stiffness, simple place flaccid carrots in cold water for up to 5 hours before using. Afterward, you’ll find that they’re nice and firm again.
However, because most of their vitamins are water-soluble, the carrot may not be as nutritious. This is because it will have lost most of its nutrients when it became dehydrated.