The first question here as most people ask is, “can you freeze carrots?” The simple answer is yes, you can freeze carrots to preserve them for later use. Of course, you can freeze raw carrots without blanching but if you want to preserve their texture, nutrients, and flavor, it is good to blanch carrots before freezing.
What is blanching?
Blanching in food preservation refers to a process that is almost compulsory for all the vegetables that are to be frozen for a long period. It is whereby the vegetable to be frozen is scalded in boiling water or steam for a short while in order to stop enzyme activity that would otherwise cause loss of flavor, color, and texture.
Importance of blanching
As we have mentioned, preserving vegetables for a long period of time, or across seasons isn’t just easy as raw. You need to preserve the flavor, the texture, and the nutrients as well. Without blanching, you might not get the best end result with your preservation since your preserved food would easily lose flavor and even color due to the action of enzymes. Scalding is important since it ensures that your vegetables are preserved wholly, and whenever you retrieve them from your fridge, they would taste fresh.
How to blanch carrots for freezing
Now that we have agreed that you can freeze carrots, the first process before freezing is blanching, especially for carrots that you are going to preserve for a very long time. You can follow these steps to get your carrots correctly blanched and then you can freeze:
- Wash your carrots. The first step always is to clean. Make sure that your carrots are thoroughly washed and all dirt that could have stuck is washed away.
- After you have washed, make sure that your carrots are free of dirt, then you can remove the green stems but you don’t have to peel the carrots.
- Cut your carrots into uniform round shapes depending on the sizes that you want. Make sure that the sizes can cook evenly if you were to cook them. Here, you can use a food processor, or any other tool that would give the best results.
- Boil water in a large pot but do not fill to the brim as you will need some displacement space. Put your carrots into the water, and when it starts to boil, or to blanch, let the carrots stay in boiling water for 3 or 5 minutes depending on whether you have sliced your carrots or not.
- If you are dealing with large amounts of carrots, you may need to repeat the process as you drain the water while allowing your blanched carrots to cool.
- After scalding in hot water, cool them immediately in an ice water bath to ensure that they do not continue to cook.
- Now place your well-drained carrots in freezer bags, and make sure that the bags do not carry air inside. The freezer bags come with a straw that is tucked in the corner and you can use it to suck any air trapped inside the bags while packaging.
- Do the labeling of your carrots and make sure you indicate the correct dates, then put them in your freezer to preserve.
With the above simple steps, you can now blanch and freeze carrots with ease.