If you love carrots and are used to freezing your food, this question must have crossed your mind, “Can I freeze carrots without blanching?” Well, we often form habits copied elsewhere. Freezing blanched carrots, too, is a habit that you can break. So, is it possible to freeze carrots without blanching?
The answer is yes. You can freeze carrots without blanching. But there’s more than one way of doing so. In fact, the best method depends on how you plan to use your carrots. If you want to use them in salads or other dishes where they’ll need some cooking before serving, then you should blanch them first. On the other hand, if you just want to store them for later consumption, then you don’t really need to blanch them at all.
Let me explain how;
Methods of freezing carrots without blanching
There are three basic methods of freezing carrots without blanching:
1) Freezing chopped carrots
2) Frozen shredded carrots
3) Frozen carrot puree
Method 1: Chopped Carrot Pieces
- Cut off the tops.
- Wash well with cold water.
- Drain thoroughly.
- Chop into small pieces.
- Place in freezer bags.
Important to Note:
- Chopping carrots into small pieces will make them easier to handle when thawed. You may also choose to add spices like garlic powder, onion flakes, etc., as well as herbs such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley, cilantro, chives, mint and others, depending upon your taste preferences. Just make sure that the amount added does not exceed 5%.
- The amount of spice added will depend on their flavour intensity. For example, adding only salt would not give much flavour to the frozen carrots. However, adding pepper alone might overpower the natural sweetness of the carrots. Adding both salt and pepper together could result in an overly salty dish.
- You can either chop the carrots by hand with kitchen scissors or buy pre-chopped ones from the supermarket. It doesn’t matter which option you take because the end results will be the same.
- Make sure each bag contains enough air space between the layers of carrots. This helps prevent any condensation from forming inside the container during storage. Also, do not overfill the bags. Leave about ½ inch headspace.
Method 2: Shredded Raw Carrot
This method works well when you want to make a salad out of fresh carrots. You will get better results by shredding the carrots yourself rather than buying pre-shredded ones. The reason being that most commercial brands contain preservatives. These chemicals tend to cause discoloration and spoilage of vegetables. They also affect the texture of the product after thawing.
- Wash the carrots well under running tap water. Remove excess dirt and debris. Drain completely.
- Peel the skin away from the root ends. Slice the peeled roots lengthwise. Then slice crosswise into thin strips.
- Place the sliced carrots in a large bowl. Add ice cubes until it reaches room temperature. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
- Once chilled, drain the liquid from the bowl. Place the drained carrot slices back in the original bowl. Mix gently using clean hands. Do not use metal utensils since they will scratch the surface of the carrots.
- Transfer the mixture to another bowl. Spread evenly onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Dry at room temperature for 12 – 24 hours. Store in sealed containers for up to one month in a freezer machine.
Important to note
- Once thawed, use the shredded carrots right away. There is no need to store them in the fridge.
- When keeping shredded carrots, ensure that they remain dry. Moisture causes mould growth.
- To avoid moisture build-up, cover the bowls containing the shredded carrots with aluminium foil.
- Never leave the shredded carrots uncovered while stored in the freezer. Any exposed surfaces may become wet due to condensation.
Method 3: Freezing carrot puree
The third way involves making carrot puree first. This helps reduce the amount of time needed to prepare the dish later on. Also, it makes sure that the final result tastes just how we imagine it would taste.
• 1 pound carrots
• 2 cups vegetable stock
• ½ cup apple cider vinegar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ⅛ teaspoon pepper
1. Peel the skin off the carrots. Cut the peeled carrots into small pieces.
2. Put all the cut carrots into a food processor and process finely until it’s done. Add the remaining ingredients except for the salt. Pulse several times to combine. Season with salt.
3. Spoon the mixture into a bowl. Cover loosely with foil. Chill for at least 30 minutes before freezing. Once chilled, spoon the mixture into individual containers. Smooth out the top as much as possible. If desired, cover with wax paper. Freeze for about 6 hours.
To thaw the carrot puree, place the sealed containers in the refrigerator. Allow the puree to sit there undisturbed for 24 hours. Do not open the containers during this period. After 24 hours have passed, remove it from the fridge. Unwrap the container carefully so as not to disturb the frozen puree inside. Open the lid gently. Gently stir the contents around. Replace the lid. Return to the fridge. Repeat these steps every 12-24 hours until the puree is fully defrosted.
Important to note
- When making carrot puree, always add the water last. This helps prevent chunks of carrot from forming while blending.
- Serve immediately after removing the puree from the freezer. Or transfer the puree to an airtight storage container. Label and date the container and keep it refrigerated for three weeks.
Freezing carrots without blanching them can save some money. With the proper procedures followed, you will simply get the most out of your carrots without wasting any. If you have been freezing your carrots after blanching, I hope our guide helps you store your carrots in a better and simpler way.