Can You Freeze Carrots?

Published on June 17, 2024 | 0 Comments
If you've purchased or harvested too many, you may ask: "Can you freeze carrots?"

If you’ve ever purchased too many carrots at the store or had a bumper crop from your backyard vegetable garden, you may have wondered: “Can you freeze carrots?” It is easy to be optimistic about how many vegetables you will eat during the week when you’re standing in the produce section of the supermarket, but the truth is many of us often overbuy fruits and vegetables. Freezing food is a great way to prevent food waste and preserve your veggies for later use.

Luckily, you can freeze carrots but there are some things to keep in mind to ensure you get the best results. In this comprehensive guide, we will not only answer the question “Can you freeze carrots?” but will also cover how best to freeze different types of carrots and how to defrost carrots when you’re ready to add them to your recipes. 

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Can Carrots Be Frozen?

Like most vegetables, carrots can be frozen to preserve them for later use. When freezing carrots, you will find that they undergo a slight texture change during the freezing process. This is due to the water content of the vegetable. 

On the other hand, the taste is not altered much at all by freezing and the texture change is minimal. If you plan to use frozen carrots in soup, the change in texture won’t be a concern at all. You can also preserve more of the texture of the vegetable by blanching carrots before freezing.

Home cooks may wonder:
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Can You Freeze Raw Carrots?

One of the most common questions around freezing this popular vegetable is “Can you freeze carrots raw?” You can freeze raw carrots, but note that they probably won’t retain the texture needed to enjoy them raw, such as with dips. If you blanch the carrots before freezing, they will have a closer texture to raw carrots once defrosted, but they will likely still be best used in cooked recipes instead of being eaten raw. 

Carrot sticks in a bowl
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Can You Freeze Fresh Carrots?

If you’ve just harvested some fresh carrots at home or picked up some at the farmers market, you may also wonder if you can freeze carrots when they are fresh. You can definitely freeze fresh carrots that have been newly purchased or harvested. 

While they are delicious to eat when freshly harvested, freezing carrots as soon as possible after picking them will give the best results. So, if you harvest carrots and know you won’t eat them all while at peak freshness, go ahead and pop some in the freezer.  

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Can You Freeze Shredded Carrots?

Can you freeze grated carrots for easy use in recipes? You can! In fact, freezing grated carrots or shredded carrots is an excellent way to have them on hand to incorporate in smoothies and soups or delicious baked goods like muffins or vegan carrot cake

For best results, freeze carrots that have been shredded in portion sizes that are as close as possible to what you will need in your recipe. For example, if you make carrot muffins frequently and need a cup of grated carrot per recipe, freeze your shredded carrots in one-cup portions. This avoids the issue of having a giant chunk of frozen, shredded carrots that take up space in your freezer and need to be fully defrosted to single out the portion size you need.

Frozen carrots that have been shredded
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Can You Freeze Cooked Carrots?

You can freeze carrots that have been cooked if you’ve boiled, steamed or roasted too many. However, you should be aware that their texture might change when they are thawed due to a loss of moisture during the freezing process. 

For this reason, you’ll find better results when you freeze cooked carrots that are then going to be incorporated into another dish, such as carrot soup. If you do freeze cooked carrots to reheat and enjoy as a side dish, be aware that the texture and taste may be a little different from before the dish was frozen. 

If you've made too many, you may ask:
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Can You Freeze Whole Carrots?

If you’re in a rush, you may want to know: “Can you freeze carrots that are whole?” Freezing carrots that have not been chopped or peeled is an option. You could even freeze carrots whole that still have the tops on. The one downside to this option is that it will take up quite a bit of space in your freezer. You will also have to wait for the whole carrots to defrost before preparing them for use in your recipes.

If you choose to freeze carrots whole, peeling them (unless you intend to consume them with the skin) and cutting off the tops are recommended to reduce prep time when you come to use them. However, if you really don’t have time, simply wash the carrots and then wrap them or place them in large freezer bags and pop them in the freezer. 

Whole orange and purple carrots
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Can You Freeze Baby Carrots?

Because baby carrots are typically adult carrots that have been peeled and cut into different shapes and smaller sizes, they follow the same rules about freezing whole carrots and shredded carrots. 

Be sure that once you have frozen your baby carrots you transfer them to a freezer-safe container, and remember that the crunchy texture you might be craving will be slightly affected by the freezing process. In general, if you purchase baby carrots for snacking on them raw, try to consume them while fresh and they won’t be as pleasant for this purpose once frozen and defrosted. 

Frozen baby carrots in a bowl
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How To Freeze Carrots

The best way to freeze carrots that will yield the most reliable result is to do a little bit of preparation on the front end before freezing them. Most experts agree that washing, peeling, slicing and blanching your carrots will give you the best outcome once they are incorporated into your recipes after being frozen.

Whether you slice or grate the carrots will depend on what type of recipes you want to use them in once thawed. As discussed, you can also freeze carrots whole by placing them in a freezer-safe bag and adding them to the freezer. 

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How To Freeze Fresh Carrots

If you’ve harvested a large quantity of fresh carrots, you might be wondering how to freeze carrots from the garden. You can freeze the carrots whole (washing off any dirt on them first) or for easy use, peel the carrots and then slice them into the right sizes for a given recipe. 

If you aren’t sure how you intend to use the carrots once they’ve been frozen, simply slice them into quarter-inch pieces. Lay the carrot pieces flat on a baking tray and freeze them. After about two hours, they should be frozen solid. At that point, you can transfer them to freezer-safe bags or containers. 

You may also decide to blanch the carrots, which is recommended if you plan to use them as a side dish, such as steamed carrots. If you are baking with them or making soup or fruit and vegetable smoothies, blanching can be skipped if you don’t have time. 

Frozen carrots in boxes
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How To Freeze Shredded Carrots

To freeze shredded carrots, either purchase pre-shredded carrots from the supermarket or shred your own. If you’d like to avoid having a large block of frozen carrots in your freezer, pre-portion them into smaller sizes using ice cube trays or specially-made cubes for freezing soup and stew ingredients. You could also add the shredded carrots to freezer-safe bags or small freezer-safe containers, however, the latter option can take up a lot of freezer space. 

A bowl of frozen shredded carrots next to whole carrots
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How To Blanch Carrots for Freezing

Blanching is a process of slightly cooking a vegetable and then immediately stopping the cooking process by submerging the vegetable in ice water. To blanch carrots for freezing, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps:

  1. Prepare your carrots by peeling them (if desired) and slicing them to the right size and shape for your recipe. 
  2. Heat a pot of water until it is boiling, then submerge the sliced carrots and allow them to simmer for two to three minutes. 
  3. Remove the carrots from the boiling water and immediately submerge them in a large bowl of ice water. This will stop the carrots from cooking.
  4. Once the carrots have cooled, remove them from the water, pat them dry with a paper towel and proceed with freezing them.
Carrots boiling in water
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Can You Freeze Carrots Without Blanching Them?

You can freeze carrots without blanching them, but they will lose their signature crunchy texture. To maintain as close to the original texture as possible, most experts recommend blanching the carrots first. As mentioned, if you’re using frozen carrots for baking, such as for a carrot bundt cake, or in soups or smoothies, the taste and texture of non-blanched carrots should work fine for those types of recipes. 

Frozen carrots defrosting in a box
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How Long Can You Freeze Carrots?

While carrots can last up to a month in the refrigerator if they are stored correctly, frozen carrots will last much longer. You can safely keep frozen carrots in the freezer for up to 12 months before their flavor and texture will begin to decline. 

As long as you have prepared the carrots correctly and stored them in sealed, freezer-safe containers, they shouldn’t go bad during a year-long period of freezing. Before using your frozen carrots, be sure to check for signs of freezer burn or decay and note that they will have the best taste and texture the sooner you use them. 

How long can you freeze carrots? is a common question
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Frozen Carrot Recipes

Now that you’ve answered the question: “Can you freeze carrots?” and learned the best methods for freezing carrots, you might be wondering what to do with frozen carrots. Frozen carrots are good for many different things, from being a star ingredient in fancy dishes like carrot soufflé to being used in smoothies and baked goods. 

There are plenty of ways to incorporate your frozen carrots that often don’t even require thawing, like adding frozen carrots directly to hot vegetable stock on the stove before blending for a tasty and nutritious carrot soup. Frozen shredded carrots also work well as an addition to vegetable stir fries, rice dishes and much more.

If you’re still unsure about how to incorporate carrots into your cooking, consider signing up for cooking classes near you or booking convenient online cooking classes. These courses are taught by experienced chefs who can help you get the most out of every ingredient, including healthy vegetables like carrots. 

Carrot soup with croutons next to fresh carrots
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How To Defrost Frozen Carrots

The best thing about frozen carrots is that they typically can be used straight from the freezer. For many side dishes, stir-fries and soups, you can use the sliced or cubed carrots directly from the freezer and avoid any thawing or defrosting steps in the middle. Simply add the frozen carrots directly to the soup mixture or rice stir fry and let cook until they are tender.

Should you need to defrost carrots before using them, you can transfer them to the refrigerator overnight, run them under lukewarm water to start the thawing process or carefully defrost them using your microwave. 

How to defrost carrots is useful to know along with answering
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How To Cook Frozen Carrots

If you want to boil, steam or roast frozen carrots to enjoy them as a side dish, you can do that. Do keep in mind that because carrots tend to lose some of their crunchiness after being frozen, they may be a little softer in texture than cooked fresh carrots.

To steam or boil the carrots, simply place them into your saucepan or steamer as you would with frozen vegetables you buy at the store. Do note that the boiling point of your water will decrease once the frozen carrots are added. If you don’t want this to happen, defrost the carrots before adding to the boiling water.

You can also roast frozen carrots, but it’s best to defrost them and strain any water before patting them dry and continuing with your roasted carrots recipe. Do note, that water may still leak from the frozen carrots in the oven, changing the texture a little compared to roasted fresh carrots. 

Carrots in a steamer
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Whether you’ve purchased too many carrots or have grown lots in your vegetable garden, answering the question: “Can you freeze carrots?” is very helpful to ensure you don’t waste this nutritious and versatile vegetable. Having read this guide, you should have all the information you need to properly freeze, defrost and use whichever types of carrots you have, from whole carrots to shredded carrots. 

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