How To Store Peeled Carrots To Keep Them Fresh As Long As Possible

Carrots have a longer shelf life than many other vegetables, but carrots start to deteriorate quite fast once you have cut or peeled them. To prevent peeled carrots from drying out and losing their flavor and nutrients, a more careful approach is needed to keep them firm and crisp for longer.

Freshly peeled or cut carrots should be sored in plastic bags or a container in the refrigerator. To extend their shelf life even more and prevent them from drying out, wrap in clean, moist paper towels, or keep them in cold water.

How To Store Peeled Carrots In The Fridge?

peeled carrots in the bowl
  1. The best way to store peeled or cut carrots to prevent oxidation is to submerge them in cold water in a tightly covered container. For the best result, use filtered water and a clean dish to avoid bacteria growth as much as possible.
  2. Place them at the back of the fridge to keep them cold. 
  3. According to the USDA, the proper temperature to store carrots at is 32°F (0°C). [1]
  4. As the dampness in the water inevitably encourages bacteria growth. You should rinse and replace the water every 4-5 days to slow down the growth of bacteria that will spoil them.

As this process seems more complicated than what you are probably used to, it is worthwhile as it can extend the peeled carrots self-life up to a month or even longer. 

Just remember that routinely changing the water in the container is very important. There’s no point going through all that work to let bacteria and mold spoil your veg in a week. 

Also, when you are prepping and cutting for storage, make sure to remove the green tops because, according to USDA Produce Information Sheet, the green top will use water to grow and drain nutritional value from it.

Before use, give the carrots a cold water rinse. After prolonged storage, if you want to take it a step further, blending lemon juice with some vinegar in a bowl of water and give the carrots a good soak. This can help get rid of any bacteria that may have accumulated. 

If you are often forgetful and do not trust yourself to remember to change the water in the container every 4-5 days, there is an alternative way to store your peeled carrots to preserve their freshness. 

However, this method does not keep them as long as the one described above.

Tips For Short Term Storage

carrots sticks in the container
  1. Make sure your carrots are dry and clean. 
  2. Wrap in aluminum foil. 
  3. Place in a plastic bag or air-tight container.
  4. Keep in the fridge for up to 10 days. 

According to Iowa State University Extension, wrapping your peeled carrots in aluminum foil can be an easy way to maximize shelf life. This trick may be the best option for those who like to prep their carrots and can consume them in a few days. [2]

Overall, the key is to combat the dryness that comes with storing peeled carrots. Either method will give you a good result to extend the time you will have to use them. 

Top Tip 

According to USDA Produce Information Sheet, you will see the best result and most longevity if you store carrots away from ethylene-producing fruits and vegetables. [3]

Ethylene not only causes a bitter flavor in carrots but also causes them to go bad faster. Examples of ethylene-producing fruits could be brown bananas, apples, and melons.

Can You Freeze Carrots? 

frozen baby carrots

Freezing carrots is the best way to store them for months. Like most other vegetables, if you freeze them raw, the taste, texture, color, and nutritional value will eventually deteriorate over time. To minimize that and to kill off any potentially harmful bacterial growth, it is recommended that you blanch the veg before freezing. [4]

Also, use carrots that are recently bought and the peak of their freshness.

Instructions For Freezing Carrots

freezing carrots
  1. Rinse under cold water and scrub off any dirt. 
  2.  Cut them into usable pieces of your preferences.
  3. To blanch, place into a pot with a rolling boil. Depending on size and cut, the boiling process should take 2-5 minutes. 
  4. Quickly transfer into ice water to stop the cooking process. 
  5. When cooled off, lay the carrot cubes on a tray with a non-stick baking sheet without touching each other and freeze until frozen solid. Then, they back them into resealable freezer bags with a dated label.
freezing pre cut vegetables
Freezing them on a try beforehand will prevent the cubes from freezing into a big lump of unusable ice.

If you don’t want to blanch the carrots, then just put them in a labeled resealable freezer bag, squeezing out any excess air, and put them in the freezer. There will be a faster deterioration than the blanched ones, so quality will diminish further over a long storage period.

How Long Do Carrots Last In The Freezer? 

The great thing about freezing food is that it delays spoilage and keeps your food safe for an extended period.

Carrots can be frozen for up to 10-12 months. When kept at a constant temperature, frozen carrots will remain safe to eat for an extended period of time but will eventually suffer from a loss of quality. They can be cooked without thawing. [5]

In addition, another study from Iowa State found when carrots are stored and kept frozen at a constant temperature of 0°F (-17.8 °C), they will be safe to eat indefinitely. They might not be in a high-quality form past the 18th-month mark, but they will not be spoiled or unsafe to eat.

Can You Put Frozen Carrots In Smoothies? 

frozen carrot cubes for smoothie

Although frozen carrots tend to lose their crispness when unthawed, there are many uses for them, such as putting them into smoothies. 

As they are known to be very versatile, using them in smoothies is no exception. They add so much nutritional value, such as fiber, various vitamins, and a wealth of antioxidants. 

The fact that they can be added frozen will also add a refreshing aspect to your smoothie. 

Frozen carrots are also an excellent option to use in stews, soups, and other hot dishes. They are probably not crispy enough to use in stir-fries tho. 

Baby vs. Peeled Carrots

bag of baby carrots

Baby carrots are a ready-to-eat option as they are already cut and prepped for you. Although baby carrots are sometimes washed and cleaned with a dilute chlorine bleach solution, the chlorine evaporates quickly, leaving them without any extra storage benefits. 

If you are concerned about safety, the amount of chlorine used to clean them is comparable to regular tap water and should not pose any health risk.

So, baby carrots are fresh vegetables, and once the bag is opened, they should be stored using the same storage methods listed above to retain their nutrients and freshness. 

What Is That White Blush On My Carrots?

white blush carrots

White blush means that carrots are drying out, but they are still safe and edible. When peeled carrots have gone bad, they become slimy, mushy and should be thrown away. 

After a week or so, if not appropriately stored, you have probably noticed your carrots get a white film on the outside. According to Iowa State University, the white film is due to oxidation and may occur because of moisture loss from the outer skin of the carrot. This overall does not affect the edibility or safety. [6]

Top Tip

To remove all or most of the white blush, and rubbery texture place the carrots in ice-cold water for one hour before serving.

How To Tell If Carrots Are Bad?

carrots gone bad

When you notice that your carrots have gotten to the point where they are soft, slimy, or have some signs of mold and dark spots on them, you should toss them as they are not edible or safe. Exposure to excess moisture and condensation over time causes the slime to form, which will make those who consume them sick.

When carrots get to the point of having slime build-up, they will have a bad taste, texture, and smell. Therefore, they are not at all worth the risk of getting sick. 

Read Also: How to Wash Fruit and Vegetables So Make Them as Clean as Possible.

Conclusion

Follow these tips above to prevent food waste efficiently and effectively. It is not too late to change the way you store your vegetables. Always remember you can preserve your carrots by submerging them in water in an air-tight container, wrapping them in aluminum foil, or by simply freezing them. These methods are simple but can go a long way.