Carrots are not only tasty, but they’re also high in nutrients, namely vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium and fiber.
Plus, an old wives’ tale claims that carrots can help you see in the dark!
Additionally, carrots are regularly used in cooking. As a result, these vegetables are a staple in many kitchens.
Typically, they can last for approximately 3 weeks in the fridge. This shelf life results in carrots being a convenient vegetable to cook with.
Here’s everything that you need to know about using carrots, including their shelf life, tips for freezing them, and the proper way of storing these bright orange vegetables.
How Long Do Carrots Typically Last?
When placed in the fridge, raw whole carrots can last between 3 and 4 weeks.
This is because the cooler temperature will slow down the expiration process.
If you store carrots at room temperatures, such as in a pantry or cupboard, they will last no longer than 5 days.
However, if you have chopped the carrots, they will not last quite so long.
When placed in a container in the fridge, they can still last for between 2 and 3 weeks, which is much longer than many other vegetables.
Cooked carrots do not have a very long shelf life. Unfortunately, they tend to only remain fresh for approximately 5 days.
So be sure to find a delicious recipe to use these carrots up as soon as possible.
Another important consideration is that baby carrots don’t tend to last as long as fully-grown varieties. This is due to their small size.
Can You Freeze Carrots?
Yes, both cooked and raw carrots can be frozen. Just bear in mind that the quality of this vegetable will start to deteriorate over time, resulting in the texture and taste being less pleasant.
Freezing carrots is a great way of reducing food waste. This is because they tend to last up to 12 months.
This is a great way of ensuring that you always have carrots on hand.
Blanching the carrots before you freeze them is a magnificent method of ensuring that carrots have a pleasant texture and flavor even after they’ve been frozen.
All you have to do is scald the carrots for a small amount of time in water or steam.
Once the carrots have cooled down, you can then transfer them to a freezer bag.
Though raw carrots can be frozen, this is far from the optimal way of freezing them. Frozen raw carrots can be incredibly unpleasant when thawed.
How Can You Determine If A Carrot Has Gone Bad?
Nobody wants to eat a gone-off carrot! To avoid that, you should look for signs of expiration. Here are some of the most common indicators:
- Raw carrots that are soft. As you likely already know, raw carrots are usually firm. Only once they have been cooked do they become soft. If your carrots are soft before you’ve even cooked them, this is a sign that they have expired. Alternatively, a slimy film can coat these carrots.
- Instead of their iconic bright orange color, stale carrots will have developed a darker hue. The carrots might also have developed dark spots.
- Mold has started to grow on the carrot.
- You may begin to notice an unpleasant smell. Usually, carrots do not have a particularly strong smell. However, this can change when the carrot expires.
Luckily, you can still use carrots that are slightly behind their expiration date.
A great way of doing this is by mashing the carrots, as you won’t be able to detect the textural changes. You can also utilize them to make a delicious carrot cake recipe.
If only parts of the carrot have become expired, you can simply cut these parts out and simply use the rest of the carrot.
However, we do not recommend using carrots if they have started to develop mold. This is because it will make for an unappealing eating experience.
Plus, you could become ill from consuming a moldy carrot!
How Should You Store Carrots?
Storing carrots properly is essential for ensuring that your carrots are fresh.
Carrots are best kept in a refrigerator. This is because the cool temperature of the fridge will prolong their shelf lives.
Though carrots can be kept at room temperature, this is far from the optimal way of storing them. It’s particularly not advisable to keep carrots at room temperature if they are kept in a bag.
This is because these bags can store moisture, thus resulting in them expiring even faster. Outside of the fridge, carrots are unlikely to last beyond 4 days.
Root cellars are particularly suitable for storing carrots. These structures, which are often underground, are ideal for keeping fruits and vegetables as they provide a cool environment.
In a root cellar, carrots can last for approximately 4 to 6 months. Of course, not many people have access to root cellars nowadays, so a fridge will suffice.
How Can You Keep Carrots Fresh For As Long As Possible?
To ensure that your carrots don’t expire super fast, all you have to do is follow these simple steps:
- Cover your carrots with a paper towel. The reason why we recommend doing this is that the towel will absorb all of the moisture from the carrots, thus ensuring that they remain fresh. Ideally, you should then put these carrots inside a plastic container. If the paper towel becomes excessively moist, it is a good idea to change it.
- Store your carrots in the vegetable crisper. This section of the fridge is designed for storing fruits and vegetables. Vegetable crispers have a controlled airflow, thus extending the shelf life of the vegetables stored there. It’s a good idea to separate carrots from apples, as this fruit releases ethylene. This hydrocarbon gas can accelerate the ripening of other foods, resulting in them rapidly becoming overly ripe.
- If you wish to make your carrots remain fresh for even longer, you can store them in water. For instance, you can fill a glass jar or plastic container with water and then add the carrots. This container should be covered and placed in the fridge. If the water starts to change color or develop a cloudy appearance, you should change the water.
- Don’t wash your carrots before storing them. Instead, wait to wash them with water just before you cook them. This is especially important if you intend to store your carrots in a root cellar since mold growth can be sped up by this.
Can You Eat Carrots That Are Past The Expiration Date?
It’s not recommended that you consume expired carrots.
Not only will this be a disgusting eating experience thanks to the altered taste and texture of these vegetables, but you could also become ill.
If you eat carrots that have exceeded the use-by date, you could experience stomach pains or vomiting.
While the risk is quite low, it’s not worth making yourself sick just to eat an expired carrot.
Carrots that have developed mold growths are particularly worth avoiding.
How Should You Prepare Carrots?
Carrots are versatile vegetables that can be prepared in several different ways. Feel free to experiment with these different cooking techniques to find your favorite.
Often, carrots are peeled. Though carrot peel is edible like the skin of other vegetables, such as zucchini, it is not the most enjoyable part of the carrot.
Likewise, the top of the carrot can be consumed but is traditionally removed.
You can eat carrots raw or cooked. Raw carrots are particularly great in salads, especially when shredded.
Grated or shredded carrots are also commonly used in coleslaws. Boiling and roasting are the two most popular ways of cooking carrots.
Boiled carrots are soft and have a mild taste. Meanwhile, roasted carrots have a stronger and more caramelized flavor, especially when roasted in honey.
The outside of these carrots tends to be a little crispy while the inside is lovely and soft.
If you’re looking for an alternative to mashed potatoes, you can also try making mashed carrots. It’s a low carbohydrate and calorie alternative.
Mashed carrot also tastes delicious and has the perfect creamy texture associated with mashed potatoes.
How Long Do Carrots Take To Grow?
If you’ve got green fingers and want to grow carrots, these vegetables are fairly easy and low-maintenance to grow.
Plus, the seeds are super simple to sow. Therefore, even inexperienced gardeners can grow carrots in their backyard.
They can take a while to grow and germinate, taking roughly 60 to 80 days to fully mature. However, some varieties can take up to 100 days.
Therefore, it is best to harvest the carrots after 100 days have passed since you first planted the seeds.
Why Do My Carrots Keep Going Soft In The Fridge?
Though carrots are best placed in the fridge, they can still develop unwantedly soft textures here.
Namely, if improperly stored in the fridge, carrots can still develop a soft texture that is associated with expiration.
The main reason why your carrot has gained a mushy texture is due to a lack of hydration.
To prevent your carrots from becoming dehydrated, you should store them in water. You can also try to restore the texture of your carrots by storing them in water for a few hours.
Carrots are a fantastic ingredient to incorporate into your cooking. Unfortunately, you will need to be aware of how to properly store carrots if you intend on using them.
Otherwise, you can end up with carrots that taste and feel rancid. Luckily, by following these guidelines, your carrots will stay fresh for ages!