how to store organic carrots

- Mar 07, 2018 -

The trick to preserving the freshness of carrot roots is to minimize the amount of moisture they lose. Thick cored carrots store the best.

The main methods of storing carrots are:-

Refrigeration - Freezing - Microwaving - Canning (bottling) - Drying - Pickling - Underground root storage - Left in the ground.

Preparation - Fresh Carrots - First remove the greens as soon as possible as they draw away moisture from the root. Tightly seal unwashed carrots in a plastic bag in the coolest part refrigerator. Wash just before using, since the added moisture in the bag could cause spoilage. Carrots begin to go limp once exposed to air.

Perhaps the best way to enjoy freshly picked carrots is to eat them raw, or simply steam or boil them. For tender, young carrots,  just scrub them well before taking either approach. Larger carrots, can have a tough skin and have too strong a flavour.  Try to resist peeling as much of the goodness is in the skin.

Depending on how fresh your carrots are they should last about 10 days and probably longer. Ideally growing your own is the way to go as they are very easy with many varieties suiting patio tubs and the traditional large garden variety. This means you can simply pick all you need and leave the rest in the ground.  If you are limited on space or motivation buy the freshest you can find.

how to store organic carrots

Carrots should also be stored away from apples, pears, potatoes and other fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene gas since it will cause them to become bitter. Read more here (pdf)

Refrigeration - Carrots can keep in the refrigerator for up to three months if properly prepared for storage. Remove all the green stubble to prevent the carrot from rotting. (carrot leaves left attached draw moisture from the root and dry it out quickly). Allow the carrot outer skin to dry in sun for a day or so. Do not wash until ready to use carrot. Place carrots into refrigerator.

Some people recommend that you should line the vegetable drawer at the bottom of the fridge with a thick layer of absorbent kitchen paper. This will keep the carrots fresher for a much longer time. Make sure the carrots are dry before putting them in the fridge, especially if you buy them in plastic bags. Check on the paper once or twice per week. If it's damp then line it with dry paper and you can just dry out the old paper and use it again next time. No need to throw it away each time. Carrots give off a lot of moisture in the fridge and it's important to keep them dry. If you are buying really fresh carrots with the greenery intact  remember to remove them as soon as possible. They will keep longer this way.

A second cooling method - In a bowl of waterIn a bowl of water - put the carrots in a large bowl so that there is at least 1-inch of headroom between the top of the carrots and the rim of the bowl. Fill the bowl with clean (ideally filtered) water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or its sealable lid and place in the refrigerator. Change out water once a day. Carrots will keep fresh and superbly crunchy for up to a week this way. This is not recommended for longer term storage (no more than 2/3 weeks), as the carrots can go slimy, have an unpleasant smell and lose flavour.

Microwaving - Research has shown that microwave blanching is not always an effective method, as some enzymes may not be inactivated. This could result in low-quality frozen vegetables with off-colours, off-flavours and poor texture. If blanching is done in a microwave oven, follow individual manufacturer's instructions. Microwave blanching does not save time or energy. 

How to successfully microwave carrots. Here is how we do it. Take a suitable dish which has a removable cover, we use a pirex dish and lid (which is microwave, heat proof glassware). Take about a pound of carrots (half kilo) and put them in the dish. These can be whole carrots or sliced it makes no difference. Boil some water in a kettle and pour the boiling water over the carrots to cover them, then immediately pour off the water leaving the carrots still wet and the merest hint of water in the bottom of the dish. Put the lid on then Microwave at full power for about 8 minutes. This works every time.

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