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If you like frozen carrots in the winter, just imagine how good it would taste if you had picked a bag yourself and then quickly froze it at home! It is also one of the simplest ways to put up a vegetable for the winter. Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. The carrots will taste MUCH better than anything you've ever had from a store. And if you'd rather can your carrots, see this page!
Start with fresh carrots - as fresh as you can get.
Select young, tender, coreless, medium length carrots. If there is a delay between harvesting and freezing, put it in the refrigerator or put ice on it.
And don't use carrots that are old, limp, overripe or dried out (see below):
I'm sure you can figure out how to rinse the carrots in plain cold or lukewarm water.
A vegetable peeler works great!
Then just take a sharp knife and cut of both ends (about 1/4 of an inch, or half the width of an average woman's little finger).
Leave small carrots whole.
Cut others into thin slices, 1/4-inch cubes or lengthwise strips as you prefer!
Of course, if your prefer Julianne cut carrots, you can cut the carrots lengthwise in thin strips instead.
Get the pot of boiling water ready (about 2/3 filled) and a LARGE bowl with ice and cold water.
All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that, over time, break down the destroy nutrients and change the color, flavor, and texture of food during frozen storage. carrots requires a brief heat treatment, called blanching, in boiling water or steam, to destroy the enzymes before freezing. Blanch small whole carrots 5 minutes, diced or sliced 2 minutes and lengthwise strips 2 minutes.
The duration is intended to be just long enough to stop the action of the enzymes and kill the bacteria.
Begin counting the blanching time as soon as you place the carrots in the boiling water. Cover the kettle and boil at a high temperature for the required length of time.
You may use the same blanching water several times (up to 5). Be sure to add more hot water from the tap from time to time to keep the water level at the required height.
Cool carrots immediately in ice water. Drain the carrots thoroughly.
After vegetables are blanched, cool them quickly to prevent overcooking. Plunge the carrots into a large quantity of ice-cold water (I keep adding more ice to it). A good rule of thumb: Cool for the same amount of time as the blanch step. For instance, if you blanch sweet carrots for 7 minutes, then cool in ice water for 7 minutes.
I love the FoodSavers (see
this page for more information) with their vacuum sealing! I am
not paid by them, but these things really work. If you don't have
one, ziploc bags work, too, but it is hard to get as much air out of the
bags. remove the air to prevent drying and freezer burn.
TIP: If you don't own a vacuum food sealer to freeze foods, place
food in a Ziploc bags, zip the top shut but leave enough space to insert
the tip of a soda straw. When straw is in place, remove air by sucking the
air out. To remove straw, press straw closed where inserted and
finish pressing the bag closed as you remove straw.
Comments from a visitor on July 07, 2012: "We used zip lock bags to put them up and instead of using a straw to eliminate all the air in the bag we submerged the bag in water up to the zip and then closed. this was a method that i remember my mother using to put up sweet corn and works very well if you don't have a vacuum packer. the weight of the water pushes all the air out and you there you have it."
Pop them into the freezer, on the quick freeze shelf, if you have one!