Selecting High-Quality Carrots: Fresh carrots may lose some of their crisp texture during freezing but will still be good for cooking. Select young, tender, medium length carrots free from cracks and dryness. Small carrots are usually the most tender. When harvesting, leave them in the garden until you're are ready to process them, but do not let them become too oversized or woody.
Preparing for Freezing: Remove the tops, wash and peel. Leave small carrots whole. Cut others into thin slices, 1/4-inch cubes, lengthwise strips or julienne them with a food processor. A 1-quart jar will hold approximately 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of slice or diced carrots. Approximately 12 medium carrots = 1 pint of puree.
Blanching Time: Water-blanch small whole carrots 5 minutes, diced or sliced pieces or lengthwise strips for 2 minutes. Steam-blanch for 7 and 3 minutes respectively. Cool promptly and drain.
Best Freezing Method(s):
Suitable Packaging: Freezer containers should be moisture and vapor resistant and should not be prone to cracking or breaking at low temperatures. Containers should protect food from absorbing flavors or odors and should be easy to label. Suitable packaging includes freezer-grade plastic bags, rigid plastic or glass containers or heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Maximum Storage Time: 10 to 12 months at 0ºF.
Thawing: Add directly to cooking dishes without thawing.
Tips & Shortcuts: Whole carrots are the least likely to freeze well, so you are better off freezing slices, pieces or strips. Whole carrots can be left in the ground during the winter if you cover them heavily with mulch, however early spring thaws followed by refreezing may compromise quality and accessing them in winter can be difficult.
Refrigerating Carrots: Wrap carrots in paper towels and store in plastic bags for 1 to 3 months.
Hey, great info on the carrot situation! I raised lots of carrots this summer but too many got really big. I have peeled them and run them through the food processor. Tomorrow I plan to use the info I've received today to put them up. Thank you all so very much. (09/20/2007)
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