Vegetables are an integral part of every kitchen and we use them every day while preparing our meals. When it comes to carrots, they’re known to last a little bit longer than other vegetables. Nevertheless, like every other food, they tend to go bad and you might find yourself wondering – how long do carrots last?
Carrots are a healthy and crunchy source of vitamins. You can either eat them alone or use them in salads or appetizers. Although they can serve multiple purposes and have a slightly longer shelf life than other vegetables, the question is – when should carrots be thrown away?
To determine how long carrots last and at what point you should throw them away, we’ve examined this matter in detail to provide you with all the information you need. In this article, we will discover the shelf life of carrots as well as a couple of other useful pieces of information about this vegetable.
How Long Do Carrots Last?
Carrots are vegetables that go bad in a visible way. The answer to the question “how long do carrots last” is simple – they spoil quickly and don’t last more than a month.
Carrots are low in calories but high in nutrients. They are also the number one source of vitamin A which is especially good for your vision and bone development. However, before eating them, you should be familiar with their shelf life.
Baby carrots might not be as tasty as fully grown ones but they have a shelf life of about 3-4 weeks. A dozen fully grown carrots, on the other hand, can last about 4-5 weeks after the printed date. This means that you will have enough time to use all of them before they start to spoil. If you are dealing with cooked carrots, they have the shortest shelf life of about one week. If you happen to have these carrots in the kitchen, they should be used first.
How To Know When Carrots Are Bad?
When shopping for carrots, you will most likely not be given an expiration date so it is very important that you use them in your meals as soon as possible. If you want to be completely sure whether your carrots are bad, there are some red flags that you should look for.
Green thumb Gardener points out some signs that we should pay attention to when checking whether the carrots are bad:
- White blush – this appears on the carrot when it is dehydrated. Carrots with white blush are still edible but they will not have the same taste as fresh ones.
- Black spots – this is caused by a fungus due to high temperature and moisture. Carrots with black spots should be thrown away even though some people claim that they should just be cut off.
- Rotten smell – this occurs by not storing the carrots properly. If your carrots have a rotten smell, they are absolutely ready to be thrown away.
- Slime – this appears on carrots when they start to rot. Slimy carrots should be thrown away because they can cause intoxication.
How To Store Carrots?
As it was mentioned before, carrots are an integral part of every kitchen so it is very important to know how to store them and preserve their shelf life.
Fresh carrots should be stored in a dark and shallow container. You should be careful when storing your vegetables and keep the carrots away from fruits that produce high-ethylene like apples because this will speed up the rotting process.
There is more to storing carrots than just placing them in your kitchen pantry and closing the door. The shelf life of a carrot depends on the environment they are stored in. The two best solutions for storing carrots are the fridge and the freezer.
How To Store Carrots In The Fridge?
Storing carrots in the fridge is the best solution if you don’t want long-term storage. Before storing, be sure to remove all green stubble and leaves. Seal them carefully because the air can make them rot faster. Raw carrots can last up to 5 weeks in the refrigerator.
The process of storing carrots in the fridge is advisable because they can last longer than any other vegetable. There are no particular rules that you should follow. This means that in the fridge, carrots can be stored whole, peeled, or cut.
How To Store Carrots In the Freezer?
When frozen, carrots can last a long time. The shelf life of carrots stored in the freezer varies from 10 to 12 months but they might not be as fresh as they were when you first bought them. Before freezing carrots, they should be blanched in order to save their texture, flavor, and nutritional value.
The process of blanching includes scalding the vegetables in either boiling water or steam for a short time before freezing them.
How To Prolong Carrot Shelf Life?
If there is an excess of carrots in your kitchen and you want to use them in the future, the best way to preserve them is by the abovementioned blanching and freezing.
The Garden Shop presents us with a simple procedure of blanching carrots.
|Pull your carrots:||Pull your carrots from their beds and cut the green stalks off.|
|Peel and wash the carrots:||Throw the carrots in the sink, peel them and wash thoroughly.|
|Cut the carrots as desired:||It’s up to you to cut the carrots as you prefer. Whatever you go for, try to keep the slices equal.|
|Blanch the carrots:||Prepare one pot of boiling and one of cold water. Blanch the pieces in boiling water for 5 minutes and after that quickly put them in cold water for the same amount of time.|
|Dry the carrots:||Place the carrots on a dry clean tea towel, gather the ends and shake them for a bit.|
|Bag the carrots:||Put the carrots in a ziplock freezer bag, fill it up to 50% and place it in the freezer.|
Using Carrots In Cooking
Carrots have a high nutritional value and are very good for your health. Eating carrots regularly reduces the risk of cancer, lowers blood pressure and improves your eye health. You can either eat them alone or use them as a part of your salad or appetizer.
Cooked carrots are an excellent example of a vegetable side dish and they are most commonly served with cream sauce. They can also be served with cream cheese, brown butter or maple syrup.
Apart from cooking carrots, they can also be prepared roasted and this is a very tasty side dish. Cookie + Kate teaches us how to prepare the best roasted carrots in three ways:
|“Basic” roasted carrots:||Roast the carrots in olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake until they are golden on the edges and tender throughout. Prepared like this, they are perfect with lasagna or mac and cheese.|
|Spiced roasted carrots:||Roast the carrots in olive oil and salt, but instead of pepper add chilli powder and ground cinnamon.You can serve these with Mexican dishes like enchiladas.|
|Honey buttered roasted carrots:||Toss the “basic” roasted carrots in simple honey butter sauce. You can make this sauce in under 5 minutes by adding one tablespoon of honey and one of butter.|
How Long Do Carrots Last – Conclusion
So far, we have introduced you to some of the most important information about carrots. After reading this article, you will be familiar with how long can carrots last, how to tell if your carrots are bad, how to store them and how to prolong their shelf life.
In general, carrots don’t last longer than one month. Baby carrots last about 3-4 weeks and fully grown ones last 4-5 weeks. Cooked carrots last only one week and they should be the first ones to be used in the cooking process.
You should always check whether your carrots are good before using them in your meals. To do that, pay close attention to white blush, black spots, rotten smell and slime.
The best way to store carrots is either in the fridge or freezer. When stored in the fridge, they can last for about 5 weeks. If you want your carrots to last longer, store them in the freezer and they will be good for the next 10-12 months.
If you have an excess amount of carrots in your kitchen, you can prolong their shelf life by blanching and freezing them. Blanching is a process of scalding vegetables in boiling water.
Carrots are very healthy and that is why they are widely used in the preparation of many meals. They can be cooked, roasted or served as appetizers with various creams.