Carrots are more than just a bunny’s favorite vegetable. These orange, crunchy delights bring a lot of benefits to the consumer.
They’re a good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Not only that, this root vegetable is great for weight loss and has even been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health. And, their carotene antioxidants have been linked to reducing your chance of getting cancer while their vitamin K helps strengthen your bones.
When cooked, the fiber contained in carrots can help keep blood sugar levels under control, and vitamin A and beta carotene can help lower your diabetes risk.
Carrots are also so versatile; you can add them in soups, salads, create stand-alone dishes, and you can cook them in so many ways like roast, puree, sauté, boil, or use them raw.
There’s no doubt that carrots are nothing but beneficial, so we want to get the most use out of them as possible, whether we use them right away or save them after cooking.
This brings us to the question, can cooked carrots be frozen? Thankfully, yes, they can!
We’re here to tell you how to make them last for ways to enjoy them later on.
- 1 Can Cooked Carrots Be Frozen?
- 2 How to Freeze Cooked Carrots
- 3 Can You Freeze Mashed Carrots?
- 4 Can You Freeze Roasted Carrots?
- 5 Freezing Cooked Carrots with Mixed Vegetables
- 6 How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Carrots?
Can Cooked Carrots Be Frozen?
Whether you only partially cook them (blanch them) or fully cook them, carrots freeze very well. They will be able to retain their flavor and nutritional value, so all the good stuff in the carrot will be saved.
Keep in mind that you have to store cooked carrots in the freezer properly, or else moisture evaporation through transpiration can occur, causing them to become rubbery.
Is it Better to Freeze Raw Carrots or Cooked Carrots?
You can freeze fresh carrot if you don’t want to put the extra work into cooking them first.
However, if you really don’t want to blanch or cook carrots ahead of freezing, you’re going to have to dice or chop them finely, freeze on a tray until solid, then transfer to a resealable freezer bag, removing any excess air.
However, like most vegetables, if you freeze raw carrots, their texture, taste, color, and nutritional value declines. Cooking them brings out the flavors and nutrients and lasts longer if put in the freezer.
How to Freeze Cooked Carrots
First, you have to blanch them by placing them in a pot of water and bringing it to a boil. Once blanched, drain and pat the carrots dry, and proceed to lay the carrots on a tray. Place the tray with the boiled carrots in the freezer until frozen solid.
No, you’re not done yet. It’s simple, but not that simple!
Once the carrots are frozen, transfer them into resealable freezer bags or an airtight container. Make sure you remove any excess air before sealing to ensure freshness when you take them out.
Blanching Before Freezing
It’s recommended that you blanch carrots before freezing. This is because blanching helps to preserve the vitamins and nutrients that make a carrot so good for you.
Blanching them before freezing also kills the bacteria during the cooking process.
Also, if orange is your favorite color, you’re going to love this next tidbit. Blanched carrots keep that bright, orange color they’re known for. If you keep them uncooked, they look dull and not as enticing after freezing.
Freezing Cooked Carrots Without Blanching
A carrot is still a carrot, whether you blanch them or not.
If you freeze the carrots without blanching, you won’t be able to preserve the texture as well as you would with blanching. But they still will be nutritious and flavorful.
To freeze unblanched carrots, start by cutting the ends off the carrots and then chopping them up into one-inch pieces. This will allow the carrots to freeze evenly. Similar to the other freezing method, lay them on a tray or cookie sheet and stick them in the freezer and freeze for 24 hours.
Once that’s done, remove the carrots from the freezer and put them in tightly sealed freezer bags. It’s pretty much the exact same thing, just minus the blanching.
Can You Freeze Mashed Carrots?
If you’ve mashed or pureed your carrots for some delicious soup or another recipe you’ve got going on and had some leftover you don’t want going to waste, then you’re in luck, because you can also freeze mashed carrot!
Freezing doesn’t affect the taste of the mashed carrot, but it can become watery once defrosted. The good news is, once reheated, some of that moisture evaporates. Or, you can use it in a smoothie and it’s like the problem gets…blended away.
How to Freeze Mashed Carrots
There are a couple of ways to free mashed carrots:
- Bag It: Make sure your mashed carrots are completely cooled to room temperature and then transfer them to a freezer bag. Lay the bag flat on your counter and smooth it into a thin, 1-inch layer for freezing. Remove as much air from the bag as possible before freezing.
- Cubes: Portion out your mashed carrots in a plastic wrap-lined ice tray then fill the tray cubes with portioned puree. Cover the tray in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer to freeze like ice cubes.
Can You Freeze Roasted Carrots?
It is possible to freeze roasted carrots. The dilemma with this is that once the roasted carrots are thawed out, they will lose all of the delicious crunch that makes them taste so good.
However, just because it loses its texture, doesn’t make the flavor any worse.
So, if you do choose to freeze roasted carrots, you’ll still be able to get a delicious helping packed with flavor, no matter how you use them once thawed.
How to Freeze Roasted Carrots
Make sure your roasted carrots are completely cooled down to room temperature or placed in the fridge to get cool.
Place the carrots on a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and spread them out into a single layer. Place the baking sheet in your freezer for one to two hours.
Once frozen, you can transfer each frozen carrot to a ziploc bag or Tupperware.
Basically, any carrot has to be cooled, frozen first, then separated into bags. When in doubt, just cool them and pack them!
Freezing Cooked Carrots with Mixed Vegetables
Most, if not all, vegetables freeze pretty well if they’re stored properly. If you’ve served up a melody of seasoned veggies and have too many to go around, feel free to store them in the freezer together. (Unless you feel like separating all the vegetables one at a time…but that seems time-consuming and like a bother).
Vegetables with high water content such as zucchini, pepper, and mushrooms can be frozen but will lose their texture once thawed. If you don’t mind freezing these with carrots, you can leave them alone.
If watery vegetables cause a water-soaked veggie patch, you can always reheat in stews or blend them together for some new concoction.
How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Carrots?
Cooked carrots in the freezer can maintain their best quality for ten to twelve months.
If you don’t need them in the year (or just forget about them because you saw another good deal on carrots at the grocery store), frozen carrots are safe to eat for beyond that amount of time.
When the carrots have an off smell or appearance, it’s time to throw them out.