Sunday, May 3, 2015

How to Freeze Fresh Carrots


I just picked the last of my fall carrots. Yes, I know it's May- good ole' mild Louisiana winters! I always plant the majority of my carrots in the fall. Some are ready by early winter, but others sprout late or just take forever to grow, so I let them stay over the winter and am rewarded with early carrots the next year (from January on). There were a few little scragglers left, so I pulled them all up and plan on dicing them up and freezing them for chicken pot pie! So here's how to freeze your own fresh garden carrots...


First wash the carrots well, peel them, and remove the tops. Next cut the carrots into whatever size or shape you are going to use them in. I will dice mine into quarter inch cubes for chicken pot pie, but you can slice them or keep them whole.


Now we will blanch the carrots. Blanching is a fancy word for boiling them in water for a few minutes to kill the enzymes in your vegetables that break down the nutrients over time. If you sliced or chopped your carrots, you will only need to blanch them for two minutes. For whole carrots, blanch for five minutes.


WHen they are finished boiling, strain the carrots and immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking as quickly as possible. Let them sit in the ice water bath for the same number of minutes that you blanched them for.


Finally, drain the carrots and lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet into the freezer for 12-24 hours until the pieces are individually frozen. This will help keep them easy to separate rather than freeze together in one giant clump. 


Put the pieces into a freezer ziplock bag, and you are ready for fresh carrots any time!