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We usually have a decent amount of carrots from our garden each year. While I really love canning a lot of our produce, some things I simply prefer to freeze. We don’t have a root cellar here or I’d probably go that route. However, we are blessed to have a nice large deep freeze and I put a few vegetables in there at harvest time to fill it up and use throughout the year.
Freezing carrots, any vegetable really, is incredibly easy. It doesn’t take a lot of time, I believe the carrots especially retain more flavor, and I can use them as if they were fresh out of the garden. If I can them, they’re tender and I have to throw them in toward the end of my cooking. While this isn’t a huge deal, I’d rather just put them in at the start like I’m used to.
Just like canning, it’s nice that they’re already measured out. Unlike canning, they aren’t cooked and they aren’t jarred in liquid, so no draining required. I just grab a jar and toss them right into whatever I’m making. I don’t have the prep work of peeling and chopping them, and they’re still as healthy and beneficial as they were straight out of the garden.
If you’re scared of canning, you shouldn’t be. However, preserving food by freezing is a great start on your way to keeping back your food. The only catch is, if you’re without power, you could potentially lose your preserved foods, so use this method wisely. I don’t, and would never recommend, preserving all of your foods by freezing. There is more than one way to preserve foods and I recommend you utilize as many as you can. Canning food is far more sustainable in the event of power loss. Root cellaring is also a great thing to learn more about and doesn’t require any “recipe” just a root cellar. Just a few things to keep in mind while gardening and deciding which foods to preserve which way is all ;).
Preserving the Harvest: How to Freeze Carrots
- Carrots (10 lbs will yield roughly 24 cups of sliced carrots)
- Freezer safe jars, bowls, or bags
- A large stock pot
- Ice Water
- Sharp Knife
- Start by washing, peeling, and slicing your carrots. Remove each end of each carrot. You can slice them in thin slices, julienne them, cube them, however. Just chop them up however you prefer. I always slice mine.
- Take a large stock pot and fill it full of water. Bring this water to a boil. With another large pot, bowl, or plugged sink basin, fill it full of cold water add ice to keep it nice and cold.
- Once the water is boiling, go ahead and place your carrot pieces in the pot of boiling water. Boil them for 2 minutes.
- Remove the carrots from the boiling water and immediately immerse them into the ice cold water. Cool them for 2 minutes.
- Place carrots on a towel and dry them off so you don’t have a bunch of extra water in your bags or jars.
- Place in freezer safe jar or bowl, leaving 1/2″ of headspace and put lid on it. Conversely you can place them in freezer bags, and remove the air by immersing the bag full of carrots in water up to the zipper and zipping while immersed.
- Label, date, and place in freezer immediately.
- Carrots will keep up to one year, after that they will still be ok to eat, they just won’t taste as good as they used to is all.
We usually put up a decent amount of carrots this way every year. It makes it nice to cut down on the prep work and they still retain a lot of their flavor.