Carrots are just amazing as an ingredient. They can be used in lots of different types of dishes, both savoury and sweet. They are also fairly cheap to buy and because of that they often come in a large 1 kg bags.
Maybe because of that, I sometimes end up with black, slimy carrots in the shop bough plastic packaging. But, I don’t like to waste food, so I usually just cut off all the bad areas and use the carrots up.
Since, I wasn’t entirely sure whether this was right or not, I’ve decided to dedicate this blog post to saving a humble carrot!
Take the carrots from the plastic packaging
The worse thing you can do is to keep the carrots in the plastic bag it came in. If you don’t have the time, space or the inclination, at least open the bag to let some air in to prevent the carrots going black too quickly.
Keep your carrots somewhere cold
This doesn’t necessarily have to be a fridge, but some place in your kitchen where it’s cold. We keep our carrots in the cupboard next to the outer wall, which never gets any sun. It’s fairly cold there even in the summer.
To keep your carrots in the fridge, first open the bag, wash the carrots, dry them and then place them in the fridge without any wrapping. I usually use the fruit & veg compartment at the bottom of the fridge.
Don’t buy, what you can’t eat straightaway
This one makes a sense, but it’s not always so practical. Often you’ll see supermarkets selling large bags of carrots much cheaper than the loose variety. It’s so tempting just to pick a 1-2 kg of carrots, even if you don’t know what to do with them all.
Make food recipes that need a lot of carrots
- Carrot Cake or cupcake
- Carrot Biscuits
- Roasted carrots
- Dried carrot chips
Preserve your carrots
You can easily bottle and preserve your carrots if you have a bumper crop of them from your garden or somebody gives you a large quantity of carrots.
If you have a space in your freeze, this is probably the easiest way to preserve your carrots. Clean them and chop them into round slices or lengthways depending on how you intend to use them afterwards.
Storing carrots over winter the oldfashioned way
If you grow your own carrots, you might like to try this tried and tested way of storing them for the winter. I remember my grandfather doing this and the carrots lasted all the way from late autumn to the late spring.
He stored them in a deep cold cellar that was dug up into the side of the hill in his farm, where the temperature even in the summer was a constant 5-8C like in the fridge. I was always scared to go down there when we were sent to pick up some carrots and potatoes for dinner.
Here is what you do:
Harvest your carrots and only chop the green tops leaving about 10 cm left. Don’t worry about washing them. Use a deep bucket or other suitable container and partly fill it with fine sand. Stick the carrots in, leaving space between them, so that they don’t touch. Add more sand until they are covered leaving the top and the green leaves out.
Keep them somewhere cold and dark and use them up within 3 months. It’s best to keep checking them once in the while to make sure they haven’t started to go off.