Blanching carrots is a good way to prepare them for freezing, or to soften them a little to use in salads. Here's how to do it!
Do you ever go the bottom of the vegetable tray in your fridge, only to discover a half-used bag of carrots rotting away?
We are all guilty of this from time to time - but there's a simple way to avoid wasting leftover carrots.
Rather than trashing them, why not consider blanching them the next time you have extras so that you are able to freeze them for later use?
You can also blanch carrots if you wanted to serve them raw in a salad, which just slightly reduces their bite, making them deliciously crisp.
Won't frozen carrots turn mushy?
Freezing carrots, and other vegetables, typically causes them to lose flavor, vibrancy and texture. But blanching carrots prior to freezing actually cleanses them, brightens their colour and stops any loss of nutrients and vitamins. Blanched carrots don't turn mushy when thawed - instead, they will taste fresh and delicious when you use them.
Do be mindful, however, that over blanching carrots can have the opposite effect – exactly what we are trying to avoid!
How to blanch carrots
Start by rinsing them well under running water to remove any dirt.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off and discard; removing the skin helps improve their taste and texture when blanched.
You can choose to either slice, dice or julienne your carrots (perhaps depending on what they will be used for later). Regardless of the way you choose to chop your carrots, be sure to keep them uniform in size so they cook evenly.
To prepare for blanching, fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water; this will immediately stop the carrots from cooking once they have been in the boiling water.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and season to taste with salt. Ensure the water is at a rapid boil and add your carrots.
Allow them to boil for 2-5 minutes, with more time for larger cut carrots or larger quantities.
As soon as the time is up, drain the carrots quickly and place them into the bowl of ice water. Let them sit in the ice water for the same amount of time they had blanched in the boiling water.
Once it is time to remove them from the water, allow them to drain on a paper towel, patting dry.
You can now either use them as required, in a salad for example, or place them into a zip-top bag and freeze. If stored well in an airtight container or bag, they can be kept in your freezer for up to 14 months!
Preparing carrots in this manner is a great way to get lots of carrots (and other veggies too!) prepped for future meals, thereby saving you time in the long run.
That way, when they are needed, you can simply grab your zip-top bag of pre-prepared veggies to toss right in!