Good morning friends! ‘Tis the season to be completely consumed by processing food out of the garden. While so rewarding it can also seem overwhelming! That is why I do a mixture of storage techniques. From canning to freezing to ready pull packs. Today I’ll take you through my step by step process of storing garden fresh carrots in freezer form!
While this process is very similar to other preparations for the freezer like green beans or peas there is a little more work involved with carrots. You will want to peel them, which can be tedious if you have a very large harvest like we did!
To make matters easier and less messy, we did a pre-wash and prepare outside of our house! This involved snipping off the carrots leafy heads and also spraying them down with a high pressured setting on the hose. We didn’t scrub them down but instead just did enough rinsing to get the bulk of the soil off of them.
Storing Garden Fresh Carrots
Step 1: Prep
You will want to make sure that you have yourself set up with all of your supplies. This will not only make the process easier but also less time consuming. Once you get yourself on a roll, having to stop that process to go searching for “that pot or pan” can disrupt the groove!
I will keep all of my carrots in a large pot, at my side and a medium sized one to catch all of the scraps that will then go out to the chickens as compost!
You will cut both ends of your carrots, peel and then cut into appropriate sizes. I like to cut mine lengthwise and and half or thirds depending on the size of the carrot. This gives me the opportunity to make several different meals like carrots as a side dish, roast them or even cut them up smaller during cook time fo things like soups and stews!
If some are on the smaller size, as is, you can just leave them at that size! Put your cuts directly into a strainer and once you have a good batch go ahead and rinse them well.
Step 2: Blanch & Ice
Get a good size pot with water to a rolling boil on the stovetop. Carefully transfer your washed carrots into the boiling water. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Once the timer goes off, they go back to strainer and then directly to an ice bath! For the ice bath choose a pot that keeps nice and cold. Add in cold water and lots of ice!
Set another timer for 5 minutes. This will stop the cooking process and preserve the semi hard consistency of the carrots as well as their bright orange color.
Instead of straining them out of the cold water, I will pull them out by hand and place them onto a towel to dry. Allowing them to have enough time to dry almost completely.
Step 3: Pre-freeze & Store
Next, transfer them to flat baking sheets in a single layer. Each batch that I did made about two baking sheets worth of carrots and came out to two bags worth of dinners! (Dinner for 5)
Let them to sit flat in the freezer for 1-3 hours or until in the beginning phases of the freeze. This will allow you to store them without them getting clumped together and potentially turn into a carrot mush when you are ready to eat them.
Bring them out of the freezer and separate into bags depending on what meal size you would like.
Pull and enjoy for 10-12 months!
How amazing is it to not have to go to the grocery store to stock up on those frozen veggies? Also knowing that they are the freshest version there is.
Enjoy your hard work all year long by keeping pull and go backs for meals, garden fresh!
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Love, light and a little grace…
Olivia Whalen is mama to three young girls who is devoted to creative learning, exploration and free range imagination. Olivia enjoys thinking outside of the box when it comes to preparing homemade baby food or meals for her family. She most enjoys allowing the little minds in her life to flourish and with that you will see her write about creative kid crafts, recipes that fit a family budget and keep everyone asking for more, tips and tricks for a tiny babe, and beginner homesteader fun! Some of her hobbies include gardening, hiking, reading, cooking or just basking in motherhood.