The Best Way To Store Carrots To Keep Them Fresh And Crisp For Weeks

Who knew it was so simple?

There's always a race to the finish line when you bring home a big batch of fresh vegetables and fruit from the farmers' market or grocery store. Before you know it, it's the end of the week, and you have rotting asparagus and cilantro in the refrigerator. The plums? Forget about it! They were bruised and mushy days ago.

Different fruits and vegetables call for different approaches to ensure they stay fresh for as long as possible. Just like you wouldn't put a potato in the refrigerator (pantry only!), you don't necessarily treat herbs the same as berries or salad greens. In case you don't already know, there are some lesser-known but incredibly simple tricks for keeping crisp, crunchy veggies like carrots fresh in the refrigerator for weeks at a time.

Carrots being washed under flowing water

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Should You Rinse Carrots Before Storing?

If you plan to store carrots in a root cellar or a store-bought bag, wait until you intend to cook or use the carrots to wash them. Water left on carrots from rinsing can cause mold to grow, effectively ruining your efforts to preserve them.

What to Do with Your Vegetables Once They Start to go Soft
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What Causes Floppy or Soft Carrots?

Do you ever pull a bag of carrots out of the refrigerator only to find they've gone soft? Don't toss them quite yet. If your carrots look sad and floppy, they may just need a little TLC to get back to prime crispness. Here are a few reasons your carrots might be soft and what to do to fix them.

They're dehydrated

Your carrots might just need a big gulp of water. If you notice that your bag of carrots is bendy, place them in a glass jar or zip-top plastic bag and fill it with water to cover them. Check back in an hour; they should be firming right up.

If you notice this frequently with green-top carrots fresh from the farmers' market or garden, don't fret. Just cut the tops off prior to storing, as they pull moisture from the vegetable root as it sits in your crisper.

They're stored next to ethylene-producing fruits

Ethylene gas, released by fruits like apples, bananas, and pears, negatively affects root vegetables like carrots. It can cause a change in texture and color and cause carrots to rot prematurely. If you catch your carrots getting cozy with the apples in the crisper, check to make sure there is no mold or mushy, rotten spots on the carrots. Then separate the produce, and store your carrots in water to bring them back to life.

Can You Freeze Carrots?

Freezing carrots is always an option if you don't plan to use them immediately. You can freeze cooked or uncooked carrots, but start by scrubbing the vegetables to remove any dirt. Peel them too, if you prefer peeled carrots.

Next, you can shred or chop the carrots and store them in a freezer bag. Another option is to blanch them before freezing, which helps preserve the carrot's bright coloring.

How to Freeze and Thaw Fruits and Vegetables
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How To Keep Store-Bought Carrots Fresh

That big bag of carrots you bought at the grocery store will last several weeks with proper storage. Here are the best ways to keep your veggies fresh until you get around to them.

Store in an airtight container

To keep carrots their freshest and crunchiest, you only need to rethink how you store them. Keep them in an airtight container submerged in water, and you'll be a happy snacker. You can prep the carrots however you'd like, but the best way is to hold off on peeling the skin for the longest storage time. If you are eating them within a week or two, feel free to chop off the ends and peel them, storing them in a quick-to-use type of way.

This method also works well for celery and baby carrots, though you might want to lay the latter out on a towel to dry before eating. To prioritize long-term freshness, switch out the water every week. We love these airtight glass jars with cute, customizable labels to store prepared carrots and celery. Perishable? Not so much anymore! Carrots preserved this way can stay fresh for up to three weeks.

Best Way to Store Carrots
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Use a root cellar

The most effective method for storing carrots is to use a root cellar. A root cellar is usually completely or partly underground and used to keep fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other canned or packaged goods in a cool, dark place. Pack your unwashed carrots in a root cellar in a sealed container to keep them fresh for months. Carrots stored properly can stay fresh for up to six months in a root cellar.

How to Store Home-Grown Carrots

When buying carrots from a farmers' market or growing your own in a garden, removing the green tops from your carrots as soon as you bring them into your kitchen is essential. The leafy green tops of carrots draw moisture away from the root, which makes them dry out faster.

Carrots on Kitchen Towel

But you don't have to throw those greens away. Use them to make a pesto instead of basil, or chop them into a gremolata in place of parsley. Carrot greens have a slightly peppery bite, so they'll be put to great use in these versatile sauces.

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