By Carol Harrison, RD.
Choosing carrots is simple: they should be firm, heavy for their size and free of blemishes, bruises and cracks. But do you know how to store them? Here’s how to prevent spoilage, reduce food waste and save money.
Good to know: Did you know that carrots are Canada’s fourth-largest vegetable crop?
Carrot storage tips
Carrots are one of the best healthy buys at the grocery store, and they’re versatile enough to enjoy in both sweet and savoury dishes. Carrots are also long-lasting – especially if you store them properly.
Raw whole carrots:
To maximize the shelf life of raw, unpeeled carrots, store them in the fridge in an airtight container (or keep them in the original plastic bag, if that’s how you bought them). They’ll last for three to four weeks. Keep carrots separate from apples, avocados and pears, which can impart bitter flavours.
TIP: For crisper carrots, remove the green tops before you store them. The greens may look pretty, but they suck the moisture out of the carrots, leaving them wilted. Carrot tops are edible and nutritious – but they’re also bitter, so try mixing them with salad greens.
Chopped raw carrots:
Chopped carrots and carrot sticks will keep for up to three weeks in the fridge if they’re wrapped in foil or stored in an airtight container. Baby carrots, matchstick carrots and crinkle-cut carrots dry out faster, so check the best-before date on each package.
TIP: Keep chopped veggies like carrots on hand and you might snack on them more often or use them for faster meal prep.
Store cooked carrots in an airtight container and they’ll last for three to five days in the fridge or up to 10 months in the freezer. Once thawed, cooked carrots last for three to four days in the fridge.
TIP: Previously frozen cooked carrots are best used in cooked dishes – see below for ideas.
Got a soggy carrot? You might be able to revive wilted carrots by immersing them in a bowl of ice water. Use less-than-crisp carrots in whole-grain muffins or soup, where the crunch won’t be missed.
5 ways to use leftover cooked carrots
Including more carrots in your meal plans is a great way to stretch your food budget. To save time in the kitchen, cook extra carrots and use them for:
- Carrot hummus: Puree cooked carrots into store-bought or homemade hummus.
- Nourish Bowls: Add chopped cooked carrots for a colourful nutrition boost.
- Mashed carrots: Whirl cooked carrots with cooked parsnips, rutabaga or sweet potatoes in a food processor.
- Soup: Add cooked carrots to canned to homemade soup. They’re delicious in both chunky and creamy soups.
- Savoury pies: Include cooked carrots in a beef or chicken pot pie or hand pies.
Want more tips? Read: 3 Fabulous Ways to Enjoy Carrots