As you may have seen from my previous post,we did pretty well with our carrots this year. We wound up with approx. 8 lbs! We love carrots,but don't want to eat them morning,noon,and night,so of course,we had to preserve them. The choices:canning,freezing,or sticking them in damp soil in a bucket.
I opted for freezing,and keeping some to the side for meals this week,as well as some for Richie.
Now,many folks may think one just throws carrots in a freezer bag and plops them in a freezer (by many folks I mean me...I actually never preserved carrots,though). It requires a bit more than that,but not much. You have to blanch the carrots. Blanching is putting veggies in boiling water for a short period of time,then putting them in freezing water briefly,which stops the cooking process.It helps keep taste,color,texture from enzyme actions,cleans the surface of any left over dirt,and helps stop loss of vitamins,
The size of pot you boil them in depends on the size of the batch you wish to process. I used a dutch oven pot. While the water was coming to boil, cut off the ends....
.....and peeled them. I also set a large bowl in the sink and filled it with ice water. Since we have an artesian well,the water is very cold,so I didn't need to use ice cubes. I
What to do with all the peelings and ends? Compost them,of course!!!
I cut the carrots into thin slices.(some thinner than others!) You can julienne them if you wish.
I put them in the boiling water and then waited for the water to come to a second boil. At this point,I boiled the slices for two minutes. ( Julienne carrots or baby carrots require a different boiling time).
At the end of two minutes,I took the pan off heat,and quickly scooped out the carrots with a slotted spoon into the ice water. I let them sit in the water for 2-3 minutes.
I then drained the carrots and refilled by ice water bowl for the next batch. You can reuse the boiling water again,if you wish. If not,use fresh water.
You want to get as much of the water out of the carrots as possible before you bag them.
Fill your freezer bag. I used a gallon bag. You should leave an inch or so of space at the top,but get as much air as possible out of the bag. I had been pressing on the bag to let out air,so that's why the bag looks full.
Write the date on the bag,and plop in your freezer! Ours went into our deep freezer downstairs. We will take out what we need for meals throughout the winter.