How Long Do Carrots Last After Harvest?
Carrots are a great source of nutrients, especially vitamins A, C, and carotene that are good for the body. It is considered a particularly good and nutritious food for young children. That is why mothers often pay attention to this plant and choose carefully when buying them.
Still, the shelf life of carrots is variable, depending on the ways you store them. Here are some pieces of information about “How long do carrots last?” and several useful ways to preserve them.
The Shelf Life of Carrots and How to Store Them
As stated above, how long carrots can last depends largely on different storage conditions. In this article, we will divide the shelf life of carrots based on the locations where carrots are stored. You can be storing carrots at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer.
At Room Temperature
Normally, bacteria grow quickly in the temperature range of 4 to 60 Celsius degrees, which is equivalent to 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Within this temperature range, in 2 hours, bacteria can multiply by million times. Thus, you should not leave your carrots at room temperature for too long as they can be less tasty, lose the texture, and even worse, get spoiled.
In fact, if your carrots are high-quality and fresh, you can leave it at room temperature for 1 or 2 days, but you should anticipate that it will not be fresh and delicious as before.
However, there are 2 things that you should pay attention to.
First of all, you should keep carrots away from other vegetables as they can emit ethylene gas when they are ripe. This gas contributes to the ripening and rotting process, which not only makes your carrots rot quicker but also affects negatively other fruits and vegetables nearby.
Secondly, please do not put them in a plastic bag. When stored in plastic bags, the moisture produced inside can speed up the growth of the mold, making your carrots no longer suitable for eating.
In the Fridge
The shelf life of whole raw carrots in the fridge is about 3 to 5 weeks. Meanwhile, cooked carrots can only last for 1 week in the fridge.
When it comes to baby carrots, they have a shorter shelf life than adult carrots. As they have less protective skin, baby carrots are bad after 1 or 2 weeks.In short, this method is suitable for those who want to keep carrots only in the short term.
Step 1: Remove the greens to draw the moisture away from your carrots.
Remember not to wash them before putting inside the fridge in order to reduce the amount of moisture.
Step 2: Keep them in plastic bags.
Step 3: Place an absorbent kitchen paper towels under the bags and put them in the vegetable drawer.
The paper will absorb all the moisture produced from the carrots, keeping the carrots dry and free of mold. Still, please check on the carrots once or twice a week to make sure that the paper is not damp.
In the Freezer
You can freeze the carrots for longer expiration dates and this is a good choice for long-term storage. However, you need to prepare some things before putting them in the freezer.
- Step 1: Wash your carrots carefully to remove dirt.
- Step 2: Peel the carrots and slice them into round pieces.
- Step 3: Boil them for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Step 4: Cool them down in the cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Step 5: Drain them. Then, put them in the freezer bags and place them in the freezer.
Freezing carrots can be kept in high quality for up to a year. However, it is important to bear in mind that you need to blanch the carrots. Without blanching, frozen carrots still can satisfy food safety, but their textures, colors, and flavors will become worse and they can lose the nutritional values.
Read more: How To Store Okra In The Long Term
Buying Guides for Best Carrots
Choose the bright, smooth, and firm carrots. It would be best to choose carrots with intact stems and fresh greens.
Do not choose carrots with many greens because they are often not delicious and sweet.
Besides, you should avoid carrots with black spots. Black spots are the signs of being left for too long, and thus, the nutrients will be converted into toxins that are not good for health.
Do not buy carrots that are too large, it is often not sweet. Small carrots are usually softer and more flavorful.
How do You Know if Carrots have Gone Bad?
You can tell if carrots have gone bad or not through 3 main ways, which are looking, feeling, and smelling.
Over time, carrots may develop white blush due to the dehydration. It is very easy to detect white blush. If you find any white dot on their surface, then white blush has appeared and you should consume your carrots quickly.
In fact, carrots with white blush are edible but they are not as delicious as fresh ones.
Besides, if there are black spots on the carrots, then it has begun to be infected. Although carrots with black spots remain safe for human health, you should remove the spots before cooking your carrots.
Carrots are bad when they have gone mushy or floppy, and thus, you had better put them in the garbage. A slimy carrot means that it has gone off and is no longer safe to eat.
Fresh carrots do not emit any smell, while rotten carrots have a really strong smell. Thus, when the carrots give off a rotten smell, it is no longer edible and should be thrown away.
Next post: How To Store Potatoes
Carrots are good for human health thanks to the high nutritional value. They can improve the eyesight as well as reducing heart-related problems. Still, if they are not properly stored, they can produce toxins.
Thus, needless to say, you should know inside out “How long do carrots last?” and some storage tips. Hopefully, our article today will help you!
If you have any related questions, feel free to contact gardening101.net. And now, thanks for reading!