Fresh vegetables are a delicious addition to your diet, but they do take a little bit of understanding if you want to eat them when they’re best and avoid bad produce. When it comes to carrots, a lot of people think that these veggies are practically invincible, although it’s not exactly true. They have a longer shelf life than many other vegetables, but how long do carrots last before going bad?
- How to Identify the Freshest Carrots
- How Long Do Carrots Last Outside the Fridge?
- How Long Do Carrots Last Inside the Fridge?
- Can Carrots Be Frozen for Longer Storage?
- When to Throw Away Your Carrots Because They Went Bad
How to Identify the Freshest Carrots
Since fresh fruit and vegetables don’t come with labels that tell you when they’re picked, it’s easiest to know how long it should last be understanding how fresh the carrots are to begin with. The freshest ones will still have the greens attached to the top, as if they were just picked within the last few days.
If they don’t have the greens, that doesn’t mean they aren’t still fresh. Fresh carrots should smell sweet, shouldn’t have any white dry spots on them, and should be firm all around the outside.
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How Long Do Carrots Last Outside the Fridge?
If you take your fresh carrots home and don’t use them all immediately, you can expect the unpeeled, unwashed whole carrots to last for around 7 – 10 days without spoiling. Any carrots that are peeled or cut will have a much shorter timeline of possibly 1 – 3 days. For the best storage, seal them in a plastic bad or an airtight container.
How Long Do Carrots Last Inside the Fridge?
Inside the fridge is where these yummy vegetables will last for a much longer time period. If you store them well, unpeeled whole carrots may even last up to 3 months. Peeled baby carrots or sliced carrots will probably last a shorter period closer to 3 – 4 weeks, as they don’t store moisture well enough.
To keep your carrots in their prime in the fridge, leave them as they are without washing them before you store them. Carrots should be in airtight containers or plastic bags, so the excess moisture from washing them is a bad addition to this space.
Don’t store your carrots with other fruits and veggies in the same space, because they can make the carrots go bad more quickly. For ideal storage, keep them sealed in a vegetable compartment with dry paper underneath the to soak up any moisture that gets released. Carrots should be stored dry, so the moisture coming out will only harm them if left to sit for too long.
Can Carrots Be Frozen for Longer Storage?
If you want your carrots to last for more than 1 year, such as when you buy in huge bulk amounts, than you will have to freeze the carrots. Take special care to do it right if you want the maximum freshness, nutrient retention, and coloring to last the entire time they’re frozen.
Start by peeling and blanching the carrots. Blanching is a simple process where you bring water to boil and toss vegetables in for 1 – 2 minutes to activate enzymes that will slow the decay of the veggies. Remove them from the blanching water and immediately put the carrots into a bowl of ice cold water to cool them down. Dry them off before proceeding. You will do this to keep your carrots in their best shape once they’re coming out of the freezer.
Wrap up all the carrots in an airtight container, followed by tin foil if possible to avoid freezer burn from long periods of storage. You can then put the carrots into your freezer and remove them again whenever needed. To prolong the storage, store at 0 degrees Fahrenheit consistently to keep them safe to eat for an indefinite period of time.
When to Throw Away Your Carrots Because They Went Bad
Carrots are not necessarily bad when they start looking a little out of the ordinary, and it’s actually really easy to tell when they’ve gone bad and when they’re still okay to eat. Carrots with white dry spots (called a white blush) all over their surface are simply dried out and dehydrated, and they are not bad to eat. This is the most common way to find carrots after a few weeks in the fridge, and it’s perfectly harmless, although your veggies may not taste as nice.
When they are limp or soft, that also does not indicate that they have gone bad. The only time these signs mean bad news is when they are mushy, gooey, moldy, smelly, or largely discolored. All of those are signs of carrots gone bad, and you should immediately throw them out!
Storing carrots is not that hard to do, because they have such long shelf lives compared to many other vegetables and fruits. However, it’s a good idea to know how long do carrots last, so you can keep up a healthy diet of fresh foods without eating anything that’s gone bad.