Few veggies boast the versatility of the humble carrot: Their satisfying crunch makes ‘em a favorite snack, no stew or soup would be the same without the mild sweetness they impart, and their eye-catching color perks up any plate. Yep, this is one vegetable we can’t do without—which is why it’s a real drag when we reach into the bag for a snappy stick and realize our favorite root is soft. If this scenario sounds familiar, you’ll be relieved to hear we discovered the secret to keeping this kitchen staple fresh. Read on for the full scoop on how to store carrots so you won’t be stuck with a limp noodle the next time you’re craving something crisp.
How to Store Carrots So They Don’t Go Soft
How to Store Carrots in the Fridge
The fridge is the most popular place to store carrots, and fortunately, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Carrots will stay firm and garden-fresh in the fridge for up to a month—but that doesn’t mean you can chuck that produce bag in the crisper drawer and call it a day. Carrots have a habit of drying out, but the problem is easily solved with a little water. As soon as you bring those bright-orange babies home, put them in a plastic container filled with water so they are completely submerged. Note: If your carrots came with the green tops attached, be sure to cut those off first—the stems suck water away from the taproot (i.e., the part you eat) and will make your carrots go soft unless removed. Once your carrots are soaking, put a lid on the Tupperware to create an airtight seal and store them in the fridge away from other fruits and veggies, which will cause them to spoil sooner. Follow these guidelines and your carrots will stay firm and crunchy for up to four weeks—just be sure to change the water every four to five days or they might get gross before you can get to them.
How to Store Carrots in a Cellar
If you want to save space in your fridge and have access to a basement or cellar, you can stick your carrots down there instead. Carrots will happily live in a cool, dark space for up to six months. You don’t need water for this method—simply place unwashed carrots (green tops removed) in a large bucket and cover them with sand. This option isn’t as convenient as the fridge but it’s ideal for longer-term storage. (So basically, that bag of carrots will be delicious as both a summer snack and a Thanksgiving side.)
How to Freeze Carrots
Bought a big bag of carrots from the store and now you don’t know what to do with them? Freeze those bad boys and use ‘em for future stir-fries, soups, casseroles and more. The trick for how to freeze carrots is to blanch them first. Once partially cooked in boiling water and then rapidly cooled, bag those orange spears and place them in the back of your freezer where they’ll keep for up to 12 months.