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Carrots - in terms of the concentration of vitamins and useful minerals, one of the most popular products, especially in winter. For the preservation of root crops at home, the freezing method is excellent. With this method of storing carrots, it will retain all its nutrients and trace elements.
The article tells about the technology of freezing vegetable crops, about the possible difficulties and problems associated with this method of storing carrots. You can also watch a useful video on this topic.
Features of the structure of the root crop
Attention: Frozen carrots can be stored in the freezer until the next winter season if you select quality vegetables, follow the rules and be guided by knowledge of the process.
The peculiarities of the structure of the vegetable culture dictate the rules that are recommended to be followed in order for the freezing result to be successful. Consider them:
- For storage, carrots should be firm, well-structured, and sufficiently juicy.
- There should be no cracks, scratches or grooves on the surface of the fruit. Otherwise, when frozen, the moisture protruding on the skin will become ice. Which is highly undesirable for storage quality.
- Cone-shaped fruits contain more nutrients. This means that a vegetable, losing some of its vitamins during the freezing process, will be able to retain a certain amount of them.
Can carrots be kept in the freezer until spring?
Traditionally, carrots are stored in cool cellars and basements, packed in bags, or folded in boxes filled with moss, sawdust, sand. In the absence of storage, the vegetable crop can be frozen in the home refrigerator. And thus it is easy to save it. Freezing root vegetables is economically beneficial, since vegetables are more expensive in winter.... In addition, it helps to preserve most of the nutrients in vegetables.
One of the most convenient ways to store carrots is to freeze them in grated form. This method has the following advantages:
- Compactness is an important quality because more vegetables are frozen.
- Convenience for preparing first courses, stews, pilaf, etc.
The main disadvantage of grated carrots is that a strong seal in the container makes it difficult to divide it into portions.... Fractures on the ice crust break the structure of the vegetable. To work around this problem, grated carrots must be stored in one of the following ways:
- in small containers for one cooking;
- a strip in a long bag, folding it into a bar (when defrosting, it is enough to cut the required length);
- in bulk in a bulk bag (you need to shake it 2-3 hours after placing it in the freezer so that the vegetables do not freeze).
Advice: When grating carrots, choose the side of the grater where the holes are large. If this is not done, then the loss of carrot juice will be more significant.
We recommend watching a video about freezing grated carrots:
If the carrots are small, intact, all about the same size, then these vegetables can be stored in the freezer as a whole. Features of freezing whole carrots:
- root crops cannot be placed compactly, which means that less harvest can be saved, or a larger camera is required;
- vegetables take a long time to thaw.
How to keep whole carrots? To do this, it must be cleaned, blanched for three minutes, cooled in ice water, drained, dried and hidden in a container in the freezer.
When storing boiled root vegetables, vegetables lose most of their beneficial properties.... But sometimes such freezing is necessary so that you can quickly prepare baby puree, or use it for filling when baking.
Boiled carrots can be stored in two ways:
- whole fruits;
- in the form of mashed potatoes.
The whole process consists of the following steps:
- The vegetables should be washed (if we are making mashed potatoes, cut into pieces).
- Dip in cold unsalted water and bring to a boil.
- Cook for 20 to 35 minutes, depending on the size of the fruit.
- Remove the cooked carrots and place in containers. They must be tightly closed so that foreign odors do not penetrate the cooked product.
- For mashed potatoes, beat the vegetables with a blender and place in small ice containers (if it is intended for a child). Cool the finished puree quickly so that it does not darken.
A more gentle method of freezing thermally processed carrots - blanching... Cooked root vegetables are immersed in water for three minutes. The pulled carrots are doused with an ice stream of water, this must be done in order to lose less nutrients.
Boiled carrots have their own characteristics when defrosting:
- The vegetables pulled out of the freezer are first kept on the shelf in the refrigerator for two to three hours.
- The thawed product is placed in the microwave for further defrosting.
Important: Re-freezing boiled carrots is not recommended.
If you follow the technology of freezing carrots, then the shelf life in the freezer (at - 18 ° C) can be long - a year or a little less. At the same time, root crops, if they lose useful substances, it will not quickly. It is better not to use the leftovers from the last season for the next winter.... Date labels on frozen carrot bags will provide an indication of the expiration date.
Let's consider step by step the process of preparing carrots for storage in the freezer for the winter:
- Carrots must be picked fresh. If from the market, then with green, not withered tops, if from the garden, then immediately after digging. In terms of taste, it is better in spring freezing, it contains more vitamins.
- Sluggish and spoiled root vegetables are not suitable. You should choose vegetables of medium size, without stains and rot.
- Wash all selected root crops thoroughly, removing adhering dirt with a soft brush or sponge. Do not use detergents, it is better to change the water several times or wash it under running water.
- If the tops are still on the fruits, then they need to be cut off and set aside. It can be dried later and brewed.
- Peel the washed carrots, cut off the ends of the fruit on both sides. Rinse again.
- Before chopping a vegetable, you need to decide on the cutting shape: a whole root vegetable, grated, cubes, circles, straws. You can choose any thickness of the pieces.
- The blanching step is optional. It is preferable for dry, not juicy vegetables or very small ones. The vegetables are blanched in boiling water for 2-4 minutes, cooled in water using ice, the excess liquid is decanted and dried.
- After drying on clean napkins, the carrots are ready for the freezing process.
Optimal container options for freezing carrots:
- Vacuum bags... A convenient fastener allows you to hermetically close the container, which means that foreign odors are not allowed inside. It is better to choose small-sized packages for one cooking.
- Plastic containers with lids... Their ergonomic shape saves space in the freezer compartment.
How to store in the freezer?
After preliminary preparation of vegetables, you can proceed directly to freezing. An important rule for storing frozen vegetables is to comply with the conditions under which the products in the container do not stick together into one frozen lump. Otherwise, there will be a problem of separating part of the carrots, without damaging the rest of the fruits.
In order for the vegetables in the container to be crumbly, you should:
- Prepare a cutting board or tray.
- Spread the carrots evenly on it.
- Put the laid out fruits in the freezer for several hours.
- When they are slightly frozen, take out.
- Fold into a prepared container and return to the freezer compartment for long-term storage for the winter.
Placing slightly frozen carrots in a container, you should leave a little free space - with further freezing, the fruits will slightly increase in volume. If you use the "super freeze" mode of the refrigerator, you can quickly get frozen vegetables, put them in containers and send them to the camera for long-term storage.
To successfully preserve carrots in the freezer, you must follow certain rules:
- It is necessary to set the optimal thermal regime in the freezer - no higher than - 18 ° C.
- Over-compaction of vegetable bags in the chamber can lead to the formation of solid pieces of ice product, from which it will be very difficult to separate the desired portion.
- All containers and containers with frozen vegetables should be hermetically closed against the penetration of foreign odors.
- In the case of planned preventive maintenance of the refrigerator, in order to avoid unwanted defrosting of the product, it should be transferred to a cold place (to the balcony in winter). Can be wrapped in insulating material and overlaid with ice. A simulated "refrigerator" will save the carrots from defrosting for several hours.
There are other options for storing grated carrots without freezing. Let's consider them.
In a city apartment, carrots (pre-cut into thin circles or strips) are dried in the oven, in the microwave, on the balcony or in a special dryer. Dried root vegetables contain a large amount of nutrients... They are stored for up to a year in linen bags or containers without air access.
We recommend watching a video of drying carrots for long-term storage:
The vegetable can be used when preparing homemade preparations for the winter. Carrots in spicy and spicy canned salads have a long shelf life.
You can also dry carrot tops... Dried tops brewed with boiling water is a healthy and tasty drink.
What if something went wrong?
Even observing the technology of freezing carrots, you can face difficulties. Let's consider what problems may arise and how to solve them:
- In the process of cooking vegetables (especially when rubbing), it turned out that they secrete a lot of liquid. In order not to get separately frozen carrot juice and dry cake, it is better to process such fruits in a juicer.
- If the vegetables are found to be tough, not juicy, then the best way to freeze them would be boiling or blanching. This technique can be easily remedied.
- If the carrots are saturated with the smell of other products in the refrigerator, then you need to seal the packages and containers in which they are packed. Or put bags of rice grains in the refrigerator - they will absorb all foreign odors.
Additional tips and warnings
Here are some more additional tips. When freezing carrots for the winter, it is recommended to follow certain rules.:
- In order for the carrots to be tasty in a dish after defrosting, you need to choose a suitable variety: moderately juicy, well-structured.
- When peeling the fruits, carefully monitor whether the root crop has rotted inside. Such carrots can cause poisoning.
- If the root vegetable seems to smell like mold, it is best not to freeze it.
- Do not ignore the drying phase of the cut vegetables: use paper or cloth towels for this.
- The faster the freezing process takes place, the more vitamins in vegetables can be stored. First, in the freezer, you need to set the temperature to -35 ° C, and after the fruits are frozen, reduce to the optimal mode.
- Don't forget about alternative home storage methods.
The carrots stored in the freezer will delight the hostess with everyone: the opportunity to use the winter preparation at any time when preparing food, and taste, and ease of processing, and economy. Don't ignore this excellent root vegetable storage method. And the result will exceed all expectations!