Carrots are a versatile vegetable and can be used in all manner of dishes – ranging from sweet to savoury. Vegetable preparation is fairly straightforward, but if you want to make your veggies last for longer – one method to do so is blanching.
During the lockdown, more and more Britains are taking time to cook meals from scratch, and turning to Google for recipes and cooking methods.
Data from SEMrush found searches for ‘How to blanch carrots’ increased by a staggering 1614.29 percent from February to April.
As the nation spends more time in the kitchen cooking from scratch, and visit the shops less due to lockdown conditions, preserving fresh food for longer has become essential.
One such method for preservation is – of course – freezing, but to ensure the quality and test of your veggies – blanching them before freezing is recommended.
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According to the National Centre for Home Food Preservation: “Blanching (scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short time) is a must for almost all vegetables to be frozen.
“It stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavour, colour and texture.
“Blanching cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the colour and helps retard loss of vitamins.”
Express.co.uk has put together a guide for blanching carrots below.
How to blanch carrots
Remove the green stems and wash your carrots thoroughly.
If there is a lot of dirt stuck to them, you might even want to wash them twice, just to be sure!
Peeling the carrots is not necessary, but if you want to save time later you can peel them.
Cut carrots to your preferred size – this can be in rounds, in quarters or however you like.
You can use a food processor or mandolin for consistency.
Fill a large pot about two-thirds full of water and bring to boil.
Add cut carrots to the boiling water, and once the water and carrots return to a boil, watch the timer carefully.
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Boil (blanch) your carrots for three minutes if sliced or julienned or five minutes for whole baby carrots.
Keep the water boiling for the next batch of carrots as you cool and drain the first batch.
Immediately scoop out the carrots and cool them instantly in an ice water bath.
The ice water will help ensure the carrots don’t continue to cook from their own heat.
Drain the carrots well and place meal-sized portions in freezer bags.
Try – if possible – to remove as much air from the bags as you can.
Try using a straw tucked in the corner of the bag to suck out the air – this will work similarly to vacuum sealing.
Label and date the carrots, they will keep in the freezer for up to a year.
When using, cook as normal and make sure the carrots are piping hot before serving.
You can add the carrots to stir fry, bolognese, defrost for salads and more.
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