Saturday, September 24, 2011

Preserving Carrots

I wanted to share how we keep the abundance of carrots that we grow in our garden for most of the winter.  I didn't blog much about my garden this year because 3/4 of it was carrots.  We had a couple rows of sugar snap peas that did OK this year and 4 pepper plants but other than that our little plot was covered with carrot greens.  And weeds.  But mostly carrot greens.  We pulled them earlier this year (mid-September) because last year we waited until October and they were TOO big.  When they get too big they taste more bitter.  I used them just fine in stews and pot roasts over the winter but they didn't taste quite right raw.  This year we pulled them at just the right time and they taste great.

To store carrots during the winter months all you need is a container large enough to hold everything, some moist/damp sand and your carrots.  You'll want to layer the sand and carrots until you run out of carrots and then cover it all up with one last layer of sand.  I took this picture before the final layer.  Then you just remove carrots as you need them.  Keep a lid on the container to keep out bugs and store in a cool, dark place such as a basement or a garage.

Some important things to keep in mind as you are placing your carrots into the sand is to keep about an inch of greens at the top, don't break or cut off any of the thin root extending from the bottom and watch for bruised or split spots.  Any damaged ones can just be placed in the refridgerator to be used within the month.  Not following these guidelines will cause the carrot to eventually rot.  It won't affect any of the other carrots in the bin so if you miss something a find a rotten carrot a few months later, just toss it and use another one.

I have actually read that stored carrots increase in their nutritional value during the first 6 months in storage.  So "aged" carrots are actually a bit healthier to eat.
 Two little rabbits with their carrots.
I will have another post soon about the other foods I have preserved this year.  I like to keep a count of jars or bags of each type of fruit and vegetable that I put up each summer so I have a better idea of how much we go through during the winter and how much I will need to do the following summer.

1 comment:

  1. This was very helpful. The bigger the carrots are the less flavorful and more bitter they become. I have a 3lb bag of huge carrots and will try to glaze or candy them to help them recover. Thanks.