To find the best answer for the question “how long do carrots last?” I suggest you should take time to discover more about this plant. Carrots are one of the oldest and most widely cultivated root vegetables in the world. The Romans called carrots the queen of vegetables.
They were first grown in Afghanistan around 900 AD. Many people know carrots for their distinctive bright orange color. But in fact, carrots also come in various categories with several colors, such as purple, yellow, red, and white.
This healthy ingredient is versatile and can easily find its way in various raw and cooked recipes.
If you’re thinking of stocking a bunch of carrots in your home, you’re probably wondering about their shelf life and proper storage. This article is made just for you.
How Long Do Carrots Last?
If by any chance, you’ve learned whether carrots can go bad or not, I’m certain that you’d want to also find out how long they can last. After all, with all the various benefits carrots can bring about, it’ll be unfortunate to let these vegetables go to waste.
So why are carrots such a staple in the pantry? They are easy to grow, easy to find, and easy to cook. Science has also shown that carrots are rich in vitamin A and good for eye health, so regularly incorporating this root vegetable into the family meal is a good idea.
Whole carrots can stay fresh in the pantry for up to 4 days, depending on the temperature. If you put them in the fridge, whole carrots can be kept for at least 4-5 weeks, while sliced, cooked, and pureed carrots hold up for 4-5 days.
Baby carrots last about one week shorter in the fridge than mature ones.
To prolong their freshness, I suggest you put them in the freezer. This way, you can keep your carrots for up to 10-12 months.(1)
|Types||In the pantry||In the Fridge||In the Freezer|
|Carrot (Whole)||2-4 days||4-5 weeks||10-12 months|
|Baby carrot||3-5 days||3-4 weeks||6-9 months|
|Cut/Sliced/Chopped carrot||Not recommended||4-5 days||12 to 18 months|
|Cut/Sliced carrot in Water||Not recommended||7 days||Not recommended|
|Cooked/Pureed carrot||6 hours||4-5 days||6 to 9 months|
For more detailed information, let’s find out how long carrots last and how to take care of them properly:
How Long Do Carrots Last In The Pantry?
It’s recommended that you shouldn’t let carrots sit outside for too long because bacteria develop fast at temperatures from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If you store them properly, in dry and cool places, carrots last up for 2-4 days.
However, since day two, they might start to lose their flavor gradually. It’s also said that being left in the pantry for a long time can affect their texture.
It’s important to point out that you shouldn’t forget to remove all carrot leaves before storing them.
How Long Do Carrots Last In The Refrigerator?
Raw whole carrots can stay fresh in the fridge from 4-5 weeks, while baby carrots can last 3-4 weeks because the former has tougher skin than the latter.
If you have sliced or chopped your carrots, they might have a shorter storage time compared to whole ones and only last for 2-3 weeks. Refrigeration is a way to go in case you want to extend the shelf life of this root vegetable.
How Long Do Carrots Stay Fresh In The Freezer?
Like most vegetables, carrots should go through the blanching process. This way, you not only can keep a bunch of carrots safe for up to 10-12 months but also retain their nutrition, flavor, and texture when fresh.
As you might not know, enzyme activity can cause the degradation of food quality and reduce the conservation period. The blanching method (boil or steam foods first, then plunge them into iced water) can help slow or deactivate enzymes in meat, vegetables, and fruits. (2)
It might take you several minutes, but for the sake of your carrots, you shouldn’t skip this step. Also, to protect your carrots from freezer burns, you need to put the carrots inside good containers designed specifically for freezers.
If you’re new to the blanching process, you could watch the following video to learn how:
How Long Do Cut Carrots Last?
Cut carrots might be good for lunchbox and many other recipes. If stored in the airtight container in the fridge, cut carrots can last for up to 4-5 days. However, they tend to get dried and don’t taste as good as the fresh ones.
There’s a tip here: if you submerge them in water, this root vegetable can stay a bit longer, about 1 week, and more importantly, they can keep their original flavor and texture. (3)
How Long Do Carrots Last When Cooked?
Cooked carrots are only edible in about 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Therefore, you should prioritize using them before other ingredients in the pantry so that they can maintain their flavor and nutrition.
If you don’t think you can use it all, just cook a small amount and cook more if needed.
How Long Does Pureed Carrot Last In The Fridge?
Pureed carrots are versatile and convenient. It can be added to baked goods, soups, and other recipes, especially for baby foods. Once equipped with top blenders for vegetable smoothies, you’ll find that preparing pureed carrots is surprisingly quick and easy.
If you store pureed carrot in an airtight container, it can last for up to 6 hours at room temperature and 5 days in the fridge. Generally, people tend to put this ready-to-use ingredient into an ice cube tray and freeze it. This way, you can keep it safe for quite a long time.
Do Carrots Go Bad?
Looking at those crunchy, firm, and fresh carrots, you might think that they had long-lasting preservation time. But, in fact, they can spoil quite quickly if you don’t know the right way to store them.
Like other vegetables, carrots don’t have any specific expiration date; they still start to decay visibly throughout time.
You can refer to several sources, including my article, to get an estimate of the shelf life of carrots. Do keep in mind that you should use your best judgment to decide when to throw them away.
Signs To Tell If Carrots Have Gone Bad
For experienced homemakers, it’s pretty easy for them to realize when carrots have gone bad. To make everything more accessible, I have listed some clear indicators below so that everyone can consult when needed:
If carrots start rotting, they will give out an unpleasant odor. That means bacteria have thrived, and these carrots are inedible.
Look At The Green Tops
If you forget to remove carrot leaves, you could pay attention to them to decide if your carrots are okay or not because they absorb moisture from the root. Usually, once the green tops have dried, the root part also becomes harder and harder over time due to the loss of water.
Check Its Consistency
If carrots lose their crunchiness and firmness and become soft and rubber-like, it’s recommended that you shouldn’t consume them, and it’s time to toss them in the trash – the same goes for slimy and mushy carrots.
Check For White Spots
The appearance of white blush tells you that carrots are starting to lose moisture and become dry. So it’s better to plan to consume them as soon as possible
Pay Attention To Black Spots
Dark spots on carrots are most likely caused by a fungus called Alternaria radicina. Did you leave them in a place with high temperature and humidity? The solution is to remove all black spots, and they are safe to use.
Sometimes if you look closely, it’s just mud stains clinging to carrots after harvesting. You just need to wash them off before cooking.
How To Store Carrots Properly?
Do you know how to store carrots in the right way? Let’s find out some popular way to do this
Remove Green Parts
To preserve carrots for a long time, you should use a sharp and firm Chinese cleaver to cut the tops before putting them in the refrigerator because the tops of carrots are often the cause of losing moisture and nutrients of carrots.
However, these leaves contain a high content of vitamins; therefore, you can keep them in a separate container and use them for soups and other recipes.
Store In The Pantry
If you are going to cook the carrot later in the day or the next few days, then keeping them in the pantry at room temperature is completely fine. Preferably store them in a dark and dry place.
Remember to keep them away from other high-ethylene-producing vegetables and fruits, which can accelerate the rotting process.
Store In The Fridge
To maintain their freshness, putting carrots in a plastic bag is essential. This way, you can keep them moist and prolong storage time considerably
You can go the extra miles by wrapping your vegetables with a damp paper towel because they tend to get dehydrated quickly in the fridge
There is a well-known storage method submerging your carrots in water and keeping them in the fridge. Don’t forget to change the water every few days.
Make A Puree
I suggest you make a puree and keep it in the freezer for up to several months. Carrot puree is pretty versatile and can be used conveniently when cooking.
If you have a food dehydrator, it’s time for it to do some works! Put the cut carrots on the tray, set a temperature at 125 degrees F, and let them stay for several hours.
Place the dehydrated carrots in a jar and use them up in a year.
Keep Them Canned
Another way to extend carrots’ life is canning. For the best result, you need to peel and slice carrots then put them in sterilized jars. Next, process them in a pressure canner for about 30 minutes.
Freeze Raw Carrots
People often blanch carrots before putting them into the freezer. But you can freeze raw carrots.
To optimize the result, you should first slice it into thin pieces and then arrange them evenly on a baking sheet. Instead of putting all of them in the freezer-safe plastic bag immediately, you could freeze carrot slices for 2-3 hours before relocating them.
Storing Carrots In The Fridge – Pros And Cons
Let’s discover the pros and cons when storing carrots in the fridge by checking out the following list below:
- Carrots could stay fresh for up to 5 weeks in the fridge
- Storing carrots in the refrigerator could be one of the most effective methods
- It’s quick and easy
- No need to wash and cut
- You just need a damp paper towel and a plastic bag or airtight container
- The carrots may dry out a bit
- Quite challenging to stock up on a lot
- You should keep them unwashed to last longer
- Might need some prep work to remove green leaves
Additional Tips To Store Carrots
Here are a few more suggestions to help you slow down the deterioration of carrots. Read and follow to ensure expected results:
- It would be helpful if you don’t wash the carrot until you’re going to use it right away
- Remove any leaves from the top of the carrot
- Once you put the carrot into a plastic bag, you should seal it tightly. Remember to remove excess air before closing the bag
- Although you can store carrots in the fridge for up to 5 weeks, you should plan on eating them as soon as possible
- Keep the carrot in the coolest section of your fridge
Do you have any questions related to carrot’s shelf life and storage? I’ve gathered some popularly-asked one in this section so that you can refer to easily. Read and thank me later
Keep Your Carrots Fresh
My family loves carrots, so I often stock them in case I need them. More importantly, I have never run out of ideas on how to cook this healthy root vegetable.
Although it doesn’t have any specific flavor, it goes well with many other ingredients and can be ready in few minutes.
What I like most about carrots is that they add bright color to the dish and make it more palatable.
Apparently, you can keep carrots in your pantry, but holding them in the fridge or the freezer will prolong their shelf life considerably.
Old carrots are supposed to lose nutrition, flavor, and texture; therefore, you should use them up as soon as possible.
Can you share with me your experiences with this root vegetable? Drop some line below to let me know your thoughts.
- Stilltasty.com. 2021. How Long Do Raw Carrots Last in the Fridge?. [online] Available at: <https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16704>
- En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Blanching (cooking) – Wikipedia. [online] Available at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blanching_(cooking)>
- Marr, K., 2021. Prep Day: How to Keep Cut Carrots and Celery Fresh and Crisp – Live Simply. [online] Live Simply. Available at: <https://livesimply.me/how-to-keep-cut-carrots-celery-fresh-crisp-prep-hack/>
Table of Contents
- How Long Do Carrots Last?
- How Long Do Carrots Last In The Pantry?
- How Long Do Carrots Last In The Refrigerator?
- How Long Do Carrots Stay Fresh In The Freezer?
- How Long Do Cut Carrots Last?
- How Long Do Carrots Last When Cooked?
- How Long Does Pureed Carrot Last In The Fridge?
- Do Carrots Go Bad?
- Signs To Tell If Carrots Have Gone Bad
- How To Store Carrots Properly?
- Storing Carrots In The Fridge – Pros And Cons
- Additional Tips To Store Carrots
- Keep Your Carrots Fresh
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