Tired of throwing out that bag of carrots before you get to use them? In this post, I’ll show you how to store carrots of all sizes, so they never go to waste!
Whether you use carrots for healthy snacks or toss them into stir-fries and soups, the following method and tips will show you the best way to keep carrots fresh, whether you buy them whole, peeled, or cut.
Keeping Carrots Fresh & Crisp
The secret to keeping cut carrots fresh is to refrigerate them in an airtight container filled with water. Otherwise, they will soften over time and develop that pale white exterior.
Alternatively, without any moisture and depending on where in the fridge you keep them, they will often dry out and look white on the outside (this often happens with baby carrots).
While I show you a helpful tip that can revive “sad” carrots, it’s best to avoid that mishap in the first place, which leads me to the most important part:
How to Store Carrots
Now, here’s where I break down the best method for storing whole carrots step-by-step:
Storing Carrots to Keep Them Fresh
Remove the carrots from the plastic bag and rinse them under running water. Use your hands to remove any visible dirt.
- Remove green stems
Use a chef’s knife to carefully remove the green stem and the very top of the carrot.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrots and prep them in the fashion for which they will be used- recipes, snacks, etc.
- Fill it up
Place the prepped carrots into an airtight container and fill it with enough water to cover the entire layer.
Close the container and refrigerate the carrots for 3 to 4 weeks.
Storing Carrots in Water
Once you peel carrots, they lose moisture quickly; storing them in water extends their shelf life for up to 4 weeks and preserves the crisp texture. You can also do this with baby carrots or limp, dried-out carrots, as the cold water will help revive them.
Don’t be mistaken; not all carrots are salvageable. If they are soft and have a slimy surface, it’s time to toss them into the trash or compost bin.
Storing Carrots After Cutting
Depending on how quickly you plan to use them, carrots that have been chopped or sliced should be stored in water or wrapped in a damp paper towel.
If you’re prepping them the night before or a couple of days ahead, use the paper towel trick; if you’d like to keep them on hand longer, use the water bath method.
Baby carrots are the sweetheart of lunchbox veggies, and they either dry out or get slimy when not properly stored.
Once you open a bag of baby carrots, they will stay in that same bag for about a week. Just be sure to seal the bag tightly and place it in the vegetable crisper drawer.
If you want to keep them fresh longer, you can transfer them to a glass container filled with water, as previously mentioned.
How to Keep Carrots Fresh in a Lunchbox
Having fresh carrots for lunches starts with storing them properly, but if you want to keep them from drying out in the lunchbox, place a folded, damp paper towel over the carrots, and you’re good to go.
Bonus: the paper towel can also be used to wipe small hands after lunch!
It also helps to keep the lunch container refrigerated or packed into the lunch bag with an ice pack.