How long do carrots last in the fridge or in the cabinet? While most people do not think of carrots as a main part of a meal, carrots play an integral role in the building of many different meals all across the world. Some people fill their meals with carrots for the health benefits and to include at least some sort of vegetable on their dish throughout the day. Other people genuinely love the taste of carrots and want to make sure that all of their favorite dishes have the best carrots in them for that wonderful taste. No matter what purpose you plan on using your carrots for, it is crucial that you understand how long your carrots will last so that you can make the most out of them before you have to throw them out. Thankfully, knowing how to care for your carrots in the fridge is relatively easy and straightforward.
Carrots, in a sense, are like many other vegetables. They spoil relatively quickly, compared to other foods, and they do not do the best in the freezer. You usually only have a matter of weeks to work with the vegetables before they go bad, and you should never eat a rotten vegetable. Much like other vegetables in this case, there are also many obvious signs to a carrot going bad. This means that even if you forget how long you have had your carrots in the fridge, you will easily be able to tell whether or not the carrots are bad.
So How Long Do Carrots Last?
To put it simply, you shouldn’t expect your carrots to last much longer than a month. If you are working with cooked carrots, you shouldn’t expect them to last more than a week. On average, cooked carrots will normally start decaying about one week after the printed date. This means that if you have cooked carrots, you should always go about using them first for your cooking endeavors.
Baby carrots, while they might not taste as fresh or as good as freshly grown carrots, do last for a decent amount of time. You can usually expect baby carrots to last about three to four weeks past the printed date before you have to start rushing to use them or toss them into the compost. This is considerably longer than cooked carrots last, but baby carrots still go bad more quickly than fresh, whole carrots.
A bunch of whole carrots will usually last around four to five weeks after the printed date. This means that you can usually expect to go through the entire bunch of carrots, depending on just how often you include them in your meals. It is relatively easy to go through this many carrots in a month’s worth of time, so there isn’t too much to worry about when it comes to how long your carrots will last.
However, things happen to the best of us, and you might come across a situation where you find yourself at a complete loss for what you should do with your carrots for a while. If this happens to you, you can easily get a good idea on how old your carrots are by looking at them, as carrots will decay in a fairly obvious manner.
What Does It Look Like When a Carrot Goes Bad?
Carrots, as with many other vegetables, decay in an obvious manner. This will make it easy for you to tell if your carrots are nearing the end of their edible period and how quickly you should scramble to find a use for the carrots that you bought. Before you can know what it looks like when a carrot goes bad, you should first understand why baby carrots tend to spoil more quickly than whole carrots.
Baby carrots, in a sense, do not have a real skin on them. Unlike whole carrots, baby carrots are skinned and stripped away of any protective coating. Because of this, baby carrots will spoil much more easily and much more quickly, especially when near moisture or in a container that does not properly block out moisture.
Whole carrots, on the other hand, have a nutritious skin that keeps them from going bad as quickly. When the inevitable does happen and the carrot does eventually go bad, there will be a few signs to look for. First, there will be some tiny white dots on the surface of the carrot. These are called a white blush, and it happens when carrots become dehydrated. It is one of the first signs of age in a carrot. Do not worry too much though, as carrots with only the white blush are still okay to eat, although this won’t last for long.
As the carrot continues to decay, it will shrivel up and become mushy as the innards of the carrot further dehydrate and spoil. The outside of the carrot will become slimy and this is your signal that the carrot needs to be thrown out. Eating a carrot in this stage is generally unhealthy, and you should avoid eating rotten carrots whenever you can.
Prolonging the Life of the Carrot
If you notice that your carrots are beginning to show their age, you might not know what to do with them to try and preserve their life. Of course, the most straightforward thing to do is going to be to cook the carrots in a dish, but if you do not want to do this, there are other ways that you can make use of the carrot or prolong its life until you are ready to eat it.
You can always store the carrots whole and unpeeled. Never peel your carrots unless you know that you are going to be eating them later in the day. When you are storing the carrots, make sure that they are stored in a plastic bag inside of the fridge. With baby carrots, they usually come in a plastic bag to store them in, and they should be kept in the fridge’s drawer. These are the best places to keep your carrots if you want to retain their flavor.
If you are not as concerned about the flavor of the carrot, you can choose to freeze the carrot. Freezing a carrot will increase its shelf life to about six or eight months. On the downside, the carrots need to be blanched first and put in a freezer-safe container if you want to make sure that the carrots are perfectly fine when you take them out again. Blanching a vegetable refers to quickly cooking a vegetable before immediately freezing it. There are many benefits to blanching vegetables.
If you are running low on ideas for what to do with your carrots, there are a few things that you can do. You can choose to steam the carrots first, turning them into a wonderful addition to just about any dinner meal. Do keep in mind that steamed carrots also do not last a very long time, and you should only go about making them if you know that you are going to eat them all afterward.
You can also choose to make glazed carrots. Glazed carrots, as the name suggests, are a great way to breathe new life into carrots. When you eat them, you will never know that they were about to go bad. To properly glaze a carrot, you will need some butter, a pan, and a working stove. It takes between 20 and 25 minutes to make glazed carrots as well, meaning that they are absolutely perfect in a pinch.