Michigan Fresh: Using, Storing, and Preserving Carrots (HNI15)

This one-page fact sheet offers information about how to select, serve and preserve fresh carrots. Michigan-grown carrots are available late July to late October.

Using, Storing and Preserving Carrots

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Recommended varieties 

Baby, Chantenay, Danvers, Imperator, Nantes, Novelty, Round and Small

Storage and food safety

  • Wash hands before and after handling fresh produce.
  • Using a vegetable brush and running water, remove all soil from carrots. Peel if desired.
  • Store carrots with the green tops trimmed.
  • Carrots will keep for several weeks in crisper of refrigerator at 41 °F or lower in perforated plastic bags.
  • Keep carrots away from raw meat and meat juices to prevent cross contamination.
  • For best quality and nutritive value, preserve only what your family can consume in 12 months.

Yield

5-7 medium, 12-14 small 2 1/2 cups shredded or sliced
24-36 baby (1 pound) 2 1/2 cups cooked
50 pounds w/o tops 17 to 25 quarts

 

How to preserve

Canning

Pressure canning is the only safe method for canning carrots.

Select small carrots, preferably 1 to 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Larger carrots are often too tough. Wash, peel and rewash carrots. Slice or dice. 

  • Hot pack method: Cover with boiling water; bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Fill jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to pints and 1 teaspoon to quarts, if desired. Fill jars to 1 inch from top with boiling water. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust two-piece lid, tighten, and process.
  • Raw pack method: Fill jars tightly with raw carrots, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart, if desired. Add hot cooking liquid or water, leaving 1-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece lids, tighten, and process.

Recommended process time for carrots in a dial-gauge pressure canner.

Style of pack Jar size Process time 0-2,000 ft. 2,001-4,000 ft. 4,001-6,000 ft. 6,001-8,000 ft.
Hot and raw Pints 25 min. 11 lb. 12 lb. 13 lb. 14 lb.
Hot and raw Quarts 30 min. 11 lb. 12 lb. 13 lb. 14 lb.

 

Recommended process time for carrots in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.

Style of pack Jar size Process time 0-1,000 ft. Above 1,000 ft.
Hot and raw Pints 25 min. 10 lb. 15 lb.
Hot and raw Quarts 30 min. 10 lb. 15 lb.

 

Freezing

Select young, tender, coreless, medium-length carrots. Remove tops, wash and peel. Leave small carrots whole. Cut others into thin slices, 1/4-inch cubes or lengthwise strips.

Water blanch small whole carrots for 5 minutes, diced or sliced for 2 minutes and lengthwise strips for 2 minutes.

Cool promptly, drain and package, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.

Water blanching: Use one gallon of water per pound of prepared vegetables. Put vegetables in blanching basket or colander and lower into boiling water. Place lid on blancher. Return water to boil and start counting blanching time as soon as water returns to a boil.

For recipes, see: 

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2009). Complete guide to home canning (Rev. ed.). (Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539). Washington, DC: Author. (http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html)
  • Andress, Elizabeth and Judy A. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. Bulletin 989, 6th edition. Cooperative Extension University of Georgia, 2014.

References

More information

Prepared by: Joyce McGarry, MSU Extension educator

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