Carrots are very good in a range of recipes, and although they aren’t the most popular vegetable they become much sweeter when cooked.
Carrot juice is refreshing and most people find it delicious.
Generally, keeping vegetables in the fridge makes them last longer but do carrots go bad in the fridge?
Today, I will show a timelapse video of what happens when carrots go bad in the fridge, explain how long they take to go bad, whether grating carrots makes them last longer, some best practices to keep carrots fresh for as long as possible.
How Long Do Unpeeled Carrots Last in the Fridge?
Unpeeled carrots are the most resistant to breaking down because the skin is more resistant and protects them from drying out.
Therefore, it’s best to keep them unpeeled before using them. Here’s how long unpeeled carrots last in the fridge.
I’ve kept carrots in the fridge many times and noticed a common pattern with how they go bad.
They will first start to shrink and shrivel to about half their size, during this time or after they have shrunk they develop dark gray to black areas over most or all of the surface.
Here’s a timelapse video of a carrot left out on a window sill.
But, I’ve personally kept carrots in the fridge and they break down in the exact same way, and in about the same amount of time.
Rotting Carrot Timeplase
If you weren’t watching the days you might not have noticed how long it takes to rot.
Here are the significant events that occurred as the carrot broke down:
- Day 1 – Shrunk about 10%
- Day 2 – Started to develop black areas at the top of the carrot, shrunk another 10%
- Day 3 – Developed white areas on the surface of the skin, shrunk about 5 %
- Day 4 – Shrunk about 5%, small areas on the surface began to sink in
- Day 5 – About half of the carrot has turned black, it has begun to soften
- Day 6 – Carrot begins bending and curling
- Day 7 – Shrinks about 5%, and continues to bend, about 70% is now black
- Day 8 – About 70% is completely inedible
Although this was done on a window sill in full sunlight, I’ve noticed carrots behave in a very similar way in the fridge.
How to keep unpeeled carrots freshest for the longest?
The best way to keep unpeeled carrots is to keep them moist and in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
To keep them moist you should keep them in a ziplock bag, or a bag that has holes in it.
This causes condensation to form which drips back onto the carrots.
Many people have reported that wrapping them in a damp cloth also helps them to stay moist and makes them last for a very long time.
During this time they can grow fine roots that grow outwards from the body of the carrot.
But, they’re easily removed if you peel them.
Freezing carrots – best way to keep carrots for as long as possible
Freezing carrots can make them last for 1 year or more.
But, the trick is to blanch them first.
If you freeze carrots or other vegetables without blanching them they will break down much faster and will only be good for 3 to 4 months.
The reason is that there are what are called enzymes in fruits and vegetables.
The natural enzymes in carrots will break down the carrots.
If you blanch them it breaks down the enzymes and makes them inert.
Meaning they no longer do anything.
Here’s a really good video that shows the process from start to finish of freezing carrots.
How To Freeze Carrots Properly
Typically when you cook foods such as fruits and vegetables it makes the nutrients in them change, and they can have less or more particular nutrients.
Cooked carrots tend to have a sweeter flavor than raw carrots.
I looked into the nutrients found in raw and cooked carrots to see how they change and summarized what I found in this article about whether cooked carrots have more sugar than raw carrots.
Can You Keep Grated Carrot in the Fridge?
Grated carrot is easily done in bulk once you’re on a roll.
Therefore, you may want to grate a whole bunch of carrots and keep them in the fridge for later.
However, does grated carrot hold up well in the fridge?
When grated carrot discolors the flavor remains the same but they don’t look as visually appealing.
They change color like a sliced apple or an apple you’ve taken a few bites out of them and left for later.
A good way to keep extra carrots, and a method that makes them last the longest is to blanch them and then freeze them.
This has been recommended by many people online, as well as, the well-known plastic wrap, and zip lock bag company Glad.
Otherwise, it’s best to keep them whole and un-grated until you want to use the grated carrot.
Rather than grating them first, and keeping them the grated carrot in the fridge.
Carrots are a bit unique compared to other fruits and vegetables because they turn black in the fridge, or when left out. I explained why this is in this article about why carrots turn black in the fridge.
How Long Will Grated Carrot Last in the Fridge?
Grated carrot is used as an ingredient in many different dishes.
You might have made more than you need, or are thinking about grating it ahead of time to have it on hand when you need it.
Here’s what happens when you keep the grated carrot in the fridge and how long it lasts.
It’s best to grate carrot fresh, and after you grate it will change color.
This isn’t an issue if you’re using it in a carrot cake, or a baked dish where the color won’t be noticeable.
But, if you’re using grated carrot raw on a salad or similar dish you should grate it as close to when you’re going to eat it as possible, to limit the effects of discoloration.