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If Carrots Sprout Are They Bad?

If Carrots Sprout Are They Bad

If carrots are left in the right conditions they will grow fine roots on the body of the carrot, and the top can begin to sprout again.

Certain foods can be toxic or poisonous so it’s important to know if sprouted carrots should be eaten.

Here’s whether sprouted carrots are bad.

Sprouted carrots are not bad. Carrots produce the carrot in the first year and is when they’re harvested. But they live for 2 years.

In the second year of growth, a carrot plant will use all the energy in the carrot to produce flowers and the carrot will shrink and turn rubbery.

In some cases, it’s best to throw away carrots, but in other cases, they are perfectly fine to eat.

In this article, I will explain if you can eat sprouted carrots, what you can do with sprouted carrots, and whether it’s OK to eat sprouted carrots.

Is It OK to Eat Sprouted Carrots?

Is It OK to Eat Sprouted Carrots

If carrots are left in the right conditions they will grow fine roots on the body of the carrot, and the top can begin to sprout again.

Certain foods can be toxic or poisonous so it’s important to know if sprouted carrots are OK to eat.

Here’s whether sprouted carrots are bad.

It’s perfectly fine to eat sprouted carrots.

Carrots can be eaten even when they have just started to form and the carrot is extremely small.

If the sprout has been cut off after they’ve been harvested and it begins to regrow it’s also still fine to eat.

If a carrot is left in the ground for a second year or in favorable conditions after it has been harvested it will produce flowers and seeds.

After which time the carrot plant will die. A carrot plant will live a maximum of 2 years.

But, most varieties are fully grown after 3 months.

When the sprout begins to regrow after it has been harvested the carrot will use up the energy stored in the carrot.

This turns the carrot soft and rubbery and it also shrinks.

This generally won’t happen unless the carrot sprout is extremely large and it begins to flower.

If you’ve got some carrots in the fridge or pantry and they’ve started to sprout a bit and develop fine root hairs the carrot is unaffected.

It will still be firm and taste the same and is perfectly fine to eat.

Here’s a video that shows the life cycle of a carrot and how they’re harvested:

After they have sprouted the carrot will begin to form, and they can be harvested and eaten no matter what size the carrot is according to Tenth Acre Farm.

So, if they’ve just begun to sprout or they’re sprouting in your pantry or fridge they’re still perfectly fine to eat.

Carrots are very high in potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese.

These nutrients provide a range of benefits to your health.

Vitamin A is found in particularly high amounts in carrots and is very good for the appearance and health of your skin.

However, carrots also contain large amounts of beta-carotene. Consuming too much beta-carotene can turn your skin orange.

The amount of carrots it takes, and for how long is well understood by medical professionals.

I explain exactly how many carrots and other fruits and vegetables that are high in beta-carotene will make your skin turn orange in this article about if it’s bad if your skin turns orange from carrots.

What to Do With Carrots That Have Sprouted?

What to Do With Carrots That Have Sprouted

Carrots that you store in the cupboard or not in the fridge can begin to grow new shoots at the top.

Although this won’t instantly make a carrot inedible, here’s what to do when this happens.

It’s best to consume carrots that have sprouted as soon as possible.

Another good option is to blanch them and freeze them.

This will make them last up to a year in the freezer.

The more the carrots begin to sprout the faster the carrot will rot and eventually shrink and turn black.

The function of the carrot – which is the root of the carrot plant – is an energy store for the carrot plant.

A carrot plant will use up this energy store to produce sprouts that grow about 1 ft (30 cm) in size as well as flowers.

When it uses up the energy stored in the carrot loses more and more of its energy and flavor until eventually, it’s almost inedible.

Therefore, carrots should be consumed as soon as possible when they begin sprouting.

This is different to if you’re growing carrots and they begin to sprout.

This is an indication that you should plant them somewhere where they can grow into a full-sized carrot.

Once you chop off the top of a carrot to eat the carrot you can plant the sprouting top of the carrot in the ground.

It will grow into an attractive plant.

Carrots last quite some time in the fridge provided they are kept moist.

But, if left for a week out in the open they will turn black and be inedible.

I explained this in more detail in this article about whether carrots go bad in the fridge.

It shows a video timelapse of how a carrot breaks down and what it ends up like after 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge.

As well as, some thorough and helpful tips for how to keep carrots as fresh as possible for the longest amount of time in the fridge. 

When Should You Throw Away Carrots?

When Should You Throw Away Carrots

Carrots are fairly cheap, and so it often makes sense to throw carrots away rather than cut away any bad parts and keep the rest.

The situations when it makes more sense to throw away carrots are explained below.

Carrots should be thrown away if more than 50% is covered in mold, if more than 80% of the carrot has turned black, and if they have turned soft.

Mold on carrots can be cut away but you need to cut away 1 inch (2.5 cm) around the mold.

So if it’s more than 50% of the carrot it’s not worth it.

Once carrots turn soft most of their flavor is gone.

Also when they turn black this is always accompanied by the carrot shrinking, turning soft, curling, and the skin becoming wrinkly.

All of these factors make carrots that have reached this stage very unappealing to cook.

Therefore, it’s best to throw them out and buy fresh ones.

Carrots go bad quite quickly, even in the fridge.

So, if you grew a lot of carrots or want to buy a lot to save a trip to the grocery store, or because they’re on special they generally need to be stored in a special way so that they don’t go bad before you can eat them.

The best method which makes carrots last the longest is to blanch them.

As you may be aware, this is where you boil them for a few minutes to partially cook them.

Alternatively, they store for longer if they’re kept moist.

I explained the methods to keep carrots for the longest amount of time possible in this article about whether you can freeze shredded carrots for later use.