We ended up with a abundance of carrots this year. My mom and I canned some, but got to the point where we were tired of canning. I needed to do something with them, so decided to chop them up and freeze them. I decided to buy some celery and chop it up also. I even made some vacuum sealed packets of carrots and celery mixed. (Perfect to dump in stew or soup, or for Kyle’s favorite, chicken pot pie. I love cooking, but have a kitchen that is smaller than most walk in closets, and counter space is at a premium. Trying to make something like chicken pot pie, where you have to chop, stir, mix, make a pie crust, just isn’t very feasible in my tiny kitchen. If I can cut out a few steps, like chopping vegetables, it makes it a lot easier, plus saves time.
This was one batch of carrots. Yep, I have a few crookneck squash too. If you pick the squash when they’re little and the skin is soft still, you can just slice them up and eat them raw with some hummus or ranch, just like cucumber slices, and they are delicious. Back to freezing …
Directions for freezing:
1. Wash carrots
2. Peel carrots and cut off ends. If you’re really fancy, you can save the peelings to make chicken broth, or feed them to the pigs or the chickens, or compost them. I wasn’t that fancy….
3. Slice into rounds, or dice into small chunks.
4. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, then put in ice water to stop the cooking. (Blanching kills anything that may be growing, and helps bring out the color in the vegetables. Boil some water, dump the veggies in for the suggested time, then put it in ice water.) You can use a pasta pot with the draining insert, or dig the vegetables out with a strainer.
5. Drain the carrots, chop. If they are still pretty damp, either dry on some paper towels, or freeze over night, then vacuum seal.
You can either make big bags of carrots, then just take out what you need and re-seal, or put in 1 or 2 cup increments. You can also chop up celery and mix that with the carrots. (If you were really thinking, you could add peas and onions too, then you’d really be ready to go when it was time to cook dinner.)