Carrots eaten raw from the home garden are rich in Vitamin A (including beta-carotene) and potassium. They are also low in calories, fat, and sodium.
Planting and Harvesting Carrots
The best time to harvest carrots in Central Texas is early spring and winter. It takes about 2 months for full-grown carrots to be ready for harvesting. Therefore, planting needs to be done December to February for early spring harvest and September to December for winter harvest.
|Plant Carrots||Harvest Carrots|
|December to February||February to April|
|September to December||November to February|
Storing Harvested Carrots
The tops of the carrots should be trimmed right after harvesting. Trimmed carrots should be stored in the refrigerator and wrapped in plastic and used within 1-2 weeks after harvesting.
Choosing Carrots for Freezing
Choose good quality carrots for freezing. Carrots should be firm and smooth and have a bright orange color. Some home-grown carrots may be irregular in shape and these can be used in soups or stews but should be used immediately following harvest.
The dirt present on the newly harvested carrots should be thoroughly washed immediately from the surface of the carrot. Microorganisms can be present in the dirt and if not washed off can cause foodborne illness. After washing, you can leave the small carrots whole. The larger carrots they can be diced, sliced, or made into carrot coins.
Carrots need to be blanched before freezing to slow down enzymes present in the plant material. Blanching is done by placing the prepared vegetable in boiling water for the amount of time indicated below. The specific times are as follows:
|small, whole carrots:||5 minutes|
|diced/sliced carrots:||2 minutes|
|carrot coins:||2 minutes|
Immediately after blanching, cool in ice cold water. Once cool, place the carrots in a plastic freezer bag with at least one inch of headspace in the bag to allow for expansion. Place in the freezer.
To help you enjoy the carrots from your garden, the following recipe is supplied to you.
- 10 to 12 carrots
- 1 tbsp. margarine
- 1 tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
- Rinse and trim carrots. Cook in a small amount of boiling water for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
- Melt margarine in a skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar, honey, and carrots. Reduce heat to low and cook, turning carrots frequently until well glazed
- Transfer carrots to a serving dish and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Analysis (per serving): Calories:143; Protein:2.3 gm; Carbohydrates:28.4 gm; Total Fat:3.3 gm; Cholesterol:0 gm; Dietary Fiber:5.7 g; Vitamin A:6115 RE; Vitamin C:21.5 mg; Calcium:62.7 mg; Potassium:716 mg; Sodium:103 mg;
Diabetic Exchanges: 1/3 Fruit, 3 Vegetable, 1/2 Fat
The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service is implied.
Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.
Publication Revised January 2009