How You Buy and Store Carrots Can Affect Nutritional Value

Image: Swong95765

Image: Swong95765


There are always so many choices for carrots when you go shopping at the store: loose, baby, 1-5 pound bags – and they are all good for you and quite flavorful! However, my favorites during this time of year are the bunched carrots, as they just seem to be a little bit sweeter and a touch more tender.

How To Buy

When you buy bunched carrots, look for:

  • Carrots with no cracks or damage
  • Bright green tops that look fresh and perky
  • Choose the ones with the brightest color as the brighter the color, the sweeter the carrot – and of course a darker orange means more beta-carotene for you.

How To Store

When you get home, cut off the greens before storing them in the fridge as leaving them on robs the carrots of moisture and essential vitamins. You can store your carrots in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or a sealed container, and they’ll keep for 7 to 10 days. Make sure you keep them away from fruits such as apples and pears, as the ethylene gas those fruits release can make your carrots bitter.

If you’ve keep your carrots around a bit you may notice a dry white coating or bloom on them; it’s not mold – it’s a sign of dehydration. You can take care of that by soaking your carrots in ice water for about 10 minutes. The white will disappear and they will regain their bright orange color.

A Few More Tips

  • Always wash and scrub carrots before using, because they’re harvested directly from the soil.
  • Peeling is a matter of choice; depending on your preference and the size of the roots you buy.
  • Larger carrots can sometimes be bitter and if there is any bitterness it will be in the peel – so give ‘em a bite before you break out the peeler!
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