Ever wondered if you can eat carrots that have sprouted? Generally, carrots are root vegetables that love to seek moisture by continually growing small roots even after harvesting or buying them.
So, you may have encountered picking some carrots and you notice after a while it begins to sprout some small roots. Then you’re wondering if they are still safe to cook and consume. Or if cooking these sprouted carrots will have any effects on the taste of your food.
Well, the answer is simply yes! You can certainly eat carrots that have sprouted. So, we will be looking more into how safe it is to make use of carrots that have some roots growing even after picking and many more. So let’s begin.
Are Sprouted Carrots Safe To Eat?
People often wonder what to do with sprouted carrots. Carrot sprouting after harvesting them is not uncommon. But generally, carrots that have sprouted are still viable to eat or consume. All you need do is to simply remove or peel off the small roots and consume.
However, if you notice the sprouted carrots have started growing slimy or are turning white, then they may be past their prime stage and it’s best not to consume such. If you also notice some dark brown spots all over the sprouted carrots, you should discard them right away.
Carrots that have some roots sprout tend to taste bland. But it’s best to make use of them in your various food recipes if the sprouted roots are big enough.
Read more about What Are White Carrots Called?
Why Do Carrots Sprout Even After Harvesting And Storing
Carrots are root vegetables so this means the carrots we consume are typically roots that have developed in their first year.
If the carrot which is the root vegetable was left in the ground to continue to grow, it will give rise to a group of flowers above the ground. This will later result in seeds at the end of their second year.
Therefore, when you find the carrots you’ve kept in the kitchen starting to germinate fine roots along the orange root, don’t be surprised. It’s just a way of these carrots seeking continuous moisture because that’s what any root tends to do. So, you may see some small, string-like roots sprouting.
However, take note that these small string-like roots won’t turn into more carrots. However, the upper parts of the carrot root naturally simply wish to keep on growing into its flowering phase.
Can You Grow Sprouted Carrots?
Carrots that have sprouted can be grown. They will give rise to attractive lacy fronds in just a couple of days. They will later grow into lacy white flowers that can attract butterflies if you plant them outdoors.
How Can Carrots Be Stored Without Sprouting?
If you wish to prevent your carrots from growing small roots or sprouting while you store them, simply remove the greens on the top before you store them. Removing the greens on top of the carrots will deprive the carrots of moisture as time goes on. Make sure you do not wash the carrots if you don’t plan on consuming them soon.
Here are ways you can successfully store carrots without having them sprout:
1. Refrigeration Storage
It’s possible to store carrots in the fridge for a period of 2 to 3 months. Simply take the green part out and keep the carrots in an air-tight container or a plastic bag. Make sure you squeeze the air out and keep them away from moisture.
Alternatively, you can also store carrots in the fridge by putting them in a bowl full of water. The water full of the bowl should be covered using a lid or plastic wrap. Make sure you replace the water when they become milky or cloudy.
However, note that this method of putting carrots in a bowl full of water is not long-term storage. You can only store them for about a week using this method. Once it’s past a week, they tend to start showing slimy features.
2. Freezer Storage
You can freeze carrots for as long as a year. However, to achieve freeze-storing carrots successfully, you need to blanch them first.
To blanch carrots, put them in boiling water and allow them to scald for some time. When you do this blanching, you are simply rendering some of their enzymes inactive. These enzymes are responsible for continually degrading the quality of the carrot.
Once you’re done blanching, take them out of the water and allow them to cool down. Then peel these carrots and cut or slice them to your desired shapes and sizes. Put these sliced carrots into a freezer bag and you can store them for up to 9 months.
Storing these same carrots in a vacuum bag inside the deep freezer can be stored for up to 12 months.
Pickling is another great way of storing carrots. Simply immerse carrots in vinegar alongside other vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, and chilies.
Using vinegar which is an acetic acid solution is just to slow down the microbial growth due to its low pH.
To store carrots by drying, firstly wash and peel the carrots. Then cut them into 2 to 4 mm thick. Then these sliced carrots should be spread evenly in a food dehydrator at 55 degrees Celsius for around 10 hours.
Carrots that have been shredded will take about 6 to 10 hours. You can then store the resulting dried carrot flakes in an air-tight container to be kept in a dry and dark place.
You can blend these flakes into fine powder. These dried carrots in flakes or powder can as well be added to drinks, casseroles, and soups.
Conclusion On Can You eat Carrots That Have Sprouted
So, we have pointed out that you can still eat carrots that have sprouted. Just make sure they have not started growing slimy or turning white. If you however notice some dark brown spots all over the body of the carrots, they aren’t safe to consume so discard them immediately.
We have also listed out some ways you can successfully store your carrots to prevent them from sprouting or growing any small stringy roots.