Preserving Carrots and Parsnips for ROASTING

 I love carrots!! They are a simply wonderful vegetable that can often test your patience, but they are so worth it! Its hard growing something that you can’t look at and see its progress, and so when one carrot is ready, I get so excited and pick them all. (If you wanna know more about growing carrots, check out my previous post about carrots!) This week, I picked some carrots that I had (sorta) forgotten about and some parsnips I had definitely forgotten about! It was so exciting!! See!! Look at me with some of my babies!
They were huge and such random shapes! But because I picked all these carrots and a few parsnips, I had to do something with them. What you might know if you have had a few garden harvests, is that generally home picked vegetables don’t stay fresh as long as supermarket vegetables. So within a few days, the veggies would go bendy and floppy. Sad face!
My carrots with a 30cm ruler
And I love roasts. Roast chicken, roast pork, roast lamb, roast beef. YUM! But the best thing is not just the meat, but the vegetables! Oh my gosh! Roast potato, roast carrot, parsnip and onion! YUM! So instead of just boiling the carrots and then eating them straight away, or steaming them, putting them in fried rice, I DON’T KNOW! Whatever you want! I decided that I would save my carrots for a roasting day. Hehe. Get it! So here is how to preserve your carrots and parsnips for future roasting! GENIUS! If I do say so myself :D
To begin, wash your carrots and parsnips really well. They tend to be more gnarly than shop bought carrots, so lots of dirt gets trapped. Then peel them and wash them well again to remove the last of the dirt. After they are peeled, cut off any long bits that are super thin, as these will cook a lot faster than the rest. You won’t want to use these bits but save them for something else like stock or soup!
Bring a medium sized pot of water to the boil. And salt well. While you are waiting for the water to boil cut the carrots and parsnips into even sized pieces so that the cooking time is the same for the different pieces. One the water has boiled, put a few at a time (I did like 5 or 6 at a time) in the pot. Allow them to cook for 4 or 5 minutes.
After cooking, immediately remove the carrots and run under cold water, or place in an ice water bath. Either way is fine. This is just to stop the cooking process, as even when the carrot is out of the water, it would continue to cook.
Continue the process with the remaining carrot and parsnip until all the veggies are cooked and cooled. Then you need to thoroughly dry the vegetables and place on a baking sheet with baking paper or parchment paper down. Make sure that none of the veggies are touching. Transfer this tray to the freezer for a couple of hours, or until the vegetables have started to freeze. They can then be moved to a plastic ziplock bag, or a plastic container, and stored in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
When you are ready to roast, it is so easy! Just preheat your oven to 190C or 380F, and then put as many carrots or parsnips on a tray as you like. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for around 30 – 45 minutes, or until the carrots are golden and heated through. They can be cooked with other veggies too, if you are roasting heaps of veggies together.
Also, if you don’t want to roast your veggies, steaming them works perfectly well too! Just get your steamer ready and pop them in the steamer for about 5 – 7 minutes or until they are soft and well heated through! And an added bonus, they can be easily microwaved! Just place them in a microwave proof dish, cover with a paper towel and microwave in 30 second intervals until the veggies are steamed and heated through.
Homemade carrots are so sweet and tasty! What better way to savor them, than to preserve them for roasting at a later date! I hope you enjoy your delicious carrots!

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