As the calendar turns to August, we enter into the frenzied end of summer when it seems, all-of-a-sudden, as though everything we grow is reaching harvest-readiness all at once. In the next six weeks, our entire farm crew will sustain a daily sprint through the harvest, processing, and packing of dozens of different varieties of vegetables.
We encourage you to take advantage of this peak part of our season by stocking up on the bounty. This week, we share tips for eating, storing, and saving carrots, so that you can continue supporting the local food system beyond the confines of the growing season.
Carrots are a staple content in our CSA boxes because they are so versatile. They can be roasted, pureed, shaved into a salad, dipped in hummus and enjoyed raw, or even baked into a cake! Here are some killer ideas for cooking with your carrots!
- Curried carrot soup
- Carrot fries
- Balsamic-glazed roasted carrots
- Shaved carrot salad
- Home-made carrot cake
Another reason we love carrots is that they can be stored for a long time without softening or losing much flavor. Of course, they’re sweetest and most satisfying the fresher they are, but if you don’t have time immediately to eat this week’s carrots, here’s what you should do to keep them fresh for next week or the week after:
- If your carrots are in a bunch, break off the fronds. The fronds will draw moisture out of the carrots and make them less crispy over time. Fronds can be composted.
- Option 1: Seal carrots in a plastic bag and place them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. You can also add a dampened paper towel to the bottom of the drawer to help maintain humidity, but that will not matter if your bag is well-sealed.
- Option 2: Place carrots in a bowl and fill the bowl with water so that carrots are mostly covered (they will float, so it’s impossible to entirely cover them). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. If it becomes cloudy, change the water every few days. Carrots will keep for many weeks stored this way.
You can save your carrots for months with a little preparation. It’s a great way to extend the glory of the harvest into winter and spring. With a little bit of work, you can be eating local carrots from 2016 until 2017’s first crop is available next summer!