Slice carrots early?

ovenbirdDecember 21, 2012

Do you think it would be OK to slice carrots into matchstick sized pieces 3 days before using? Will they lose too much flavor or is it unsafe? They will ultimately be cooked in boiling water. I need 4lbs so this would help reduce last minute prep. Thanks!

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I've stored them in nuoc mam for several days, but that had fish sauce in it that would preserve the carrots. You can probably get away with storing them in very cold water, but they might lose a bit of flavor. You could also blanche them and store them in the cooking water, since you will be boiling them anyway. If the recipe has any vinegar, you could store them in that instead.

What is the final recipe? You may want to store them at a different stage.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:34PM
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Ovenbird - I don't know the details on the science part losing vitamins and nutrition. In my opinion, if they are fresh carrots from the garden I like to use them right away so they don't loose flavor. If they are grocery store bought it really doesn't matter because they have been harvested for a while already. As long as you cut them and refrigerate after that, they should be fine. And when you add seasonings no one will know the difference.
I am harvesting some carrots today and making carrot cake for tomorrow.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:35PM
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Thanks. The carrots are store bought so as long as they retain most of their carrot flavor it should be OK. This is the recipe:

4 lbs carrots (2 - 3 lbs if peeled)
1/2 c. carrot juice (from cooked carrots)
1 c. mayo (Hellmans)
4 Tbs. horseradish
4 Tbs. minced onion
1 1/2 c. finely crushed wheat thins (1/2 - 3/4 box)
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375F.
Peel carrots, cut into 2" pieces and quarter each piece. Boil carrots in water until tender. Drain carrots and reserve juice for the sauce.
Combine carrot juice, mayo, onion and horseradish.
Layer 1/2 of the carrots in a casserole dish. Dot with butter and dust with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the wheat thins and 1/2 of the sauce. Repeat.
Bake for 45 - 60 minutes at 375F (or until browned).

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 2:11PM
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It seems like you could make the entire casserole ahead of time and then just bake it on the day you want to serve it. That's how I would do it. If not, then cook the carrots and store them in some of the cooking liquid until you are ready to use them.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:26PM
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I wouldn't worry about it. They sell presliced carrots in the store and they sit for days. I don't see a problem.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 10:23PM
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Ovenbird, if you want to leave them in the water for 3 days, personally, I'd change the water somewhere halfway through the 3 days. Just to keep them nice and fresh. They'll be fine.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:00PM
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Thanks all for the suggestions!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 7:23AM
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Reporting back...I cut the carrots, stored the raw cut carrots in a baggie in the fridge and then on the 3rd day assembled and cooked the casserole. I didn't notice any degradation in the flavor of the raw carrots over time...can't vouch for nutrition.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 10:33AM
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