Carrots come along as one of the most popular vegetables in the world. Many love them, not only for their irresistible bittersweet, juicy taste but also for their high nutritional value. The lip-smacking vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants.
Meanwhile, eating bad carrots is an awful idea. You enjoy neither the good taste nor the nutritional benefits of the root vegetable. Now the question is, how do you know when carrots are bad?
In order to keep you safe from the effects of bad carrots, this article will teach how to tell if carrots are bad.
Why do you need to know when carrots are bad?
Bad carrots probably have bacteria working on them already. When consumed, these bacteria will make you sick, so eating such carrots is bad for your health.
It is wise to save yourself the trouble of hospital bills, medication payments, and especially the ache of sickness. Make sure you throw out any carrots that show even the slightest sign of going bad. Avoid eating bad carrots at all costs.
How to tell if carrots are bad
1. Spots on the carrot skin
When you notice small spots on the skin of your carrots, they have probably gone bad. Carrot skin plays a vital role in keeping the vegetable fresh. The skin protects the carrot. It also supplies the flesh with water to sustain it for longer.
Therefore, when there are cuts or scratches on the skin, the carrot will lose its water and nutrients. The carrot will be dehydrating as it loses its water, causing spots to develop. Henceforth, when you notice spots on your carrots, they are no longer safe to eat. It is best to get rid of them.
However, some spots are just dirt, so wash your carrots first.
2. Bad smell
Do your carrots have an awful stench? Well, when carrots start giving off a foul smell, they have gone bad. Naturally, fresh carrots are odorless, so it is a bad sign when yours start stinking.
The unpleasant smell emanates from the bacterial activity-taking place on the carrots. Bacteria are bad for your health, and they will make you sick. Therefore, throw away any smelly carrots.
3. Best used before
An easy way to know if your carrots have gone bad is to check the best used before date. Well, this will only be possible when you have purchased packed carrots in a store. The packet will have an estimated best before the date written on it.
Any time after the best used before date, the carrots will have gone bad. However, since this date is only an estimate, be sure to employ other methods as well to be sure if your carrots are rotten or not.
4. A white blush
Popularly, carrots are orange. Even though they can be other colors like purple, they have gone bad when you see them turn white. A white blush indicates that the carrots are dehydrated. It is a sure sign that your carrots are rotten and need to be done away with.
5. Check the size
Are your carrots still the same size as they were when you bought them? If not, they have probably gone bad. Otherwise, they are almost bad and will be useless in a day or two. When carrots decay, they start growing slimmer and smaller.
Therefore, if your carrots are smaller than their original size, check for a white blush, bad smell, or spots. You need to use them immediately before any of the other signs show, and they are no longer good to eat.
6. Slimy skin
All carrots’ surface or skin is rough, so when it gets slimy, this is a red flag. When carrots are rotten, a slimy film builds on the surface. Often, the sliminess is due to moisture from the carrot or atmosphere.
Do not be tempted to wash off the slime and eat the carrot. It is no longer healthy for you. Get rid of any slimy carrots.
7. Soft carrots
When carrots turn soft, it shows that they are going bad. Raw and fresh carrots are crunchy vegetables. Even when chewing, they make a cracking sound. However, when they lose their crunchiness and become rubbery, they might not necessarily be bad yet but need immediate attention.
Fortunately, at this stage, you can still save your carrots. Even though you cannot restore their nutritional value, you can still help them regain their firmness. Simply place the floppy carrots in cold water for up to five hours. You will have firm, stiff carrots in no time.
How you store your carrots will help you tell how long does carrots last before going bad. Here are some commonly used storages.
● Plastic bag
When stored in a plastic bag, moisture collects quickly, which causes mold to grow on the carrots. They will last for only a day in a plastic bag. Therefore, it is good to take your carrots out of the plastic bag as soon as you get home. This will help keep your carrots fresh for longer.
● Warm place
Have you been keeping your carrots in a warm place like in a food basket, on a countertop or table? If so, they are likely to be bad in about four days.
When stored in a cooler place like the fridge, carrots will last longer. They can go for up to four weeks before getting spoiled. Cut carrots will go for two to three weeks before going bad. When cooked, they will last three to five days in the fridge.
Therefore, it is best to store your carrots raw.
It is even cooler in a freezer than in the fridge. Therefore, the carrots will last longer. When stored in a freezer, carrots can go up to and over twelve months fresh and fine. They will start showing signs of going bad only after so long.
● Near ethylene-producing fruits
It is best to store your carrots separately from other fruits and vegetables. This is because keeping them near ethylene-producing fruits will speed up their decay. Fruits such as apples and pears produce the gas that accelerates the ripening of other fruits and vegetables around them.
Just in case the visible signs of a bad carrot have all skipped you, the taste will tell you if the carrot has gone bad. Carrots are juicy, sweet roots. Therefore, when you get an otherwise weird, probably sour taste, you know the carrot has gone bad.
Baby carrots need more attention than regular carrots. They show similar signs to regular ones when they go bad. However, baby carrots will get a white blush sooner than regular carrots. It is a quick sign that they will go bad soon. You do not have to throw them away at this stage. Simply wash your baby carrots and use them.
Useful tips to help you keep your carrots fresh for longer
Store them in water
If you refrigerate your carrots in water, they will last longer. Make sure to change water every few days to keep them good for a longer time.
Put them in an airtight bag.
This will help the carrots last. Place them in a perforated plastic bag that has a zipper. And take as much air as you can out of the bag (You can even use an air sucker for this.). Before to do this,
This will help the carrots last. Place them in a perforated plastic bag that has a zipper. And take as much air as you can out of the bag (You can even use an air sucker for this.). Before to do this, cut off the green tops from the roots & place the bag in the coolest part of the refrigerator.
Cut off the green leaves from the carrots.
The leaves will draw moisture and nutrients from the root if kept attached to it. As soon as you get your carrots home, chop off the leaves before storing them.
Keep them raw
Cooked carrots decay faster. Therefore, if you want to keep your carrots longer, keep them raw. At room temperature, cooked carrots will only be good for a few hours.
Blanch the carrots
Blanching carrots help keep them longer. This stops enzyme activity that causes discoloration and loss of flavor.
Buy longer carrots
Carrots get additional water and nutrients that sustain them from their skin. This means that if you buy longer carrots, they have more nutrients and will last longer.
Health benefits of carrots
- Carrots are a very good source of vitamin C. This helps the skin repair itself and heal from external wounds. Bets-carotene found in carrots, helps reduce skin inflammation.
- The body turns the beta-carotene that is found in carrots into vitamin A, which significantly benefits your eyesight. This helps cure or improve night blindness as well.
Nothing lasts forever, and just like all fruits and vegetables, carrots go bad with time. Well, how do you know when carrots are bad? By merely looking at a carrot, you can quickly tell whether the carrot is good or rotten.
Warning signs such as floppiness urge you to use the carrot soon, while sliminess will tell you to throw it away. Follow the instructions above and stay safe and healthy with your family by getting rid of any rotten carrots.