Carrot puree is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many recipes. It has a smooth, velvety texture and sweet, earthy flavor that complements both savory and sweet dishes. While fresh carrot puree is best, freezing it for later is a great way to preserve leftover puree or make big batches to have on hand.
Benefits of Freezing Carrot Puree
Freezing carrot puree offers several advantages:
Longer Shelf Life
Fresh carrot puree will only last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Freezing extends the shelf life significantly, allowing it to keep for 6-8 months in an airtight container. This makes it easy to prep puree ahead of time.
Freezing locks in the nutrients, flavor, color and texture of freshly made puree. Thawing yields puree almost as good as new.
Making puree is time consuming with all the peeling, chopping and cooking. Freezing pre-made puree saves you prep time down the road.
Use Out of Season Produce
Make puree in seasons when carrots are freshest to enjoy their peak flavor year-round.
Avoid Food Waste
Got leftover puree? Freeze it instead of tossing it out.
How to Freeze Carrot Puree
Freezing carrot puree is easy but there are some tips for best results:
Start with Fresh Carrots
Use fresh, firm carrots within a couple days of purchasing. Old or limp carrots will yield poor quality puree.
Cook carrots until very tender before pureeing. Undercooked carrots make for grainy puree.
Use a blender or food processor to puree cooked carrots into a smooth, lump-free consistency.
Let Cool Completely
Puree must be cooled to room temperature before freezing, otherwise it could thaw in the freezer and become unsafe.
Portion Into Freezer Containers
Pour puree into freezer bags, plastic containers or ice cube trays in recipe-ready amounts. Leave headspace for expansion.
Exclude Extra Ingredients
Avoid adding ingredients like dairy, salt and seasonings which can cause texture and flavor changes during freezing. Add those later.
Seal Airtight & Label
Remove excess air, seal containers airtight and label with contents and date.
Put puree in the freezer right after cooling and packaging to maintain freshness.
Use Within 6-8 Months
For best quality and food safety, use frozen carrot puree within 6 to 8 months.
Best Practices for Freezing Carrot Puree
Follow these best practices when freezing carrot puree:
- Use fresh carrots – Old or limp carrots will not puree well. Select firm, fresh organic carrots.
- Cook thoroughly – Cook carrots until very soft before pureeing. This preserves the nutrients.
- Puree smoothly – Use a blender or immersion blender to puree cooked carrots with water, breastmilk or formula into a smooth, lump-free consistency.
- Freeze promptly – Freeze puree immediately after making it. Don’t let it sit at room temperature.
- Small portions – Freeze in cubes using an ice cube tray or in 1-2 oz servings to avoid waste.
- Airtight packaging – Use freezer-safe containers or bags, removing excess air. Freezer bags are great for puree cubes.
- Label properly – Mark containers with contents and date to track freshness.
- Freeze thoroughly – Freeze puree for at least 24 hours before transferring to long-term storage.
- Proper storage – Store frozen puree flat in the back of the freezer for optimal quality.
Following these best practices will ensure your frozen carrot puree retains the highest nutritional content, color, flavor and texture.
Thawing and Using Frozen Carrot Puree
Thawing and using frozen puree is easy:
- Thaw overnight in the fridge or for a few hours on the counter. Don’t microwave – this can cause texture issues.
- Use in soups or stews by whisking thawed puree into hot broth towards the end of cooking. It will gently heat through.
- Make carrot muffins or quick breads by swapping thawed puree for oil or butter in recipes.
- Blend into hummus in place of tahini for added moisture and mild sweetness.
- Swirl into oatmeal with cinnamon, raisins and nuts for a nutrient-packed breakfast.
- Mix into pasta sauce, pizza sauce or marinara to add nutrition without altering the flavor.
- Substitute in baked goods and smoothies. Thawed puree works great in most recipes calling for fresh puree.
The possibilities are endless! Use thawed carrot puree anywhere you want moistness and carrots’ natural sweetness.
Storing and Handling Considerations
To safely handle and store frozen carrot puree:
- Store at 0°F or below. Use freezer bags or airtight containers to prevent freezer burn.
- Avoid temperature fluctuations. Try not to open the freezer frequently or let puree thaw and refreeze. This damages texture.
- Keep puree containers clean. Don’t introduce new bacteria into frozen puree by double-dipping spoons.
- Handle gently when frozen. Frozen puree can become misshapen or damaged if bumped or dropped when solidly frozen.
- Don’t refreeze thawed puree. Only refreeze if puree is still partially frozen or icy. Fully thawed puree will be unsafe to refreeze.
- Look before using. Discard any puree that smells odd or has changed color or appearance.
Following basic food safety helps frozen puree stay fresh and safe to use for many months!
What Dishes Can You Use Frozen Carrot Puree In?
Frozen carrot puree is endlessly versatile. Here are some yummy ways to incorporate it into meals and snacks:
- Mix into oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese or cereals
- Make teething biscuits by combining with oats, coconut oil and cinnamon
- Add to pancake, waffle, muffin or quick bread batters
- Blend into hummus, bean dips and spreads
- Fold into meatballs, meatloaf or burgers
- Whisk into mac and cheese or pasta sauce for hidden veggies
- Stir into rice, quinoa or couscous
- Top pizza crusts before adding cheese and toppings
- Mix into vegetable curries, stews or soups
- Add to smoothies for natural sweetness
- Make popsicles by blending with yogurt and fresh fruit
Let your imagination run wild finding new ways to incorporate thawed carrot puree into your baby or toddler’s diet!
Frequently Asked Questions
Freezing carrot puree is simple but there are some common questions that arise. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions.
How do you thaw frozen carrot puree?
Thaw frozen puree overnight in the refrigerator. You can also leave it on the counter for a few hours if needed. Do not thaw in the microwave as this alters the texture.
Can you freeze cooked carrots instead of pureeing first?
It’s best to puree carrots before freezing for a smooth, lump-free texture. Freezing cooked carrot chunks can make them watery and grainy when thawed.
Does frozen carrot puree separate when thawed?
Properly frozen puree should not separate much, though a little liquid on top is normal. Reduce separation by freezing puree in ice cube trays or thinner layers.
What is the best way to store frozen carrot puree?
The best storage containers are rigid freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Remove air, seal tightly and label. Avoid constant opening of the freezer to prevent temperature fluctuations.
How long does frozen carrot puree last?
Carrot puree lasts 6-8 months in a 0°F freezer before quality declines. Discard any puree that smells bad or looks abnormal.
Can you substitute frozen carrot puree for fresh?
In most recipes, frozen and thawed carrot puree can be used in place of fresh with virtually no difference in results. Adjust any added liquids in recipes to account for the moisture content.
What can you make with frozen carrot puree?
Frozen carrot puree is endlessly versatile! Use it in soups, stews, baked goods, smoothies, oatmeal, hummus, pasta sauce, pizza and more. Anywhere you want natural sweetness and nutrition!
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.