Carrots constitute the foundation of cooking. They are so versatile, it is practically possible to cook any dish by including them in your recipes. But the thing is, bulk buying these vegetables can be very tricky if they are not stored properly.
Carrots tend to create a slimy coat that always begs the question: why is there slime on my carrots? And, is it safe to consume slimy carrots?
Generally speaking, eating slimy carrots will not hurt you, but it also depends on when you bought them and how you stored them.
In this article, we will have a comprehensive look at why carrots get slimy and how you can prevent them by storing them properly.
Why are my carrots slimy?
If you notice your carrots are slimy just a few days after you got them from the shop, it could be due to the storage condition.
Every so often, it happens on their journey from the supermarket to your house. On the odd occasion, it happens that manufacturers and carriers do not store them properly as they are on their way to the various supermarkets and farmers’ markets, so they go bad easily and quickly.
But not all slimy carrots have gone off! There is a considerable difference between normal-sized carrots and baby carrots. They might seem like the same thing but in different sizes, but they’re totally different:
- Regular carrots usually come with their skin on. This thin layer covers the carrots, preserving their moisture and their properties.
- Baby carrots are sold in smaller bags and are peeled and ready to eat. Removing that layer causes the carrots to be exposed to diverse factors that set them at risk of going off easily.
What is the slime on carrots?
When your carrots start to become a little slippery and have that wet look, it means they have started the rotting process. Cells inside the vegetable are getting more and more dehydrated, hence the need to create moisture for themselves.
It does not mean you cannot eat them, though. There are a few things you need to watch out for before eating or cooking with slimy carrots.
First of all, check out their smell. If they smell a little off, or their smell reminds you of bleach, it’s time to toss them away.
The odor is one of the first things to notice not only in carrots but for any other type of food you have laying around in your fridge. If a food has a bad smell, you will notice right away it has gone bad and that it is time to get rid of it.
Secondly, you need to look out for the texture. When carrots go mushy, it means they are not good to be eaten anymore. Sometimes a carrot will get soft and squishy only in certain areas, and keep its firmness in other parts, but it is still not safe to eat at that point.
Last but not least, it’s color. If a carrot goes brownish or dark while it is still in the bag, it means it is time to throw it away. If it gets to that point, you will probably notice the pungent smell and mold around it too.
How to keep baby carrots from getting slimy
As we already mentioned above, baby carrots are usually placed in their packages without their protective skin. It means those who are in charge of packaging peel them before adding them to the bags.
The process of peeling them before putting them in their packaging is not the most beneficial way to handle vegetables. Actually, it’s not the most environmentally safe method either. It creates lots of food waste, and it will ruin your baby carrots by shortening their freshness.
Once you buy them, you are supposed to store them in a fridge and consume them in a couple of days. But if you leave them in there for a little longer, you might find that thick slimy coat on them.
To prevent that, take the baby carrots out of their packaging and place them in a jar full of clean water. Store the baby carrots in the fridge, and you can keep them there for up to four-five days.
If you want to store your baby carrots for longer than that, you can change the water in the jar. However, make sure to check that the carrots smell okay, don’t look mushy, and have an overall healthy look.
If they fit all these parameters, you can keep your baby carrots in the fridge for a couple more days. Our advice, though, is to consume them as soon as possible.
If you do not want them to go to waste but don’t know what to do with them, you can try to have them with some hummus, or another dip that tickles your fancy.
In most cases, it is not very safe to remove the protective layer in a carrot if you are not going to consume it right away, but it is a regular practice for producers to store baby carrots in their packaging.
How do you fix slimy baby carrots?
Technically, you can wash off the white slime on carrots, but it is not that easy. The slime often comes from within the carrot, as it tries to balance the moisture and keep itself alive.
Therefore, it does need a proper, thorough scrub before you can eat them or utilize them to cook a meal. If they are too slimy, but you do not detect any white or moldy bits yet, you can simply use them to put together your next meal.
It is a little safer to cook them rather than eat them raw, as the heat will kill any bacteria inside the slimy baby carrots.
How to keep normal carrots from getting slimy
Keeping normal-sized carrots from getting slimy remains an easier process than using baby carrots. They have an advantage that their smaller counterparts do not possess: their skin.
The insulating layer on the carrot is that rough, greyish film that cares for and looks after the core of the carrots. It retains the moisture, slowing the rotting process.
If you get your carrots from a supermarket, it is likely you will get them in a tray or a plastic bag. Once you get home, you can store them in your fridge like that, as long as you tear the plastic to allow air to circulate.
They will last you for a few weeks, but another way will allow you to save them for longer than that. It is a similar process as the one used for peeled baby carrots.
Take your carrots out of the bag and do not remove their protective skin. Take a jug or a jar with a lid and fill it with clean, fresh water. Submerge your carrots like that and store them in the fridge.
If your carrots still have those green bits at the top, it is better to remove them before storing them. Those green leaves at the top will subtract moisture out of your orange vegetables, allowing them to rot sooner.
Replace the water in the jug once every five to six days and you will have fresh, crispy carrots for at least one month or even more!
This is an effective way to prevent having spoiled carrots laying around in your fridge. But remember that slimy carrots do not mean rotten carrots. If your carrots are still orange and firm, they are still safe to be eaten or used in your recipes.
If your carrots turn white, are mushy, and have an odd smell, get rid of them. They are not safe to use anymore and might lead to severe health problems.
How do you fix slimy carrots?
As per baby carrots, you can wash the slime off your normal-sized carrots, but it is going to be difficult.
The process is exactly the same. The lack of moisture comes from within the carrot, therefore it needs an appropriate, careful scrub before being able to consume them.
Are slimy carrots okay to eat?
Generally speaking, they are. But it all depends on the carrot and the way it was stored. If your carrots are slimy but still have a bright, orange look, and if they are still firm, yes. You can definitely eat your carrots even if they are slimy.
Just take the time to rinse them thoroughly under cold water, and maybe even use a peeler or knife to help you scrub away the slime before eating them or using them in your recipes.
If your carrots have a foul smell that kind of resembles the smell of bleach, if they have a brownish or darker color, and if they are spongy or squishy, do not consume them and toss them away.
Those are rotten carrots and they are not safe to be eaten or used for cooking in any way. Remember the same concept applies to both normal-sized carrots and baby carrots.
The trick to keeping them fresh for a long time is to store them properly with the methods illustrated above and always be mindful of the Best Before date on their packaging.