The Absolute Best Way To Clean Carrots

Much like parsnips or radishes, carrots fall into the category of root vegetables. Sort of like buried treasure, these veggies grow underground. Naturally, when they're harvested, they tend to be covered in dirt and debris. Since carrots are no exception, they must be cleaned properly before making their way into salads, soups, and roasts so as not to affect flavor. But, if you're unsure how to go about cleaning a bunch of freshly picked carrots, we're here to help.

Aside from making it look and taste its best, produce should be washed to remove any residual pesticides or contaminating bacteria that could prove detrimental to our health, according to the government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Aside from giving carrots a rinse in water, peeling is one way to go about cleaning the taproots. Enhancing the aesthetic and producing a smoother texture, peeling can make sense when steaming or serving carrots raw. However, it isn't always necessary when cooking with carrots, so long as you give them a good scrub.

Start by dusting off large specks of caked-on soil. Then, under lukewarm running water, use a vegetable brush and some elbow grease to firmly scrub off any stray root hairs or dirt lodged deep in the carrot's crevices. Make sure to clean all around the carrot, applying enough pressure so as not to scrape it to bits. Once cleaned, pat dry using a paper towel, before storing or using in your recipe of choice.

The essentials needed to produce the cleanest carrots

Clean water is the most basic, yet important thing required to clean carrots. Unlike bleach or veggie washes that can seep into the vegetable's porous skin and make them unsafe to consume, water is totally safe and more than capable of effectively getting the job done. In fact, giving the root vegetables a soak in fresh water can actually help loosen dirt, reducing the level of intensity you need to exert when scrubbing carrots clean.

A good vegetable brush is an important consideration. Designed to reach every nook and cranny of the vegetable, a brush with thin yet sturdy nylon bristles can make scrubbing a breeze. That said, when selecting a veggie brush for carrots, keep an eye out for certain features such as size. For example, the brush head shouldn't be too small as this can mean more work for you when scrubbing. Likewise, it should be easy to grip and fairly lightweight to handle. Last but not least, it should also lend itself to effortless cleaning, once it has served its purpose.

The only other thing needed to successfully clean carrots is a bit of patience. Of course, if thoroughly scrubbing a bunch of taproots isn't within your weeknight time constraints, there's nothing wrong with bringing out the peeler to get rid of dirty and dusty outer skins in a flash — just don't forget to give the carrots a good rinse afterward.