Soften Pre-Chopped Carrots With a Little Salt

A bag of pre-shredded carrots may seem like supreme convenience, but the often dry, inexplicably rubbery pieces of vegetables remind me of too many sad side dishes. Even though I am fully aware that I like freshly ground carrots more than bagged carrots, I cannot resist the siren song about laziness. (I now have two packets of grated carrots in my fridge.) Fortunately, the nearly dried bunches of vegetables can be turned back into pliable and flavorful ones; you just need a little salt.

Like any part of the plant that you mix with sodium chloride, shredded carrots are softened by osmosis. Water (solvent) moves from the cell walls of the carrot towards the salt (solute), eventually destroying them, and this happens quickly. Just 1/4 teaspoon of salt can soften a cup of grated carrots in about 15 minutes. He also season them with (salt), which is an added bonus.

All you have to do is toss the carrots with the coating salt using the above ratio and let them sit in the bowl for at least 10 minutes, or until they reach the desired level of recoil. When tender, you can mix them in a super acidic vinaigrette for a light salad, pickle them with seasoned vinegar, or add to a bowl of herbs for a nasty side dish. If you’re concerned about oversalting your last dish, simply rinse off the salt from the carrot crumbs before seasoning them. I rarely rinse them unless I add a salty dressing (like a vinaigrette with fish sauce), but that’s just me.


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