If you pulled up carrots from your garden and they went limp just a few days later, they are not beyond help. They stay firm in the ground and when stored in a sealed container, but when openly stockpiled in a basket, bucket or vegetable bin, they will end up soft and rubbery in as little as 24 hours. Most people just throw them away since they seem to be inedible. If they are otherwise good, do not toss them out. Knowing why they went soft is the key to understanding how to correct the problem. They can be refreshed within 48 hours, and no one will ever realize that they were once pliant and as tough as old boot leather.
My Limp Carrots
I recently dug up dozens of large carrots from my garden. I was proud of what I had accomplished. Seeds that were incredibly tiny seemed to magically transform into big healthy veggies. I painstakingly cleaned each one and removed the green tops. I immediately gave some to my future sister-in-law, and I left the others in the dry bucket. Two days I discovered that all of them were soft, limp, rubbery and inedible. I did not want to waste them and immediately began working on a plain to save my harvest. Much to my surprise, my method of rejuvenation paid off. Now they are properly stored in my refrigerator, and they will last for weeks.
Why Carrots Quickly Become Limp, Rubber and Inedible
The reason why carrots end up limp and rubbery is a lack of moisture. When stored in something unsealed and dry, the natural moisture quickly evaporates. Once the moisture is gone, you are left with partially dehydrated veggies. They retain just enough water to make them soft and highly pliable. Rehydrate the cells with and they will become crisp again.
Begin by Filling a Clean Bucket with Cold Water
After discovering that your garden-fresh carrots have turned soft and limp, locate a clean three to five-gallon bucket or another container of the appropriate size. Place the carrots in the bucket or container, and fill it most of the way with very cold water. The veggies should be completely covered. If necessary, add a couple of handfuls of ice. Check them once a day, and keep them in the cold water bath until they are crisp again.
Store Them in a Zipper Bag with Damp Paper Toweling
After your carrots are re-hydrated and crisp, they must be properly stored or they will end up limp and rubbery again. If you do not want to continue storing them in water, do the next best thing. Line gallon-size zipper bags with damp paper towels, and line up the carrots in between the toweling. Always seal the bag right after removing what you need. Keep the paper damp and they will stay crisp, flavorful and fresh.
Source: Organic Gardening Experience and Food Experimentation