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How To Dehydrate Carrots

>5 September 2011
 
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Since I got so many carrots from our garden this year, and I still have a lot in food storage, I thought I’d just play with my harvest this time around, and hopefully learn a few tricks and add some new recipes to my repertoire.

The other day, I learned how to dehydrate carrots. Dried carrots are great to add to soups and stews, and take up a lot less space than fresh or canned carrots. Plus, they can be stored for a year or so as long as they are free from moisture.

Here’s how to dehydrate carrots…

dehydrate carrots

First, you’ll need to wash and peel your carrots. Then remove the tops and tips. (I’ve started adding the carrot scraps to a freezer bag of chicken parts and other veggies for making stock later on, thanks to some of my readers’ advice! Nothing wasted!)

You can slice them pretty thick, but about 1/4″ in. is most recommended.

For the best outcome, you’ll want to steam blanch the chopped carrots. Steam blanching, as opposed to boiling, allows for vitamins and minerals to be preserved. Blanching also shortens the drying and rehydration time, retains the color, keeps them fresh for longer, and kills microorganisms that could induce spoilage.

Steam the carrots for about 3-4 min. They should still be fairly hard (not tender). You may choose to dip the carrots in ice water to quickly cool them. I don’t usually do this.

I’m using a Nesco dehydrator. Just fill the racks with the blanched carrots, making sure not to overlap any. You can also dry them in an oven on the lowest setting. The Ball Blue Book recommends drying at 125*F, but I just went by the “vegetables” setting on my dehydrator.

After about half a day the carrots were shriveled up, and almost brittle. Perfect.

how to dehydrate carrots

I stored them in a mason jar, and stuck them in my pantry. I’ve read that keeping them out of sunlight will help the carrots to retain their Vitamin A.

I haven’t tried using any, but I’m anxious to see how they taste after being tossed in a soup or something. I’ve never cooked with dried carrots before, so I’ll have to let you know once I’ve tried it!

Do you dry your abundance of carrots? Anyone wanna share how you use dehydrated carrots in meals?

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10 Comments »

  • Deanna said:

    What a great idea!

    I don’t have a dehydrator but I could try it in the oven. I like that idea…not sure if we will have an abundance of carrots but I may try it with a few!

    Thanks!
    Deanna

  • Anita Chamblee said:

    Hi, Kendra! I also have been dehydrating carrots (I have a bunch in the fridge that need to be done this week). We’ve been adding them, a handful at a time, to some soups. Yesterday was cool and wet, so we made potato soup for lunch. I tossed in a handful of dehydrated carrots and a handful of dehydrated onions along with the fresh potatoes. I was really good. Now I just need to dry the potatoes as well and get to canning chicken stock then we will have the ingredients for a quick and healthy soup on hand.

  • Miranda said:

    Thank you Kendra. We didn’t have an abundance of carrots this year, but I often find organic ones marked down at the store. I don’t care to can them, but this will be perfect.

  • Deb W said:

    I have a Nesco dehydrator too, and dehydrate my carrots using the same method you did. I’ve used mine in pot roast and soups, and find the long-cooking things with lots of liquid work best. The carrots taste and look like you used fresh.

    I have the flexible screens to go on the dehydrator trays and highly recommend them. Using them I can dry diced things, like onions, celery and bell peppers. It takes less time to dry, and the tiny dried pieces don’t fall through. I’m thinking about trying this with shredded carrots, but I would rehydrate shreds in water before making something like ….carrot cake!

  • Lanna said:

    I’ve used dehydrated diced carrots just in soups so far (the alphabet soup at The Prudent Homemaker is fabulous!), and have a recipe for a carrot souffle I’m planning on using later on with one of our school themes. :) Oh, and I won a blue ribbon at the fair with my dehydrated carrots – likely because most of them were white/yellow carrots with just a few orange carrot coins in there for fun. :)

  • Tonetto said:

    I tried something different … maybe stupid. I chopped a bunch of medium sized carrots in a food chopper. The pieces were about less than 1/4 inch.

    I then dehydrated these. It turned out that 1 teaspoon of this dehydrated carrots is equal to 1 medium carrot.

    I did not blanch

    Any thoughts?

  • diane said:

    dehydrated carrots are great in veggie soup!!!

  • Tina said:

    I love dehydrating carrots (and just about anything else I can get my hands on)! We occasionally receive large quantities of produce from friends, so I have gotten pretty good at canning, freezing, and dehydrating on short notice, and usually have a good variety of all three types of many vegetables. A couple years ago, right after buying a fifty pound bag of “deer” carrots, I also received multiple cases of pre-sliced, bagged carrots. Once I had given away as many as I could, I ended up freezing, canning, and dehydrating…for about a week, solid! We ran out of the dehydrated carrots first (I think I had 6 or 7 half-gallon jars), still have a few canned jars, and I took the last bags of frozen carrots out last week and dehydrated them. We use them in soups, whiz some up in the food processor to add to cakes, and our bunnies love them for a treat! I am lucky enough to have two dehydrators – a Nesco (with eight trays), and an Excalibur (with nine trays). They stay set up in my sunroom, and get used at least once a week.

  • The Well-Rounded Mama said:

    I froze or dehydrated my homegrown carrots this summer. It was nice to say I’d done it, but there was a lot of prep work with it that I didn’t enjoy. I’ll still do some just to keep in practice and use my garden produce later in the winter, but it’s faster and easier to buy frozen diced carrots (they are already blanched for you) and then dehydrate those. If you count your time as valuable, it’s almost as cheap to do it this way.

    Or you can buy the pre-sliced carrots in a bag, blanch them yourself, and then dehydrate, but frozen is cheaper and the nutritional quality of frozen is quite good. Plus then you don’t have the extra prep!

    It’s perfectly fine to do it either way. But for those who are pressed for time and yet still want to have dehydrated carrots at the ready, dehydrating from frozen is a time-effective and reasonably-priced way to do it.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    That’s a good tip to share, Well-Rounded Mama :) I never thought of buying carrots to dehydrate, but that’s a good option for those who don’t have the time to do all that work. Thanks!!

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