This week at the grocery store, they had a great deal on this humongo (is that a word? hmmm) bag of Organic carrots, and I snatched it up! Little Man loves to eat carrots so we go through them pretty quickly, but I think I even overshot that mark haha
Instead of trying to hide carrots in every dish for the next 2 weeks, I decided to break out my all-time favorite garage sale find! About a year ago, I bought a little SnackMaster Jr. Dehydrator for 50¢. FIFTY CENTS! I was honestly surprised it worked when I got home. While its not the best dehydrator on the market, it does a pretty darn good job, and, for 50 cents, I can’t really complain!
So I gathered all of my stuff, and got started!
How To Dehydrate Carrots with a Dehydrator
Start by washing and peeling your carrots. You are welcome to leave the peels on if you like them. Personally, I think they make the carrot a little bit too tart, so I peel them.
Slice your carrots. I did about half of them in 1/4″ thick rounds (any thinner, and they might fall through the dehydrator cracks), and the other half I cut into carrot sticks. We like to make oven roasted carrot “fries” as a side dish, so hopefully these will work out for that once rehydrated. I also had a couple of Parsnips, some green onions, and celery that were close to going bad, so I chopped those up, too.
Next, blanch the carrots by placing them in boiling water for about 2 minutes. You don’t want to cook them, but just kind of “shock” them into thinking they’re being cooked 🙂 Really, all this does is help them keep their pretty orange color during dehydrating. I’ve heard it helps them dehydrate and rehydrate faster, but I cannot confirm this. You can also steam the carrots for 2 minutes if you don’t want to boil them.
After the two minutes, immediately place them under cold, running water or in an ice water bath to keep them from cooking any further.
When the carrots are cool to the touch, or about room temperature, arrange the slices in your dehydrator. They can touch on the sides, but you don’t want pieces on top of one another as it will take much longer to dry.
If you have a dehydrator with a setting for temperature, set it to around 125 Degrees, which is what you’ll use for most veggies. My little garage-sale beauty doesn’t have a temperature setting. It doesn’t even have an on/off switch… you just plug it in and go!
I let my carrots dry overnight, which was about 8 hours, and they were teeny tiny and extra crispy. They’ll still work great for soups and stews, but I might suggest going for around the 6 hour mark 🙂
Storing Dehydrated Carrots
After drying, let your carrots cool to room temperature then transfer to a storage container. I used mason jars for my carrots and parsnips, and ziplock bags for my green onions and celery since it was such a small amount.
Look how many carrots you can fit in a tiny half-pint jar! That’s about 10 carrots worth of sliced rounds in the half-pint jar, and 10-12 carrots worth of carrot sticks in the pint jar! Crazy!
Store your dehydrated veggies in a cool, dry place. Preferably in an airtight container. Light, heat, and moisture are your three worst food-storage enemies. Keep your carrots away from those 🙂
When you’re ready to rehydrate, pour boiling water over your dried carrots and let them soak for 15-20 minutes before using. You can use rehydrated carrots in soups or stews, casseroles, and similar dishes. You can eat them raw as well, but they might be a little bit chewier than your average fresh carrot. I’m going to try roasting my rehydrated carrot sticks in the oven to make carrot “fries.” I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂
What About You?
Do you dehydrate veggies? What kind of dehydrator do you use? What’s your favorite way to use rehydrated carrots?
P.S. If you’re looking to buy a dehydrator, Amazon has the Excalibur Dehydratoron sale right now, over $100 off! If I had the extra money, I would jump all over that! That’s the dehydrator I’ve been drooling over 🙂
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