This weekend I cleaned up the last of my garden plants. I was disappointed that my last batch of carrots didn’t have enough time to grow to full size – lots of short, fat carrots 🙂 I decided to cut them up and dehydrate them so that I could enjoy them in my single-serving soups over the winter (see my post entitled “No More Canned Soups!”).
The process was relatively simple. Slice your carrots thinly (no more than 1/4 inch, thinner if possible). I cut my slices into smaller pieces, since I know that I’ll be using them as above and will only be cooking them for ten to fifteen minutes at most when I reconstitute them. Then, steam blanch them.
To steam blanch – boil a small amount of water in the bottom of a pan, place carrots in a steamer tray into the pan and steam for three minutes. Then, remove from pan and place in ice cold water for three more minutes.
After the blanching – spread carrots in thin layers on your dehydrator racks. They will shrink up as they dry, so if you have screens for your dehydrator trays, now is a good time to use them. If not, the smallest pieces may fall through the trays as they dry. Not a big deal.
I read online that you should dry the carrots for six to twelve hours. After about seven hours my carrots seemed dry and leathery as they are supposed to be. I removed from the trays and put into a plastic container to store.