Dehydrating Carrots.

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.

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