How to Dry Carrots

Dried foods take up less space than frozen or canned foods: learn how to dry carrots to preserve your crop all year.


| December 2014


You can dehydrate vegetables, fruits, meats, herbs and even prepared meals with the instructions in The Beginner’s Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods (Storey Publishing, 2014) by Teresa Marrone. Each section includes food profiles with clear preparation instructions and recipes that feature that particular dried food, allowing the home cook to incorporate local and seasonal foods into a year-round diet. The following excerpt on how to dry carrots is from chapter 5, “Vegetables.”

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: The Beginner’s Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods.

Vegetables are often the mainstay of the dried-foods pantry because they can be used in so many ways. Rehydrated beets, corn, cauliflower, and winter squash, for example, look just like fresh-cooked vegetables and can be served by themselves to bring the taste of the harvest to any meal, any time of year. Other dried vegetables work best when used in hearty soups, stews, casseroles, or other dishes. Dried vegetables are easy to store and take up less room than canned or frozen vegetables.

Carrots

Carrots are so common in the supermarket that we tend to take them for granted. However, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating a just-pulled carrot, still warm from the sun, you understand that freshness counts with carrots. And although they may look tempting, know that most “baby-cut” carrots in the market are simply larger carrots that have been cut to appear like small specimens; they are often woody or less sweet than fresh, full-size carrots.



Carrot Oatmeal Cookie Recipe 

Select young, tender carrots with no hint of softness, darkening, or wet areas on the surface. Scrub with a stiff vegetable brush and cut off the tops; for more tender (but less nutritious) dried carrots, peel thinly with a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler. Slice crosswise into 1/8-inch circles, or dice into 1/4-inch cubes. For an attractive variation that also is quicker for both drying and rehydrating, cut carrots into 2-inch chunks, then slice lengthwise into1/8-inch-thick planks; slice these lengthwise into 1/8-inch sticks (referred to as julienne). You can also buy julienned carrots in small bags in the produce department, and these work fine for dehydrating. Dried shredded carrots work well in salads, soups, and even baked goods; thicker shreds are better for drying than thin, wispy shreds. Blanch sliced, diced, or julienned carrots until they are bright, deep orange and just beginning to soften on the outsides; the insides should still be crisp. Julienned carrots will take about 1-1/2 minutes in steam or 1 minute in boiling water; slices and diced carrots will take 3 to 4 minutes in steam or 2 to 3 minutes in boiling water. Chill in ice water, then drain and pat dry. Shredded carrots should not be blanched.







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