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Dehydrating Carrots

dehycarrots.jar

I recently bought a 50 pound of carrots, ’cause I got them for $15. That’s 30 cents a pound. I had been missing my dehydrated and canned carrots, so I was glad to get this deal.

What does one do with 50 pounds of carrots? After all, I don’t have 19 kids and counting, just two, and no more counting. When you buy in bulk, you just have to think broadly. Carrots, for example – – in which ways does my family eat carrots? We eat them in pot pies and casseroles, so I’ll make diced. My family likes them in soup and roasted, so I’ll cut into slices. Stir fries, salads, baked goods, and coleslaw. I’ll shred some. Now, how will I preserve them? As I usually do, I’ll dehydrate, can, and freeze.

Next, what new ways can we eat carrots? I’d like to try making pickled carrots, carrot cake jam, and carrot pie.

So when you look at a giant box or bag of produce, don’t just think for instance, “we can never eat that many carrots.” Sure you can. It might take you a couple of years, but that’s the beauty of preserving. Get the best price now, and stash away for later.

I’m trying something new this year with freezing carrots. Instead of blanching first, I’m washing, peeling, and freezing without blanching. I’ve been reading chat boards and have been active on Kat’s Canning Tidbits Facebook page, and experienced home cooks say you don’t need to blanch. For dehydrating, however, you will need to blanch carrots first. I made the mistake a couple of years ago of not blanching carrots before dehydrating, so after about 9 months they started fading.

I only put my sliced carrots in boiling water for 30 seconds, then bring down the temperature with cool water. Just put carrots on trays and dehydrate. Look at the carrot before and after dehydration.

carrot.b4after

 

carrots.dehyd

I also decided to dehydrate shredded carrots. Not quite sure how I will use these yet – – will they rehydrate  quickly in stir fry? We shall see. I can use them in jar meals, I know that. Carrot powder is something else I will make, to use for carrot souffle, in soups, and to make carrot pie.

I will store these carrots in a Mason jar and suck all the air out with my vacuum seal attachment. Can’t wait to experiment with the new ways I’m using carrots.  Playing with food is fun!

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