Since I got so many carrots from our garden this year, and I still have a lot in food storage, I thought I’d just play with my harvest this time around, and hopefully learn a few tricks and add some new recipes to my repertoire.
The other day, I learned how to dehydrate carrots. Dried carrots are great to add to soups and stews, and take up a lot less space than fresh or canned carrots. Plus, they can be stored for a year or so as long as they are free from moisture.
Here’s how to dehydrate carrots…
First, you’ll need to wash and peel your carrots. Then remove the tops and tips. (I’ve started adding the carrot scraps to a freezer bag of chicken parts and other veggies for making stock later on, thanks to some of my readers’ advice! Nothing wasted!)
You can slice them pretty thick, but about 1/4″ in. is most recommended.
For the best outcome, you’ll want to steam blanch the chopped carrots. Steam blanching, as opposed to boiling, allows for vitamins and minerals to be preserved. Blanching also shortens the drying and rehydration time, retains the color, keeps them fresh for longer, and kills microorganisms that could induce spoilage.
Steam the carrots for about 3-4 min. They should still be fairly hard (not tender). You may choose to dip the carrots in ice water to quickly cool them. I don’t usually do this.
I’m using a Nesco dehydrator. Just fill the racks with the blanched carrots, making sure not to overlap any. You can also dry them in an oven on the lowest setting. The Ball Blue Book recommends drying at 125*F, but I just went by the “vegetables” setting on my dehydrator.
After about half a day the carrots were shriveled up, and almost brittle. Perfect.
I stored them in a mason jar, and stuck them in my pantry. I’ve read that keeping them out of sunlight will help the carrots to retain their Vitamin A.
I haven’t tried using any, but I’m anxious to see how they taste after being tossed in a soup or something. I’ve never cooked with dried carrots before, so I’ll have to let you know once I’ve tried it!
Do you dry your abundance of carrots? Anyone wanna share how you use dehydrated carrots in meals?
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.
17 thoughts on “How To Dehydrate Carrots”
Why do you need to blanch them first? I dehydrate daikon radish by cutting into julienne strips then placing them on the dehydrator. In a few hours, all done!
I live in the desert and our cars are ovens. I prepared carrots and celery, placed them on
a cookie sheet with another kitchen towel over them placed them in the back window and
went to work. I parked in the underground garage so they were not in direct sun. They were
dried in two days. I dried apples using my Mothers dehydrator , put them in the freezer and
forgot them. 7 years later Iused them for fried pies and they were still good.
can you dehydrate whole mini carrots?
I would think whole carrots would be too thick to dehydrate properly throughout. You really do need to chop them into smaller pieces.
Yes you can, I have books on Dehydrating and it said that baby carrots could be dried whole. I have dried them this past weekend and it worked great. This winter When I put a roast in the crockpot I will put some of the dried whole baby carrots in there too, just remember to put additional water in because the carrots will rehydrate and pull in alot of water/broth.
Could you make them into a powder to use in cooking for those that don’t like carrots. Yep, I mean to hide them in soups, etc.
You can do this. I use my magic bullet to make the dehydrated carrots into a powder and then add it to foods in secret. I have also done this with tomatoes but I am sure you could do it with many other veggies. This is the only way I can get my kids to eat enough veggies 🙂
I froze or dehydrated my homegrown carrots this summer. It was nice to say I’d done it, but there was a lot of prep work with it that I didn’t enjoy. I’ll still do some just to keep in practice and use my garden produce later in the winter, but it’s faster and easier to buy frozen diced carrots (they are already blanched for you) and then dehydrate those. If you count your time as valuable, it’s almost as cheap to do it this way.
Or you can buy the pre-sliced carrots in a bag, blanch them yourself, and then dehydrate, but frozen is cheaper and the nutritional quality of frozen is quite good. Plus then you don’t have the extra prep!
It’s perfectly fine to do it either way. But for those who are pressed for time and yet still want to have dehydrated carrots at the ready, dehydrating from frozen is a time-effective and reasonably-priced way to do it.
That’s a good tip to share, Well-Rounded Mama 🙂 I never thought of buying carrots to dehydrate, but that’s a good option for those who don’t have the time to do all that work. Thanks!!
I love dehydrating carrots (and just about anything else I can get my hands on)! We occasionally receive large quantities of produce from friends, so I have gotten pretty good at canning, freezing, and dehydrating on short notice, and usually have a good variety of all three types of many vegetables. A couple years ago, right after buying a fifty pound bag of “deer” carrots, I also received multiple cases of pre-sliced, bagged carrots. Once I had given away as many as I could, I ended up freezing, canning, and dehydrating…for about a week, solid! We ran out of the dehydrated carrots first (I think I had 6 or 7 half-gallon jars), still have a few canned jars, and I took the last bags of frozen carrots out last week and dehydrated them. We use them in soups, whiz some up in the food processor to add to cakes, and our bunnies love them for a treat! I am lucky enough to have two dehydrators – a Nesco (with eight trays), and an Excalibur (with nine trays). They stay set up in my sunroom, and get used at least once a week.
dehydrated carrots are great in veggie soup!!!
I tried something different. I chopped a bunch of medium sized carrots in a food chopper. The pieces were about less than 1/4 inch.
I then dehydrated these. It turned out that 1 teaspoon of this dehydrated carrots is equal to 1 medium carrot.
I did not blanch
I’ve used dehydrated diced carrots just in soups so far (the alphabet soup at The Prudent Homemaker is fabulous!), and have a recipe for a carrot souffle I’m planning on using later on with one of our school themes. 🙂 Oh, and I won a blue ribbon at the fair with my dehydrated carrots – likely because most of them were white/yellow carrots with just a few orange carrot coins in there for fun. 🙂
I have a Nesco dehydrator too, and dehydrate my carrots using the same method you did. I’ve used mine in pot roast and soups, and find the long-cooking things with lots of liquid work best. The carrots taste and look like you used fresh.
I have the flexible screens to go on the dehydrator trays and highly recommend them. Using them I can dry diced things, like onions, celery and bell peppers. It takes less time to dry, and the tiny dried pieces don’t fall through. I’m thinking about trying this with shredded carrots, but I would rehydrate shreds in water before making something like ….carrot cake!
Thank you Kendra. We didn’t have an abundance of carrots this year, but I often find organic ones marked down at the store. I don’t care to can them, but this will be perfect.
Hi, Kendra! I also have been dehydrating carrots (I have a bunch in the fridge that need to be done this week). We’ve been adding them, a handful at a time, to some soups. Yesterday was cool and wet, so we made potato soup for lunch. I tossed in a handful of dehydrated carrots and a handful of dehydrated onions along with the fresh potatoes. I was really good. Now I just need to dry the potatoes as well and get to canning chicken stock then we will have the ingredients for a quick and healthy soup on hand.
What a great idea!
I don’t have a dehydrator but I could try it in the oven. I like that idea…not sure if we will have an abundance of carrots but I may try it with a few!