This article contains everything you could need to know about how to prepare, dehydrate, and then store carrots.
A background on carrots
Carrots are a root vegetable originating from Europe and southwestern Asia. Carrots are usually orange, as I’m sure you know. However, carrots can also come in purple, black, red, white and yellow. Carrots are very sweet and are used all over the globe. Carrots are incredibly versatile and can be cooked almost anyway imaginable and are even nice raw, in salads or just to crunch on.
Fun fact: Carrots can’t actually help you see in the dark, as you may have heard. That was a lie fabricated by the British government to help cover up the fact they had invented radar during World War 2.
Why dehydrate carrots?
There are plenty of benefits to dehydrating carrots. It can give them an interesting new flavor profile, completely change their texture and allow them to be stored much longer. People have been dehydrating carrots for a very long time, especially during wartime to give them a longer life so we know the best ways to do it for flavor and safety.
How to prepare carrots for dehydrating?
First of all, you’re going to want to wash and really scrub your carrots. Even if you bought them ‘clean’ from the store rather than digging them up in the backyard, there is still no guarantee they are really clean enough. If you fail to clean them now, you could taint them and leave them spoilt only realizing after you come to eat them.
Next cut the tops of the carrots off. We have no interest in dehydrating their greenery along the top. You can also remove the bottoms of the carrot to if you wish, though you don’t need to.
Then, you’re going to want to cut them into small chunks. Somewhere between 1/2 and 1/4 inch in size. Now use a Mandolin to slice them thinly. Try to make them all as close to the same size as possible or each piece of carrot will need different lengths of time to dehydrate and it could become a painful process making sure they’re all done. Better to get it right now and save yourself the hassle.
Now you’re going to need to blanch the carrots for a good 3-4 minutes. Blanching is quickly dropping something in boiling water for a few minutes to part cook it, before bringing it back out and then dropping it into ice-cold water. Whilst your carrots are blanching you should use that time to fill a big enough bowl of water with ice ready for blanching. Blanching kills the cooking process before it can really get started and helps the dehydrating process greatly.
Next, drain the carrots in a sieve or colander to get as much water off as possible. You can even pat them dry with a paper towel to get as much water off them that way too before we begin the dehydrating process.
How to dehydrate the carrots
To dehydrate the carrots set out your dehydrator and set it to around 40 degrees celsius. Any more than this and you could accidentally begin to cook the carrots and we do not want that at all. It’s best to dehydrate the carrot in batches rather than doing as many at once as possible. It may take a lot longer but you run the risk of them not all dehydrating properly by doing them all at once.
Carrots can take anywhere between 2 and 4 hours typically but could take longer depending on how much moisture they still retained after the blanching process. It may take some experimenting to get the right time for the carrots, but after that is just rinse and repeat.
You should check the carrots at least every 30 minutes to check how they’re d0ing, you’ll know when the carrots have dehydrated enough when they are crispy and dry. But not burnt!
How to store them
Your freshly dehydrated carrots can be stored by placing them into airtight Tupperware containers or glass jars. The carrots should last a few months. They will technically be fine for years if stored correctly but they may not be nice for that long. That decision is of course up to you.
I hope this article answered any questions you may have had about carrot dehydrating, good luck and happy dehydrating.