How to Dry Carrots: 5 Ways
Everyone knows that carrots have useful properties and a great spicy and sweet taste. Its addition transforms any dish. Therefore, in terms of popularity, this root vegetable is in second place after potatoes. Carrots are added to soups, hot dishes, appetizers and salads. It is used to make desserts, juices and eaten simply raw.
- How to choose carrots for drying
- How to prepare a vegetable for drying
- How to dry carrots at home
- In the oven
- In an electric dryer
- In a microwave oven
- Air grill
- In the sun
- Drying carrot tops
- How to find out if the product is ready
- How to store dried carrots
- What are the usefulness of dried carrots
- What can be made from dried carrots
- Carrot Tea
- Filling for pies
- Buckwheat pie with white fish
- Carrot cake
This root vegetable stores well throughout the winter, so there is always access to it. But to preserve carrots properly, a number of conditions must be met, otherwise they will quickly rot or lose their flavor. You need a good and spacious cellar, also for storage is recommended to select carrots of the same size, smooth, even, without damage. After all, they can be a source of contamination by pathogens.
Usually, vegetables that do not meet these conditions, let for processing, preparing from them salads, vegetable assortments and canned. This method also has its own drawback. The root vegetable loses some of its useful properties during heat treatment. In addition, this method takes a lot of time and effort.
You can use the method of freezing. To save a large volume, you need a separate freezer. Drying allows you to save most vitamins and trace elements, as well as some methods of drying do not require constant personal presence, dried product can easily find a place on a shelf in a cabinet or pantry. A good result depends largely on the quality of the raw material used. Therefore, the choice of varieties and root crops should be approached wisely and with calculation. Another advantage of dried carrots is the preservation after processing of vitamins, minerals and other useful substances almost in full.
How to choose carrots for drying
Any variety can be used for drying. But it is still recommended to opt for medium-ripening late varieties. They have a denser structure, a pronounced taste and aroma, accumulate more nutrients and vitamins, and contain less moisture, which will noticeably accelerate the drying process. Such varieties, for example, include Karlena, Samson, Chantane, Queen of Autumn. For drying, it is better to choose varieties with good shelf-life, as for storing fresh. Such carrots are usually denser, sweeter, contain less moisture, so will dry faster and store better.
It is also necessary to harvest the carrots properly. Harvesting usually takes place in September. It is better if the soil dries out, so it is worth a few days to stop watering. Otherwise, the root crops will gain excess moisture.
Dig up carrots should be careful, trying not to damage them with a shovel. First dig up the vegetable, then pull it out of the ground by the haulm. Before washing and cleaning, you should dry the crop in the fresh air here on the bed by laying it out in a single layer and letting it sit for 2-3 hours. After that, shake off the dried soil. It is better to harvest carrots on a warm and dry day, if the weather allows it. While the carrots are drying, you can use scissors or a knife to cut the haulm down to the root.
After the root carrots it is worth inspecting and sorting, discarding the most unsuccessful specimens, which have too many defects and damages, small and crooked. The badly damaged ones should be thrown away. And the small, crooked, a little bit cut can be used for salads, assorted and other preserves.
For drying it is better to select sweet and fragrant carrots. In the process of dehydration, some of the flavor escapes, the taste becomes less intense, so it is so important to choose initially good copies.
How to prepare the vegetable for drying
Preparation begins with washing. It is necessary to wash the carrots of all impurities. You can use a stiff sponge or brush to get all the dirt off, which can get caught in small cracks. When all the dirt is removed, spread the root vegetables on the surface in a single layer and let the moisture evaporate a little from the surface.
Clean carefully, removing only a thin layer of skin. This way it will be possible to preserve more vitamins and micronutrients. To do this, it is better to use a vegetable peeler, this knife removes very thin strips. If there are small damages and distortions on the surface, it is necessary to remove them. It is also necessary to cut off the green part of the vegetable. It contains chlorophyll, it gives a very pungent smell and is bitter. Therefore, this part of the carrot is not recommended to dry or use for cooking.
Now you can slice it. The shape and size of the pieces is arbitrary. You can chop in advance so that the billet is shaped to fit the dish. Part of it should be cut into cubes, the other - in straws. You can also cut into thin circles or long slices along the root vegetable. It all depends on your imagination and preference. You can simply grate them on a coarse grater.
Some housewives dry carrots raw, without prepping. But it is still recommended to blanch the vegetable. So the final product will be much sweeter, flavorful and will be cooked faster when added to dishes.
Root vegetables are blanched even before they are chopped. To do this, boil salted water in a saucepan, put the vegetables in it and allow to boil on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. The time depends on the initial raw material. Larger carrots should be kept longer, small carrots will be ready much faster. To check the readiness, it is enough to pierce the vegetables with a toothpick or fork. They should go in with effort. Blanched carrots should be transferred to cold water, so that they quickly cool and stop cooking. The soft product will not be able to dry. Now you can shred and start drying.
How to dry carrots at home
Housewives are free to choose how to dry carrots. In this matter, it is worth relying on your own preferences, the availability of conditions, time and proper devices or facilities. It is not possible to say that one method is better than another. Each has its own advantages or disadvantages.
Drying naturally in the sun does not require the use of technical means and does not consume energy, but is the longest process and depends entirely on weather conditions. Drying with an oven or dryer allows faster results, but requires electricity and direct involvement.
In the oven
The option of drying vegetables in the oven is the most affordable of all. It doesn't require special appliances or good weather and a sunny spot. There is an oven in almost every home. Therefore, this method is one of the most popular. In addition, drying in the oven takes much less time than naturally. But there are also complications. The volume of processed raw materials is very limited. Also, you need to monitor the process, periodically stirring the pieces, so that they are dried, not cooked.
Preparation of carrots for drying in the oven is the same as in other cases. Sliced pieces should be placed on a baking tray in a thin layer. If the root vegetable was grated on a grater, the thickness of the layer should not be more than 1 cm. To prevent the slices from sticking to the bottom of the dish, you can cover it with baking paper, foil or use a silicone mat. If the carrots are cut into slices or circles, you should put them at a small distance. This way the drying will go faster.
Preheat the oven to 60-70 degrees. Put the trays in the oven. It is better to use convection or fan mode, if the device has such a function, or leave the door slightly ajar. The resulting gap will allow the evaporated moisture to escape. With the fan running the door can also be left ajar, the process will be faster and more efficient.
After an hour, turn off the oven, open the doors, steam will escape. Allow the oven and the product to cool. Stir in the slices. Then reheat the oven to 60-70 degrees and continue to dry the carrots until they are ready. This method of "intermission" helps to equalize the humidity in the product and dry the slightly wilted root vegetable faster.
The process takes about 6-8 hours. It all depends on the variety, method and thickness of cutting, the peculiarities of the work of the oven. When drying is finished, you need to take out the trays and allow the carrots to cool completely at room temperature. Then you can transfer to containers for further storage.
In an electric dryer
Of all the methods of drying in an electric dryer is the most optimal. The process takes longer than in the oven, but much less than the natural way. Also, most models of dryers allow you to process large volumes of product. Using this method, you can not worry about the uniformity of drying. There is no need to constantly be around, turn or stir the slices. Only occasionally you should swap trays, as the air in electric dryers goes from the bottom up, so the lower level dries faster. But if there are few tiers, you don't have to do this either. Slow drying of the product allows you to save the maximum stock of vitamins, minerals and other useful substances.
- Prepared and sliced slices put on the grates of the device. The design of electric dryers varies. Some of them have rather large cells in the trays, so you need to slice the product larger, so that the slices do not fall through when drying.
- Set the recommended drying temperature to 60-70 degrees. Some models of devices have a function to regulate the air flow. It is worth setting the mode to maximum, if you intend to dry large slices.
- After 1-2 hours, swap trays to ensure even drying. The whole process will take 6-12 hours. The duration is influenced by the capacity of the dryer, the humidity of the raw material, the size of the slices, the volume of the product. Nevertheless, it is quite a convenient way, as it does not require attention and goes almost without human involvement.
It is recommended to install the dryer during operation in a room that is well ventilated. You can put it outside, under an awning, on a balcony or porch.
Once drying is finished, the appliance should be turned off, but the finished product should not be taken out until it has cooled completely. It can then be transferred to a common bowl and packaged for storage.
In the microwave.
Microwave drying is the fastest way to get results. However, its biggest disadvantage is the small volume that can be processed. In addition, all the time you will have to be near the oven and monitor the process, so that the carrots are dried, not boiled or baked.
- For the microwave, cut the vegetables into small cubes or thin straws. On a plate for the microwave, spread baking paper, on top of a thin layer (1 cm) lay the prepared slices, on top cover with a second sheet of paper. This roll put in the oven chamber. Be sure to put a glass of water next to it. This will allow the carrots to dry evenly and not burn.
- Set the maximum power and turn on the program for 3 minutes. Every minute stop the process, open the door and let the steam out, while watching the amount of water in the glass. It must not boil over. Add more liquid if necessary.
- Then reduce the power and finish drying the product by turning on the microwave for 30 seconds. Repeat this several times until the carrots are completely dry. Be sure to let the steam out during the periods when the microwave is stopped.
- When the product is ready, open the door and leave the slices to cool inside the chamber. You can also finish drying just in the air, then you will have to wait a few hours.
In an air grill
The air grill also allows you to dry vegetables quickly, plus you don't need to be around to turn or stir the slices. Convection mode dries evenly. But the volume of processed product is severely limited by the size of the flask of the air grill.
- Grate carrots on a coarse grater. Spread on the grids prepared root carrots evenly, with a thickness of no more than 1 cm. If the cells are too large, first lay baking paper. To improve air circulation, you can pierce the sheet in several places with a knife.
- Set the heating temperature to 120 degrees and select medium blowing power. Do not close the lid tightly. To leave a gap, you can put a skewer between the lid and the flask.
- Depending on the amount of product, the process will take 15-30 minutes.
- Once the carrots are dry, turn off the appliance, open the lid and allow the slices to cool completely. You can send them to storage.
In the sun
This method is natural, allows you to save the maximum amount of useful substances, as it occurs at low temperatures, compared to the use of devices.
- The first thing to do responsibly is to choose a place for drying. You need an area that is away from sources of dust, gases and unpleasant odors. Dry vegetables are susceptible to strong odors. It is better to dry carrots directly in the vegetable garden, in the yard of the homestead or in a well-ventilated attic. It is also worth looking for the sunniest place, better if it has a slope to the south. In this case, the heating will be more intense and the time spent in the sun will also increase significantly.
- Prepared vegetables finely chop or coarsely grate. It is better to use a large sieve, so there will be good air circulation. But you can lay on ordinary trays, plywood or a board. In this case, you will need to stir the pieces so that the product dries evenly.
- Set the pallets on the chosen place. To protect the carrots from dust and insects, cover them with gauze, the ends of which should be fixed. At night everything will have to be taken into a warm and dry room. Otherwise, the carrots can get damp from the change in temperature and humidity. In the morning, after the dew has descended, put everything back in place. Depending on the amount of root carrots, humidity level and temperature, the process will take 10-14 days. Periodically stir the pieces, reviewing them, removing those that have begun to spoil or are already well dried. When the bulk of the carrots have dried, sort through them again. Those slices that didn't finish drying out, dry them separately.
This method is the most economical, it does not need to waste electricity. But it requires a lot of time and effort. It also requires clear, dry, hot weather for two weeks. And this can boast not every region. Therefore, it is worth to prepare back-up options in case of a sudden change in the weather.
Sometimes you can combine the methods of drying. For example, you can first dry the cut carrots in the sun for 2-3 days and then finish drying them in the dryer or oven. This option is necessary if you are not sure of the stability of the weather. It is also convenient if the vegetable garden is located far away in the countryside, where there is no possibility to use electric appliances. When fresh, the root vegetable takes up a lot of space and is quite heavy. And in the dried form carrots will be light and take up much less space.
Drying carrot tops
In addition to root vegetables, some housewives dry and use the haulm of carrots. It helps to fight many diseases, improves the lymphatic system, has a beneficial effect on the metabolism. With her prepare a useful and delicious drink.
To dry the haulm used the same methods as for the fruit. It should be well washed, dried on a paper towel, finely chopped and sent to dry. If using the natural method of drying in the sun, the haulm can be dried in the shade where there is good air circulation by hanging it on a rope. String or rope first, and then hang the haulm at a small distance from each other, without shredding. As it dries, you can already grind it into a powder.
How to determine if the product is ready
If the product is not dried correctly, it will begin to spoil quickly. If everything has been done correctly, dried carrots will have a bright orange color. The consistency of the product will be dense and elastic. Over-dried vegetables lose their aroma and flavor.
Immediately after drying, you can not put carrots in storage containers. You need to pour everything into one large bowl and leave in a dry place for a couple of days, stirring and shaking occasionally. The product will dry out and equalize the humidity. Only after this procedure can it be packaged and stored.
How to properly store dried carrots
For storage, you can use glass and tin cans, wooden and cardboard boxes, canvas bags and plastic bags. The main thing is to store in a dark, cool and dry place with a constant temperature. Kitchen cupboards and pantries usually meet these conditions.
It is necessary to note that you should not pour the pieces too tightly into the bag or to the edge of the bag. There should be air and space so that you can periodically shake and stir the product. In this form, dried carrots can be stored for about a year, until the next harvest. If the bags are put in the freezer, the shelf life can be extended by several more months.
If the vegetables are stored in a canvas bag or cardboard box, you must remember that they are susceptible to strong flavors. Therefore, there should not be similar products nearby.
What is the usefulness of dried carrots
Everyone knows that carrots are rich in vitamins, trace elements, pectin and healthy sugar. Dried root carrots in no way inferior to fresh vegetables. After drying the product remains up to 90% of all the useful substances and vitamins. Consumption of dried carrots will not only maintain health, but also to cope with some diseases.
- The dried vegetable is rich in carotene, which has a beneficial effect on the respiratory organs. In the body, this substance is converted into vitamin A. It plays an important role in restoring eye health. It is recommended for those who suffer from myopia, night blindness, conjunctivitis. Thanks to its effect is a strengthening of the retina.
- Regular use of dried carrots helps to increase vitality and mood, stamina and immunity, improve regeneration processes.
- The contained substances help the work of many body systems, promote the removal of toxins and impurities, improve blood circulation, prevent the formation of blood clots in the blood vessels.
- No less useful and dried haulm. It has almost the same composition as the root vegetable. Sometimes the concentration of some substances is much higher. Decoctions and teas based on it can improve metabolic processes, helps in the fight against diseases of the heart or bladder.
But there are contraindications to the use of the vegetable and the leaf. They can cause harm to a person who has an aggravated ulcer or inflammation of the small intestine. In this case, you should refuse such a product or reduce its consumption.
What can be cooked from dried carrots
Dried carrots are suitable for adding to any food. For example, it gives the first dishes a peculiar taste and flavor. In addition, its use allows you to greatly simplify the cooking process when necessary. It is enough to add the dried product to the meat broth, and it will acquire the desired flavor and aroma. Therefore, you can do without using the vegetable in its raw form, which still needs to be cooked for a long time.
You can also use dried carrots in the preparation of salads, side dishes, fillings for pies. In this case, the pieces of the root vegetable are reconstituted by soaking them in warm water. After 2-3 hours, dried carrots can be cooked as fresh.
To increase vitality, raise immunity, improve metabolic processes in the body, you can drink fragrant carrot tea. It is prepared both from the dried root, and with the addition of dried haulm.
- 1-2 tbsp. dried carrots;
- 1 tbsp. steeped boiling water.
- Boil water. Teapot pre-coil with boiling water and drain it to warm dishes.
- Pour the carrots and water, which has just boiled.
- Leave to infuse for half an hour and then pour into cups.
- If not enough sweetness, add honey.
To make tea with both dried carrots and haulm, you need to mix the dry ingredients in equal proportions. Otherwise, the recipe does not differ from the first option.
Filling for patties
The dried root vegetable can be used as a filling for pies. Cakes with carrot filling can be a good snack or a substitute for dessert. You can use dried vegetables to make a filling.
- Reconstitute the carrots. To do this, pour warm water and let it stand for 2-3 hours. After draining the water, squeeze the resulting product, slightly dry on a paper towel.
- Heat oil in a frying pan. You can use refined sunflower oil, or mix vegetable oil and butter. Such a combination will greatly improve the taste of the filling. In a pan, fry the carrots over medium heat.
- Salt, add sugar to taste. If necessary, add a little water. Cover and simmer until soft. Some people like it very soft, others want to feel the texture.
This will make a sweet filling. If you like, you can add washed and soaked raisins.
If you want to make patties for a snack, but not for dessert, then you should fry and stew carrots and onions, adding your favorite flavorful spices.
The filling is ready, you can make pies.
Buckwheat casserole with white fish
You can please the family with a delicious casserole for lunch.
- 300 g buckwheat grits;
- 200g of fish (hake, pollock, whiting);
- 1 head of onion;
- 3 chicken eggs;
- 1 tbsp. flour;
- 1-2 pickles;
- 50g cheese;
- 50 g of butter;
Spice mix: dried carrots, dried parsley, dried basil, paprika, ground black pepper;
- Boil buckwheat porridge.
- Dice onion and fry in vegetable oil.
- Marinate the fish fillet in a mixture of spices and salt. To do this, sprinkle pieces of fish with the prepared mixture and rub into each piece well. Leave to marinade.
- Cut the pickles into thin slices.
- Grate cheese on a medium grater.
- You can assemble the casserole. Rub the baking dish with butter. Add the rest to the porridge.
- Lay out the ingredients in layers: onion, half of the buckwheat porridge, cucumbers, fish, the other half of the porridge.
- Mix the flour with the eggs and whisk thoroughly so that there are no lumps. Pour the mixture over the casserole.
- Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes. Then take it out. Sprinkle with cheese and continue baking until golden crust.
Reconstituted dried carrots can also be used for baking desserts.
- 2 large handfuls of dried carrots;
- 4 eggs;
- 4 tbsp. vegetable oil;
- 0.5 tbsp. sugar;
- 1 tbsp. flour;
- 4 tbsp. powdered sugar;
- 1 tsp. baking powder;
- pinch of salt.
- Pour warm water over the carrots and let stand for a couple of hours to recover. Drain the water, dry with a paper towel.
- In a bowl, whisk eggs, oil, sugar and salt until frothy.
- Add the carrots to the egg mixture.
- Mix the flour with the baking powder and sift through a sieve. Gradually mix the flour into the egg-carrot mixture. Mix thoroughly.
- Prepare the baking tin, grease the bottom and edges with oil. Pour the dough into it. Bake in the oven at 160-180 degrees for 40 minutes. Check the readiness with a wooden skewer.
- Take the cake out of the oven, leave it to cool. Decorate with powdered sugar.
Also, dried carrots are added to meat and vegetable dishes, which should stew for a long time. Then its flavor is revealed more strongly.
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