Have you ever come across a great sale on produce but thought you couldn't buy it becuase you have not place to store all those carrots in the frig or more jars on your shelves? I know we all hate to admit it but there does come a time when there is just no more space for storage. If you tried to store another 40 pounds of carrots your shelves might fall in.
At times like that it's time to dehydrate and take it even one step further and powder your dehydrated produce. It works really great on foods like sweet potatoes and carrots. Because we all know there are hundreds of things to do with carrots and sweet potatoes.
Powdered carrots are great to keep in storage becuase it turns that 40 pounds of carrots into literally ounces. They are great to use as baby food, sneak veggies into your kids food and even just mix them up and eat them plain. They are just yummy.
So let's get started on this wonderfully sweet treat that will have your family begging for more.
Here's what you will need -
A peeler or a good paring knife
A pot big enough to hold the amount of carrots that you have (I used a pressure cooker)
A blender or food processor
A grinder if you don't have a food processor
Paraflexx sheets or parchment paper
Carrots - Make sure you have nice carrots that are not old and fiberous.
1. Wash carrots thoroughly.
2. Slice carrots - If you are cooking in a regular stove top pot the thinner you slice them the faster they will cook. If you a re using a pressure cooker than they do not need to be as thin.
3. If using a regular pot put your carrots in the pot and cover with water.
****** If you are using a pressure cooker follow the direction for your pressure cooker on how much water to add. For mine it was one cup of water.
4. Cook the carrots until they are very tender and can be mashed easily with a fork. In my pressure cooker it only took 3 minutes from the time it reached pressure.
5. Drain your very cooked carrots and place them a blender or if you don't have a blender mash them with a fork or potato masher until smooth like baby food.
6. Once blended or mashed spread your carrot puree onto your paraflexx sheets or parchment paper.
***** Just as with all purees being dried, spread as thin as you can get them. Remember outer edges will dry faster so make the edges just a litte thicker than the inside.
7. dehydrate on 125 degrees for about 4 - 6 hours. Time will vary depending on how thick the spread is, the weather, and your dehydrator.
8. About midway through the drying period check to see if the puree has dried enough to pull away from the paraflexx. It will still be tacky but if it will pull away without tearing then it is time to remove the paraflexx and flip the now partially dried carrot puree.
9. Place the fruit treat directly on the drying tray with the dry side down and the moist side up.
10. Continue to dry until they are completely dry with no tacky areas. They should be able to be cracked not flexible.
11. Once your carrots are completely dry you can handle them two ways. You can break them into bite sized squares and store them in air tight jars for a delicious treat your family will love or....
12. Break your carrots into pieces and grind them in a grinder until they are a fine powder. This will allow you to store 8 - 10 pounds of carrots (weight before drying) in a single pint mason jar.
Your powdered carrots are very fast and easy to reconstitute with hot or cold water. Just add water a little at a time until it meet the consistency you like. It will reconstitute before your eyes. They are great to sneak nutrition into foods that your family won't ever expect. I slip some in our sweet potato pancakes. They can be put into smoothies for an extra boost of vitamins and they are even great just mixed with water and eaten as a puree. YUM! And don't forget they make a great gift for the new Mom because they make a great healthy baby food that is easy to carry and easy to store no refrigeration required.