I thought today instead of a recipe I’d share with you ways to preserve carrots and most other root vegetables.
Let’s start with fresh storage. One fun thing about carrots is that if you live somewhere that the ground freezes, you can actually store them in the garden all winter. The secret is mulching. You can use leaves, straw, or wood chips. Pile a foot of mulch on top of the carrots and make a wide 18” circle around them of mulch as well. The idea is to keep the ground around the carrots from freezing, which keeps the carrots from freezing, but cold enough to stop them from growing.
If you would prefer to store them in the fridge you can do it two ways. I clean them, cut the tops off, place them in a ziplock storage bag, and poke a few holes in it. I put them in a humid drawer so that they don’t dry up. Alternatively, you can clean them, cut into sticks, put them in a plastic container, and then pour in enough water to cover them. They will last up to a month, but you will need to change the water every 4-5 days.
To prepare for all long-term storage, clean the carrots by removing the tops and blanch (boil 3 minutes, immerse in ice water to stop cooking, then dry with paper towels - this preserves the bright orange color and opens the pores so the moisture can escape) and cut into 1/4” thick slices.
If you are air drying with either your oven or a dehydrator, start with the prep above. Using the oven is easy. Spread the carrots in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 150° oven for 6-8 hours. You’ll have to check them often because how long it takes will depend on the thickness of the slices. Using a dehydrator is the same, only set it for 125° and it will take 12-24 hours. Be sure to cool the carrots completely before putting in tightly sealed containers. I highly recommend glass jars. I have some stored since 2005 and they are perfect. To rehydrate I put them in a bowl and pour boiling hot water over them for 15 minutes, then use as normal.
Freezing is really easy. Blanch and put the carrots in containers and pop in the freezer. So easy.
Preserve carrots and enjoy garden fresh carrots year round. Good luck! - 1 day ago