Monday, February 6, 2012

More dehydrated carrots

Two years ago I posted about buying 10 pounds of marked-down organic carrots and how I diced, blanched and dried them.  I even dried the peelings (but did not blanch) and used them when making stock or ground them to powder and used for seasoning blends.  I've continued to dry any extra carrots I have on hand.  They are very handy to toss into soup or rehydrate for a casserole.

Before Christmas I did a program for my Garden Club on garnishing.  Like most of our programs, it was a hands-on workshop so everyone brought their favorite sharp paring knife and went to town making carrot flowers, apple swans and more.  Garnishing is a lot of fun and especially nice to try when the garden is in full swing as you can just grab what you need and not worry about how many tomatoes you may ruin on the way to producing a perfect tomato tulip.  In the winter, the cost can add up.

To help contain the cost of the program, I planned to work with some vegetables we had from the winter garden.  Turnips and onions, both green and bulbing, make great garnishes and readily take up food coloring if you want to go that route.  Apples are another thing we keep in cold storage so I knew I'd have them available.  But I ended up buying a 25-pound bag of what's often labeled "organic juicing carrots" -- really big but still sweet and flavorful carrots.  They were perfect for cutting into garnishes and we've been eating the rest.

But they were beginning to sprout feathery greens and since I didn't want to lose the last 10 pounds or so, I determined to dry them.  This time I opted to scrub them rather than peeling and then shredded them in the food processor.  I spread them out on the papery lining because I didn't want the shreds slipping through the plastic mesh as they shrunk during drying.  I'll use them mainly for baking -- carrot cake or carrot-orange muffins are the first things that come to mind but I can also see using them in cornish pasties, meatloaf or spaghetti sauce and I'm wondering how they'd work in cha gio.

1 comment:

Glenda said...

On one of my fav blogs a lady saved the tomato skins after blanching the tomato's for sauces. She normally fed them to her chickens. She later discovered you could dehydrate the skins and make them into a tomatoe powder. She use the mixture for soups and stews. I thought you might like her idea.
Great blog.