Spiced carrot bread has been the breakfast of choice for two weeks in a row in our house. Of the 12 mornings the kids have been given a choice of either carrot bread or oatmeal, oatmeal has been chosen only once – and that was yesterday. This recipe is not only a winner, but it’s a nothing-but-net swoosh from half court. Even the egg-less version with sunflower seeds and dried cranberries was a hit!
The fact that this recipe is a dump and stir is more awesomeness. Shredding the carrots is probably the most time consuming, but the level of difficulty is low.
Wouldn’t it be nice if I could save those few (10 or so) precious minutes each week? I won’t be able to finish a novel or anything in those 10 minutes, but a page or two is possible. Or maybe an opportunity to finish drinking my coffee before it’s cold? Or simply getting a head start on the morning to help make the day go a little smoother?
Dehydrating carrots is one of those ways I can help save time later. There’s no additional prep work than what I would have already been doing, but the advantage is that I only have to do it once, instead of two or three times (depending on how many loaves we’re making around here).
Here’s a super simple tutorial on dehydrating carrots using a dehydrator.
(Don’t have a dehydrator? Follow steps 1 and 2, then skip down.)
1. Wash, peel and chop ends off of carrots (save the ends for stock).
2. Shred carrots using a grater. You can use a food processor or a chopper, but I felt that using a grater would allow me greater control over the size consistency of the carrots. Plus I was afraid that if I put them in my blender, I’d get carrot juice.)
3. Spread carrots out somewhat evenly and in a single layer onto your dehydrator tray. If you have a circular dehydrator like me, you’ll need to use the liner so that the carrots don’t fall through the holes.
4. Set the temperature to 135 degrees and walk away.
5. Allow the carrots to dry for 8-12 hours, depending on your machine and climate. Check the carrots every couple hours or so, starting at the sixth hour, to rearrange and check for doneness. Carrots are done when they are crispy and no liquid remains in the pieces.
6. Store in a nice pretty jar.
Don’t Have a Dehydrator? Don’t Worry!
Dehydrating carrots without a dehydrator is possible, but it requires a bit more effort. Set your oven to it’s lowest temperature possible – ideally 170 degrees. Spread your carrots out evenly on a baking sheet and “cook” in the oven with the door propped open. Check the carrots after two hours, and every hour after that. You may even want to check every 30 minutes. With the oven temperature being high (compared to the temperature of a dehydrator), your carrots can go from not done to done in a flash.
There are a few different preparation methods available:
- Blanching – plunging carrots into boiling water for 2-5 minutes until slightly tender, then removing to ice cold water to stop the cooking time
- Steaming – using a vegetable steamer, steam carrots for 2-5 minutes until slightly tender
- Lemon Juice – spray and coat carrots with lemon juice before setting them on the try
- Do Nothing
I chose option D – and did nothing – for a few different reasons, but mainly because no preparation treatment is required. You can do absolutely nothing to the carrots and the end result will be the same. Why add more work if I don’t have to?
What to do with dehydrated carrots?
Add to soups, stocks, breads, muffins, cookies, or rice pilaf as is. Grind into powder to thicken soups and sauces. Rehydrate for stir-frys, salads and side dishes.
This batch is going in a jar, along with some other key ingredients. The next time the kids want carrot bread, I’m enjoying my coffee while it’s hot.