I like to dehydrate my own vegetables. I find it is cheaper than buying the #10 cans of dehydrated vegetables. My own dehydrator is sort of lack luster. It was $30 and has large holes so I can’t dehydrate everything I would like to (saving up for a nine tray Excalibur though! ~ update: I got one and love it! You can find one here )
One of my favorite veggies to dehydrate is carrots. They are easy, get super small and I add them to a lot of different dishes (soups, stews, in the pan with roasting meats etc).
To dehydrate carrots, I first peel them and chop off the tops. I then slice them very thin ( 1/8 “) on a mandolin but I have also used a knife (doesn’t take me too long because I was a chef but could take someone with lesser knife skills all day to do the amount as thin as they should be). You need to blanch the carrots next. To do this, plunge the slices into boiling water for about a minute and take them out and put them in ice water. I usually use a metal strainer to put the carrots in the boiling water then I’m not fishing after all the little bits with a slotted spoon. I don’t normally have ice so I just rinse the slices with very cold water to stop the cooking process.
After your carrots have been blanched and cooled quickly, you arrange your carrots in a single layer on your dehydrator trays. My dehydrator has a recommended setting for vegetables so I set it and leave the carrots for a good 6-8 hours. I then test a couple of pieces of carrots by taking them off the trays, let them cool down then try to bend them. If they bend, put them back in. If they snap or crack, they’re done!
In the picture are raw sliced carrots and the dehydrated carrots. For size comparison, I’ve added an American penny.