Coastal Harvest: Carrots

This year I saw way TOO much success with carrots. For most of my gardening ‘career’, I’ve just thrown a couple packets of carrot seeds into rows, thinned them as best I could, and watched them just sort of randomly grow…and rarely in the pretty rows I started out with. This year, very different. Everything grew in carrot land. I mean – EVERYTHING. So much so that I had to pull them early because there would have been at least a hundred pounds worth.

Now I like carrots, but we’re not Bugs Bunnies here (well, except for our dog who will eat anything from the garden…carrots, kale, zucchini, and of course as most dog owners will chuckle knowingly about, duck and chicken ‘roca’), so even with the modified harvest, I wanted to get creative. No root cellar here means there were a few key ways of preserving this particular harvest:

  • Canning – Pickled carrots (not pictured) are seriously tasty on a charcuterie plate so I made a few pints. Easy peasy.
  • Freezing – As this year I’ve started to incorporate shredded carrots into more salads, cakes, and more, about half of them got the shred (amen for our Breville food processor I bought for a housewarming present to ourselves when we moved here last year – it really changes the game when it comes to preserving, particularly with the grater and slicer attachments!), and the other half got sliced into coins. Favorite recipe with shredded carrots? Alton Brown’s carrot cake. Dreamy stuff…and one of the few I’ve found with no nuts, no raisins, and therefore absolutely perfect !
  • Dehydrating – Dried carrots, WTF? That was my first reaction. Never even heard of such a thing until I was wandering the bulk aisle of the local Fred Meyer and saw “carrot chips” and tasted them and just went nuts, they were SO good. Googling showed that there were lots of deep fried versions, but I found this one and made a modified version with homemade ranch-style seasoning and they were CRAZY good. Learned quickly that you definitely have to make large slices otherwise they turn into popcorn they’re so teeny.

So….what is your very favorite way to prepare (or preserve) carrots?

carrotmeme

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