When I can purchase fresh food either in season at its peak (carrots now) or food that’s on sale in the grocery store (mushrooms yesterday), I love to preserve them and have them for when I need them. Yesterday I loaded up the freeze dryer and got it running again. I doubt it will be finished today – I’ll know more later in the afternoon but my guess is that it’s going to get finished around 2 a.m. tonight. I’ll check it before going to bed and add additional time so it will be fine to leave it going til morning.
I had already posted the carrots we bought Friday.
They were so good! Yesterday I cleaned the ones we hadn’t eaten from the first carrots we bought last Tuesday, chopped them and they’re in the freeze dryer.
I would love to go into summer with about 20 quart jars of these diced carrots but that may not happen. I have them on my next Azure Standard order but they’re pretty low in stock so they’ll likely run out before my order closes.
These diced, freeze dried carrots are perfect for dropping into a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup. I can use a jar of canned chicken, another jar of chicken broth and storebought or homemade noodles, freeze dried or fresh celery and onions, carrots and in minutes have a great meal.
They’re also great to drop about a half cup of them in a pot of split pea soup near the end of the cooking time.
My favorite way to use them is to soak them for about 15 minutes in a bit of warm water, drain them and use them in Carrot Cake Muffins.
I’ve already freeze dried two full loads of carrot greens and this one tray is the last of them.
I will end up with four pints of carrot greens, which I will use in place of parsley, and 1 quart and one pint of ground stems/greens which I can use in gravies, smoothies, soups, etc.
I almost always have fresh mushrooms in the fridge and we use a lot of mushrooms but I also like to keep freeze dried mushrooms on hand too.
There are two trays of mushrooms and both have two layers separated by parchment paper. The bottom layer is sliced mushrooms and they will be vacuum sealed as sliced mushrooms. The top layers will be placed in the blender and powdered. I add some of the powdered mushrooms to meatballs when making them for stroganoff. There will also be sliced mushrooms in the gravy . . we like ours very mushroom-y.
It will be nice to have all this on the shelves and available when needed.