Want a fabulous crunchy snack without worrying about the added calories? Learn how to dehydrate parsnips and carrots for a colorful snack that even your kids will love!
A carrot stick with a side of ranch dressing is a typical lunchtime side dish for lunches or after school snack.
But what if you could do something amazing with carrots that would elevate snack time, introduce a new food to your kids, allow you to stock your pantry with a ready-made ingredient for soup, and feel better about what you're feeding your kids? Win-win, right?!
Better yet, build your food storage with parsnips & carrots that are at the ready the next time you want to make Shepherd's pie, or toss some extra veggies into your next soup or stew! You can do that with dehydrated parsnips & carrots.
So let's look at the humble parsnip! It's carrot's root cousin, with a starchier texture and more peppery punch. They make great sticks to dip in hummus, coins to dip in ranch dressing just like carrots do, and offer an additional flavor profile. Consider shaking up your child's lunchbox with both parsnip & carrots and some peanut butter hummus!
Let's get started on this really easy to do project to build both your food storage and snack offerings!
How to Dehydrate Parsnip & Carrots
1. Cut, wash and peel your parsnips and carrots
If you are harvesting your own parsnips and carrots! They can be dehydrated and incorporated into green powder!
2. Cut into thin coins
I also chopped up the coins into smaller pieces in order to make them a little easier to store, a little easier to toss into a soup or stew when ready to use. We find them better for our texture preferences. You can also do this with a food processor if you have one.
3. Blanch Parsnips and Carrots
Blanch parsnips for two minutes for parsnips, three minutes for carrots.
4. Place on dehydrator trays
5. Dry at 125F / 52 C for 4-6 hours
6. Cool and test
Allow the coins to come to room temperature. You're looking for crisp, not chewy pieces.
7. Store in airtight containers
Storing in an airtight container for snacking. Vacuum seal into canning jars if storing for food storage in the pantry.
How to Rehydrate Dried Parsnips & Carrots
- Fill a bowl with the desired amount of parsnip or carrot coin
- Cover with boiling water and allow to sit for 30-45 minutes
- Alternatively, you can throw coins or bits into a stew or soup that will simmer for at least 30 minutes.
How to Dehydrate Parsnips & Carrot Chips
You'll want to ensure that you have young parsnips and carrots for this. The longer they've been languishing, the tougher they become, and the more fibrous centers they have.
Wash, cut and peel parsnips and carrots
When you have store-bought parsnips, be sure to cut off the ends for this reason. They are always best up to a few weeks after harvest when purchased from a store, but the cut ends still can develop this condition and need to be cut off from the rest.
Add Seasoning Toppings
Sprinkle desired toppings by hand, or place coins in a bowl with the seasoning blend of your choice and toss to cover.
*Note, you can add a touch of lemon juice to help seasonings adhere, or even oil. However, understand that the addition to even a small amount of oil inhibits storage, so these would need to be snacks that you eat soon, rather than put on your shelves for storage.
Place on dehydrator trays.
Dry at 125F / 51C for 4-6 hours until done
Cool and Test
Allow to cool to room temperature and double check for doneness. Coins should be crisp and not chewy.
Store in an airtight container.
Stored in an airtight container. Do not rely on zip-top bags as they are air permeable over time, and for dehydrated goods, this is bad. Just an airtight container is great. Think mason jar or other food storage container.
Flavor Ideas for Parsnip Chips
- Lemon juice, dill, and salt
- Nutritional Yeast
- Butter Buds
- Ranch dressing mix
Do you have a favorite seasoning blend to use? Share it with us in the comments below!
Should I Blanch Parsnips & Carrots Before Dehydrating?
Conventional knowledge suggests that you blanch parsnips and carrots before dehydrating them if you intend to use them for cooking later. Why?
- It helps maintain color;
- It helps break down enzymes to make food more digestible for our bodies, e.g. greens;
- Makes rehydrating easier;
- Improves the texture of the vegetable in a dish.
**However, my experience is that parsnips just don't need to be blanched.
- The color isn't preserved but turned yellow
- The resulting dehydrated piece became a rock
- Rehydrating did not improve the texture of the parsnip at all - we still prefer the taste of the non-blanched parsnip in our dishes and for snacking.
Our results for the testing of carrots was the came. Yes, the became a little more bright orange, and yes, they may maintain that orange color for longer in long-term storage, but our enjoyment of them after was lessened by blanching than not.
As far as the need for blanching for these particular root vegetables, it is a matter of personal choice. There are other root vegetables that do, indeed, need to be blanched before dehydrating and storing, and even for making snacks. But for carrots and parsnips? Save yourself the step!
Additional Ways to Preserve Parsnips
If you're looking for more ways to use a bountiful parsnip harvest, or a really great sale at the store, try these parsnip recipes!
Mashed Parsnip & Potatoes (this freezes just fine!)
How to Dehydrate Carrot Tops and have Carrot Top Powder
If you're lucky enough to grow your own parsnips, too, you can do this with those greens as well.
- Cut from carrot
- Wash and spin dry (or layout on a towel to drain)
- Dehydrate at 95-115F for 3-5 hours
- Grind into powder
- Store in an airtight container
This post is part of the blogger roundup Preserving the Harvest.
Do you love preserving the harvest as much as we do? Click the links below and get detailed instructions for preserving 23 of the most popular fruits and vegetables
How to Preserve Carrots by Freezing, Canning, and More from Oak Hill Homestead
4 Easy Ways to Preserve Cauliflower from Dehydrating Made Easy
Cucumber Fresh Pack Garlic Dill Pickles Recipe from The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
Make Your Own Garlic Powder and Other Ways to Preserve Garlic from Learning & Yearning
How to Freeze Your Green Bean Harvest from The Reid Homestead
How to Preserve Leafy Greens from Homespun Seasonal Living
Preserving Okra by Freezing, Canning, Fermenting, and Dehydrating from Schneider Peeps
5 Ways to Preserve Onions for Storage from Rockin W Homestead
How to Dehydrate Parsnips & Make Parsnip Chips from The Purposeful Pantry
3 Ways to Preserve Peppers from Grow a Good Life
5 Ways to Store Potatoes from A Modern Homestead
Ways to Preserve Radishes from The Purposeful Pantry
How to Freeze Squash (and Other Preservation Methods) from Our Inspired Roots
Freezing Tomatoes for Preserving Later in the Year from Stone Family Farmstead
3 Easy Ways to Preserve Zucchini from Grow a Good Life
Guide to Preserving Apples from Oak Hill Homestead
3 Ways To Preserve Fresh Summer Berries from Better Hens & Gardens
How to Make Cherry Jam from Scratch from The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
3 Quick Ways to Preserve Grapes from Homestead Lady
3 Best Ways To Preserve Mulberries from My Homestead Life
How To Preserve Oranges On The Homestead from 15 Acre Homestead
How to Freeze Peaches from A Modern Homestead
How To Preserve Strawberries On The Homestead from 15 Acre Homestead