Well, we showed you our massive 50 pound carrot processing & preservation operation yesterday. One of the unforeseen benefits of that effort was the ability to capture almost all of our carrot skins in one go!
Peeling carrots is a very “American” thing. Sometimes we don’t realize the unique ways and biases of our culture as it’s just what we do, what our parents did and just how things are done in our culture. But, world over, it’s far more common to leave the skins on the carrot. They’re totally edible, so long as you’ve given them a good scrub.
We’ve hinted that we often do a big vegetable stock (and sometimes also a broth) run with a lot of our spare, less than ideal veggies. Especially things like celery leaves and other byproducts of our vegetable processing efforts. Well, this year, we can add carrot skins to that list! Carrots tend to be a major component of vegetable and meat stocks, so it’s a fantastic byproduct for stock production!
Again, since we’re generally using these in a short time frame, there’s no need or desire to blanch them prior to storing in the freezer. Blanching is all about long term freezer storage. You can easily get a couple months of quality freezer storage without blanching. So, just like with our celery leaves, we just bag them up, freeze them and put them into our stocks when needed.
It is going to be nice to use this typically “discarded or composted” ingredient to produce something extremely valuable for us like quarts upon quarts of stock. We love it when we discover unique ways to increase the value of our harvests, especially when they don’t require more time or effort. Plus, this means we can reserve our higher quality preserved carrot harvest for other high value meals.
We’re looking forward to firing up the stock pots here soon! We typically do our veggie stocks shortly after harvest. Our meat stocks are often done around the holidays when we’re cooking up holiday meals (turkey, chicken, sometimes beef) as it’s a great way to increase the value of those somewhat expensive celebratory meals!