There’s something truly comforting about canning food in the winter and spring. Not only is the heat and steam from canning welcome on a drizzly grey day, but I’m able to can cold-weather vegetables like asparagus, cauliflower, and carrots. I found the perfect recipe to can in Put ‘Em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton: Spicy Carrots.
These carrots are just like the ones you can find on salsa bars in Mexican restaurants: sour and crunchy with a spicy bite. These make the perfect side for tacos!
Makes about 3 pints
4-6 garlic cloves, sliced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, sliced, with seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 pounds carrots
4 cups distilled white vinegar
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salt
Divide the garlic, sliced jalapenos, and pepper flakes (if using), among three clean, hot, pint canning jars. Trim, peel, and cut the carrots 1 inch shorter than the jars. Pack the carrots into the jars.
Bring the vinegar to a boil in a large nonreactive saucepan. Add the sugar and salt and stir to dissolve. Pour the brine over the carrots, covering the vegetables by ½ inch with liquid. Leave ½ inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid.
Use the boiling-water method. Release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean; center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands. Process for 15 minutes (Ed. Note 25 minutes for Utah residents). Turn off heat, remove canner lid, and let jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
- Because this is a canning recipe, I followed the recipe to the letter with one exception: I substituted Splenda for the sugar in this recipe. (Splenda is a canning-safe sweetener). According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, you can substitute sucralose for sugar in pickling recipes, or reduce and/or eliminate the sugar. You’ll have to adjust the sugar to your taste. However, DON’T change the amount of vinegar and salt in this recipe.
- This recipe does not give altitude adjustments. Since we’re almost at 5,000 feet, I added 10 minutes to the processing time, the time suggested by the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. If you can this recipe, BE SURE to process for the full 25 minutes.
- If you don’t want to can these, you can store the prepared carrots in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
Pickled foods taste best after a week of sitting in the brine, so I haven’t been able to sample the carrots yet. But I can hardly wait to try one of these spicy sticks of sunshine!