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{Recipe} Spicy Pickled Carrots & Free Printable Chalkboard Tags

Pickled Carrots

These carrots have become a staple in our house. During the summertime, I buy 50 pound bags of ‘ugly’ carrots from a local farm. Side note: if you live near a farmer’s market, you should ask around and see if any of the vendors offer discounts for a large bag of ‘juicing’ or ‘grade B’ carrots. I have a farm that I buy from every year, and if I ask in advance, they will bring a bag for me on the next market day. This is an insanely cheap way to get local, organic carrots, and for the purposes of this recipe it makes no difference if they look pretty or not. A 50 pound bag of carrots makes a ton of pickled carrots, but inevitably, they are gone by mid-winter. So, I usually end up making additional smaller batches throughout the year, whenever I feel inspired (or find a good deal on carrots).

This recipe assumes you have a basic understanding of the canning process, however, I am planning to do a ‘Canning 101’ post soon with tons of photos and step-by-step instructions. This is a great recipe for first-timers since it’s relatively quick, easy, and nearly fool-proof. So, if you’re a canning virgin, stick around and let me show you the ropes. Trust me, it’s not nearly as hard as it seems, and once you try it you’ll be hooked!

You may notice that when I post recipes, I (almost) always include a link to a low-sodium version. Josh is on an extremely low-sodium diet, so I have learned to make all kinds of things without salt. Pickled foods were a big challenge, but after many failed attempts, I have finally figured out a way to make them both tasty and salt-free! For most pickled things, I must admit, I still prefer the original salty version, but these are the exception. I honestly think they taste better without salt. So, that’s how I have written the recipe. Feel free to add up to ½ cup of salt to the brine in step 2 if you prefer. Incidentally, it is perfectly safe to leave the salt out of any fresh-pack pickle recipe. The salt in these recipes is added for taste only, not as a preservative. In brined pickles (the kind that sit out on the counter in a crock of brine for weeks), the salt is an essential preservative and cannot be eliminated. Fortunately though, there are lots of delicious fresh-pack pickle recipes out there, many of which adapt well to being made salt-free.

Pickle Crisp is essential to this recipe if you’re making it without salt, and even if you’re using salt it makes the finished carrots retain their crispness better. It’s probably available wherever you buy your canning supplies, but if not, you can order it on Amazon: Pickle Crisp.

Pickled Carrots 1

First, wash and peel the carrots.

Pickled Carrots 2

Cut carrots into pieces that are 1 inch shorter than the tops of the jars, slice them 1/8 inch thick.

Pickled Carrots 3

Rather than wasting the end pieces after you cut the carrots to length, slice them into rounds to be pickled in their own jar. Skinny little young carrots are sometimes just the right size to put in the jar without any cutting necessary (and they look really pretty that way).

Pickled Carrots 4

Keep sliced carrots from going limp by placing them in a bowl of cold water while you work.

Pickled Carrots 4

Peel garlic cloves. Wash and slice peppers into rounds.

Pickled Carrots 6

Place 3 pepper slices, 2 whole garlic cloves, 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, and 1/8 tsp. pickle crisp in each jar.

Pickled Carrots 7

Start the brine while you’re packing the carrots into the jars.

Pickled Carrots 8

Place carrots into jars, packing them in fairly tightly.

Pickled Carrots 9

Make sure the tops of the carrots are at least 1/2 inch below the top edge of the jar. Using a wide-mouth funnel, pour hot brine into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.

Pickled Carrots 10

Release trapped air bubbles by poking a chopstick in around the carrots.

Pickled Carrots 11

Check the head space again after releasing air bubbles, make sure that it’s still 1/2 inch. I use a wooden skewer, marked at 1/2″, as my “head space checker”.

Pickled Carrots 12

Wipe the edges of the jars with a damp towel to make sure they’re clean before putting on the lids.

This recipe makes 9 pints, which is a full canner load. You can adjust it as needed to make more or less.

{Recipe} Hot & Spicy Pickled Carrots


Makes about 9 pints

Ingredients:

  • 18 cloves of garlic
  • 4-5 jalapeño peppers, sliced, with seeds
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ‘Pickle Crisp’
  • 6 pounds carrots, cut lengthwise into thin slices (or in rounds if you prefer)
  • 12 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 3 cups sugar

Directions:

  1. Divide the garlic, sliced jalapeños, pepper flakes, and pickle crisp among the clean, hot, pint jars. Trim, peel, and cut the carrots 1 inch shorter than the jars. Pack carrots into jars.
  2. Bring vinegar to a boil in a large nonreactive saucepan. Add the sugar (and up to ½ cup pickling salt, if using) and stir to dissolve. Keep brine at a simmer just below boiling.
  3. Pour brine over the carrots, leaving ½ inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid.
  4. Use a chopstick to release any trapped air bubbles. Adjust the headspace if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars clean with a damp paper towel. Center lids on the jars and screw on the jar bands.
  5. Process for 15 minutes using the boiling-water method of canning. Turn of the heat, remove lid, and let jars rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove jars and set aside to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check seals. Wipe jars clean, and store in a cool dark place for up to 1 year.
Pickled Carrots 13

Carrots are Griffen’s favorite, so I always save a few for him 😉

I will include photos and step-by-step instructions for the canning process itself in a later post. So, if this is your first time canning anything, check back in a couple of days for my Canning 101 post. If you’re already a canning expert, you know the drill. Process for 15 minutes using the water bath method.

Pickled Carrot Labels

Printable Canning Jar Labels

To print the tags, download the pdf file here: Hot & Spicy Pickled Carrots Jar Tags or the jpg file here: Hot & Spicy Pickled Carrots Jar Tags. You can fill in name and date text fields, or delete the sample text and write the info in by hand. I recommend printing them on cardstock, cutting them out, punching a hole in the top, and then tying them to the top of the jar with twine. Or, you can print them on a full sheet of label paper, cut around the edges, and affix them to the tops of the jar lids.

 
Credits:
 
Recipe is adapted from one of my favorite canning books, Put ’em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton.
 
The laurel wreath graphic that I used to outline these labels was created by Hannah of We Lived Happily Ever After: Sketch Me Pretty: 11 Hand Drawn Circle Digital Graphics. She has an awesome blog with lots of free graphics and great tutorials!
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17 Responses to {Recipe} Spicy Pickled Carrots & Free Printable Chalkboard Tags

  1. debbie January 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    Hello what are pickle crisp

    • Stacey January 18, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      Hi Debbie!

      Pickle Crisp is just a trade name for Calcium Chloride. It is sold under the name “Pickle Crisp” by Ball (the same company that makes the canning jars). It can be added to pickled foods in place of lime (commonly used in older pickle recipes) and/or salt to help the pickles retain their crispness.

      If you are unable to find it where you purchase your other canning supplies, it can be ordered here:
      http://tinyurl.com/amazon-picklecrisp

      ~Stacey

  2. fazlaniexports January 20, 2014 at 3:20 am #

    This sounds like it would taste delicious and, not incidentally, looks gorgeous in the pickling jars.
    If I ever make it to your house, and if Bloody Marys are offered, I’m afraid that expectations may have been raised by this post.

    • Stacey January 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

      You would not be disappointed! These really do take Bloody Marys to a whole new level!!

  3. Shelly August 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    If using the 1/2 cup salt in this recipe, would it be pickling salt?

    • Pickling salt is pure sodium chloride without any additives. The grind is also a bit finer than regular salt, making it dissolve more quickly in the brine. Table salt contains additives such as iodine and anti-caking agents that can make the brine cloudy and turn your pickles dark. Bottom line: it’s perfectly safe to use table salt in your pickling recipes, but the quality of the finished product may suffer.

  4. Sean October 16, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    I’m the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (www.punkdomestics.com), a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It’s sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I’d love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

  5. liz November 6, 2014 at 5:47 am #

    I love hot picked cauliflower and was wondering if I could add some with the carrots?

  6. Marianne December 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    HI, IS there anyway I can get a copy of the tags? I tried downloading but it is not in PDF format and therefore I cannot edit out your name? Could you send me a copy to my email? Making these for xmas gifts 🙂

  7. Jamie Mullendore September 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm #

    My husband and I made these last week and just tried our firt bite. OMGoodness are these spectactular!!! I was not able to locate Pickle Crisp in our remote area, but they still are delicious and we will get some online for next time. I have one hint. If anyone makes these with rainbow carrots, I would suggest NOT using the purple ones in this recipe. Their color bleeds out and will turn the brine bright pink. After our first batch, we set all the red and purples to the side and canned them together. The yellow, white, peach and orange colored carrots looked lovely and bright, the red/purple jars look gorgeous, too.

    • Stacey September 3, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

      Jamie,

      That’s awesome – I’m so glad you like them!! And thank you so much for sharing the tip about the rainbow carrots. I’ve never tried this with red or purple carrots, but it makes sense that it would change the color of the brine (always happens when I pickle beets).

      xo ~ Stacey

  8. Roxanne September 17, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    Hi, I was wondering about the storage and shelf life. Do these store in the pantry or require refrigeration? Makes it easier for gift giving if no refrigeration is required. Thanks!

    • Stacey September 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

      Once they have been processed for the required time in a water bath canner, the jars can be stored in the pantry for up to one year. They should be refrigerated once opened, and used within a week or two 🙂

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