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October 8, 2014

How to Can Carrots

Even if your carrots didn't sprout - like mine - or the grasshoppers ate your plants, or you didn't grow them for whatever reason, carrots are a great vegetable to can. They are available in the supermarket year round at a very affordable price, and are very nutritious.

According to Medical News Today, carrots have been shown to have cancer-fighting effects by reducing free radicals in the body. In particular, they have been shown to reduce the chances of lung cancer, colorectal cancer, leukemia and prostate cancer.

Carrots are extremely high in Vitamin A, due to the abundance of beta-carotene, which gives modern carrots their bright orange color. Vitamin A is important to our eye health. One medium carrot provides over 200% of an adult's daily requirement of Vitamin A, 6% of Vitamin C and 5% of Vitamin B-6, and contains only 25 calories.

Raw is probably the most nutritious way to eat carrots, and they do keep very well. However, if you want to preserve carrots so that you'll always have some on your shelves, you can dehydrate them, freeze them, or pressure-can them. A pint jar of canned carrots is simple to empty into a pot of soup or stew for a quick meal, or to heat and eat as a side dish.

I've written before about how to use a pressure canner; you can go there for detailed directions if you are unfamiliar with the process.

Carrots can be raw-packed or hot-packed. The difference is that raw-packed carrots are put into the jars raw, while hot-packed carrots are simmered for five minutes before being put into the jars.

To begin, wash and peel your carrots, and chop into "coins" of an even thickness. Pack the carrot slices, either raw or simmered, into the hot jars leaving an inch of head space (that is, one inch between the top of the carrots and the very top of the jar). If desired, add 1/2 teaspoon of canning salt to pints or 1 teaspoon to quarts. Add enough boiling water to the jars to cover the carrots and still leave one inch of head space.

Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth, and apply the lids and rings. (By the way, canning jar manufacturers no longer recommend that lids be heated before applying to jars.) Tighten the rings fingertip-tight. Using the jar lifter, place the jars in your pressure canner. Add water as recommended in your owner's manual, and place the lid on top of the canner. 

Following the directions for your canner, close the canner, and bring the temperature up. Steam will begin to flow from the vent pipe. After ten minutes of letting the steam vent, add the pressure regulator and wait for the dial gauge to register the correct amount of pressure. When the pressure is reached, begin timing. Carrots should be pressure-canned for 25 minutes (pints) and 30 minutes (quarts) at 10 pounds pressure. If you live above 1,000 feet elevation, you'll need to consult an elevation chart for the correct time and pressure.

When the correct time has elapsed, turn off the heat and move the canner carefully off the burner and let the canner cool down naturally. The air vent/cover lock will eventually drop down, and you can then remove the pressure regulator. Wait another ten minutes before you remove the lid of the canner.

When you open the lid, be sure to lift the side farthest from your face first so that any steam will be directed away from you. Use the jar lifter to carefully lift each jar straight up - do not tilt them - and place on a padded surface such as a towel-covered counter. After 24 hours, wipe down the jars, remove the rings, and add labels. Storing your canned goods in a dark cupboard will help preserve the quality of the food inside.

Did you grow carrots this year? Do you can them?

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  1. Thank you for this post. I've never tried canning carrots before. How do they turn out? Would the raw pack turn out less mushy?

  2. We had a pint of them for dinner last night. They weren't mushy, about the same as when you boil them for dinner. I used the raw pack method. I hope that helps, Nvater.

  3. Your canned carrots are gorgeous! Bet they are yummy, too! Thank you for the tutorial. :)

  4. Thank you, Julie. Hope you have a great weekend!

  5. Hello Kathi,
    we awaken also carrots and beans.
    A tip from me: You can see the carrots or beans and blanch briefly, then fill in glasses without water and then put the glasses in the freezer.
    This works just fine.

  6. Hey Uwe, it's good to know that they freeze well too. We can have extended power outages here (ice and snow storms) so I try to keep food on the shelves as well as in the freezer. :-)

  7. Great tute and instructions on canning your own carrots! I have only added them to soups, hadn't tried canning my own so this is great!

  8. I hope you'll give it a try, Crochet Hooks. (love your nickname!)

  9. I love canned carrots - so simple and a great side. That said, I still need a pressure cooker :( I keep looking at second-hand stores, but I don't think they are common enough anymore. I'm just going to have to swing for a new one.... Maybe after Christmas!

  10. Heidi, pressure canners aren't cheap but they are an investment. :-) I looked at yard sales and thrift stores for a long time without success and finally bought a new one because I was too impatient to wait any longer.

  11. I never thought of canning carrots! Thanks for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

  12. Thanks so much in sharing this delicious carrot at Fabulous Friday that were canned. I loved canned carrots, my grandmother used to can everything, carrots were one of her favorites. I use to hang out with her and help her can.
    Hope to see you this Friday at Fabulous Friday Party. Thanks Maria

  13. What priceless memories, Maria, helping your grandmother can. :-)

  14. This wonderful post is being featured on my blog today as part of "Tuesdays with a Twist" blog hop:


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