Country Living Series

Monday, September 29, 2014

Canning carrots

I've been plumping out my canning closet lately, canning things I'm short on in order to have a more fully-stocked pantry. One of the things I wanted to can were some carrots.

Canned carrots are wonderful for adding to dishes (casseroles, soups, rice) or by themselves as a side dish. I canned some up several years ago and we were getting low. We don't go through canned carrots terribly fast, so it took us this long to go through the previous batch

I planted carrots in the garden this year. I got the seeds in late, but they've yielded a beautiful crop.


However after some thought I decided to leave these in the ground. We can pick some as we want them for fresh carrots (they'll actually overwinter quite well) and next year they'll yield seed, since carrots are biennials.

Besides, I came across a great deal at the wholesale grocer where I often shop: a 25-lb. bag of "juicing" carrots for $4.50. Hard to pass up a bargain like that!


I guess what constitutes a "juicing" carrot is anything too weirdly-shaped, spindly, broken, or otherwise not conforming to the classic "carrot" shape to be sold individually or in bunches. I didn't care. A carrot is a carrot and it will can beautifully regardless of shape.


So I peeled and sliced my way through the bag.



I filled up one large bowl and started on a second.


I ended up with two large bowls filled to capacity.


My canner holds 18 pints, so I only washed and filled 18 jars for the first batch.


I scalded and put on the Tattler lids (some are pink from a breast cancer promotional the Tattler folks did awhile ago).


First batch in the canner.


Out and cooling, late in the evening. Carrots must be processed for 25 minutes (pints) at 10 lbs pressure, adjusted for altitude (I go for 12 to 13 lbs of pressure).


The next morning I processed the rest of the carrots.


Altogether I got 30 pints of carrots from the 25-lb. bag.


Except for my time and a bit of propane for processing, this comes to about $0.15 per pint. Bargain!

25 comments:

  1. Awesome two days work. Really liked this post.

    It's funny about carrots --- when I'm pulling out all manner of odd looking, clunky roots, I often wonder how many of my carrots would be suitable for the average shopper who thinks they all come out of the ground looking perfect.

    I have a couple actual real questions to put out there:

    1. You didn't need to cook the carrots first?
    2. You didn't need to add any liquid to the jars? (Did I miss that part?)

    I've never done any pressure canning, so I'm always asking questions about it.

    Oops...one more question --- I only see 9 pints in a canner that supposedly holds 18 --- are they stacked somehow?

    Just Me

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    1. To answer your questions:

      1. Carrots can be either raw or hot-packed. Because I knew it would take more than one day to process them, I elected to raw-pack.

      2. I filled the jars with carrots, added boiling water and half a teaspoon of salt per jar.

      3. Yes, the jars are stacked on racks. Nine fit on the bottom rack, nine on top.

      - Patrice

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  2. Patrice,
    I've canned carrots a few times and they always turn out soft/mushy. They hold their shape and all but when you bite into them they are soft. I even cut them larger thinking that would prevent them from getting so soft.

    Is there anyway to prevent that? Or is it just the nature of canning?

    Also, what's the name of the store you got your carrots from? I live up here also.

    Thanks Patrice.

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    Replies
    1. It's just the nature of canning -- canned carrots are cooked and therefor soft. I actually prefer cooked carrots to raw carrots -- heat them up, add just a pat of butter and the barest hint of brown sugar -- yum!

      I got them at Cash & Carry.

      - Patrice

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  3. A farming friend sold us a bushel of baby carrots for $12, which was a great deal. Juicers are SO much easier to deal with than a zillion carrots the size of my pinkie. But I did get lots of carrots put away in the cupboard.

    My *favourite* thing to do with them - drain and put them in a roasting pan, add a bit of butter and honey and heat them in a fairly hot oven. Heavenly! :) Even my little guy who hates carrots "doesn't hate these ones", which is a real improvement.

    Anonymous - canned food is always going to be softer, in my experience. It's why I won't can peas anymore - they look okay, but they're pea mush.

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  4. Wow! That is an amazing price. I just searched and can't find a wholesale grocer in our metro area.

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  5. patrice..i can carrots about every two years or so...same method as you do...they keep their shape, keep their color and are so great for adding to soups, stews, making carrot cake, and creating side dishes/casseroles....

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    Replies
    1. Gosh, I would like the recipe for carrot cake with canned carrots!
      Kelly in K'ville, NC

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  6. Patrice,

    I'm going to see if in town the Cash and Carry offers the same type of deal. I need to stock up on my carrots along with a few other veggies since we've put our garden to bed for winter.

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  7. New photo on the blog of the carrots is beautiful.

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  8. I have a canning question as well. Did you preheat your jars before adding the boiling water? We always preheat ours in the oven, which adds more time to the process of course, because we're afraid the jars will crack or bust open when the boiling water hits the cool jar.

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    Replies
    1. I don't like to put canning jars in the oven because the glass is not made to withstand dry heat. Instead I often pre-heat jars by putting them in a sink of hot water for a few minutes, before filling the jars. Alternately (and I do this a lot as well) I don't fill the jars with BOILING water, I just fill them with very hot water from the tap. I have certainly lost jars to cracking from too much temperature extremes, which is why I prefer to space the use of my pressure canner by a few hours (or overnight) so I don't put cool(er) jars into the hot water at the bottom of a canner after a previous batch just came out.

      - Patrice

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    2. I do preheat my jars in oven, filled half way with water. Carrots at room temp., then fill with very hot water.

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  9. Another great post, you kitchen maven.

    Off topic, but.....

    I covet thy cabinets and counter top. That natural wood just does it for me. So nice. So real. So warm looking. Are they old, do you know?

    A. McSp

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    Replies
    1. No, they're not old. The man who built our house (sometime around 1990, I think) used reclaimed wood for the counters and freshly-milled pine for the cabinets, which he built himself.

      - Patrice

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  10. Fantastic deal. You have opened my eyes to look for bargains. Thank you

    Em

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  11. The effect of the light/vs/shadow in your banner photo of carrot canning is captivating. Love it! You hit a home run this time. Dee

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  12. I did carrots last year.....but I got mine at a store that,among a multitude of other things, sells deer bait. I looked the bags of carrots over and other than the fact that they were large and oddly shaped, they were perfectly fresh. Once I cut them up and canned them, you would never know. And I haven't grown horns either. lol

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  13. We often purchase apples and carrots at the feed store. "cut carrots" I think they call them are meant to feed to the animals, but they are huge and sometimes snapped in half, but delicious and sweet. The apples are sometimes scarred and some have spots, but usually very sweet and most importantly "cheap". We wash them well. They keep so well in the fridge I don't can carrots. I'd rather eat them fresh throughout most of the winter. By the time spring rolls round we are about sick of carrots and looking for more of the green stuff.

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  14. Do you dry the peelings for chicken feed or compost them?

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    Replies
    1. Compost. Our chickens don't like them.

      - Patrice

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  15. I've never canned carrots before. Do you have to peel them? Can I just scrub them well?

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    Replies
    1. My canning book recommends peeling. It also says that you can parboil carrots and slip the skins, as with tomatoes, if that helps. In truth, peeling by hand goes so quick that it hardly slowed me down.

      - Patrice

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  16. I just scrub carrots really well. Have you ever canned hot Mexican pickled carrots.. Yummy

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