Canning is possible with carrots, but they do need to be pressure canned. This type of canning is done for those foods that are low-acid and require higher temperatures than boiling water for sterilization. Different vegetables and meats require different canning methods depending on if they are low or high acid. Pressure canners can be quite expensive, but it is important to rid all bacteria from the process and water bath canning will not work.
What is needed to pressure can carrots:
- Pressure Canner
- Canning Jars
- Lids & Rings
- Jar Lifter
- Towels & Potholders
- Utensils (Spoons, knifes, etc)
- Item being canned
- Food Processor (optional)
- Plain Salt (optional)
Clean carrots! Being a root vegetable carrots are covered in dirt. Go ahead and scrub the carrots, but it is not necessary to peel them. The skin of carrots is full of nutrients. Once done set aside for canning.
Depending on what you will be using your carrots for in the winter – soups, casseroles, cakes, baby food, etc. Processing the carrots, however, will be most convenient for you and there use. Cropping, dicing, pureeing, slicing, julienning.
It is time to now prepare your canning jars, lids and rings by washing them in hot, soapy water. You may want to see how many jars will fit in you pressure canner to know the quantity of jars that are needed for the project.
If you are using old jars, lids or rings, it is important to check for any imperfections. If the jars are nicked on the rim it will not seal properly. Check to see that the rings are sealing correctly. It is fine to use old items as long as they are still sealing properly. These would not be used for canning, but could be used for other items like pickling. Make sure before starting that you have enough lids and rings for each jar.
Fill your jars leaving one inch of headspace. Headspace is from the top of the jar down. This gives room for any expansion. At this time, if you would like to add salt you would do so. One teaspoon for a quart and ½ teaspoon for a pint, but it is necessary to do so. Once filled with carrots, hot water is poured over the top and filled to one inch below the lip of the jar.
Now it is time to use your pressure canner. Make sure to read the directions that come with it as attitude can affect the time in which pressurize. For quart containers, it typically takes about 30 minutes to seal them. For pint containers, it is usually around 25 minutes.
Remove the jars with your jar lifter and place them on a towel to cool. While the jars are cooling, you will hear popping noises which mean that your jars are sealing. This is fantastic! It is important to make sure that your jars have sealed because if they did not bacteria will form in them during the winter and not be usable. Test the seal by pushing down in the center of the lid once cool. If the lid doesn’t pop back up, the sealing process has worked. If it doesn’t, then the jar didn’t seal properly and will not store. Within the first 24 hours, you can try to reseal it by using a different jar, lid and seal. Or if it is past that time period, then freezing or using it would be the only options.
Your carrots are ready for storage. Place in a dark, dry cool area. If your space is limited, store where you are able to with these conditions in mind. Now your carrots from your garden will be ready to add to your favorite roast recipe, casserole or cake during the winter and you will be reminded of the summer when you harvested and canned them.