Carrots can add vibrance, nutrition, and more flavor to our meals, so it’s always great to have this staple close at hand and readily available in our pantries. Canning carrots is a fantastic way to preserve your carrot harvest for use throughout the year, particularly for use in all those soups, stews, and cozy winter meals.
Canned carrots retain an abundance of their natural minerals and vitamins, which is why canning carrots is an excellent idea for preserving your bumper crop of produce.
What To Do With Carrots?
Carrots are more than just a crunchy snack or garnish; they are a versatile, vitamin-rich ingredient that can add tremendous flavor and color to any dish – even desserts! There are many ways to prepare carrots, and canning carrots is a great way to incorporate your homegrown produce into your meal plans throughout the year, thereby making the best use of your harvest.
We’ve brainstormed ways to use carrots that you may not have thought of to inspire you to incorporate carrots into your diet in unexpected ways.
- Mashed or pureed
- Bake them in cakes, muffins, and breads
- Juice them or use them in smoothies
- Add them to sauces
- Cook them up in soups and stews
- Pot Roast and other crockpot meals
- Great additions to side dishes like rice and vegetable medleys
When to Can Carrots
When you are canning carrots, it is vital to select fresh, raw carrots that were recently picked or purchased. It is crucial to inspect items for damage, spoilage, and signs of pests whenever you are preserving produce. Start your canning process as soon after harvesting as possible for best results and longer-lasting freshness.
Choose smaller carrots for the best texture and sweetness, preferably between 1 inch to 1.25 inches in diameter. Ensure that carrots are tender, firm, and crisp before beginning the canning process.
Pressure Canning Carrots
Canning using the water bath method is simply not enough for safely canning carrots. A pressure canner is necessary when canning carrots or any other low-acidic foods to avoid contamination such as botulism.
- Wash and prep carrots, trimming away the carrot top and thin taproot.
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel carrots.
- Slice carrots into sticks or chunks that are uniform in size.
- Place carrots in a large pot and add water to submerge carrots completely.
- Bring water to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes.
- Use a canning funnel to load carrots into hot 1-quart canning jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.
- Add 1 tsp. canning salt to each quart-sized jar.
- Use a ladle to pour hot water over jarred carrots leaving 1-inch headspace.
- Remove any air bubbles with a bubble remover.
- Wipe jar rim with a damp cloth.
- Place lid on jar and secure.
- Place jars into the canning rack.
- Add 2 to 3 inches of hot water to the bottom of the canner.
- Place lid on pressure canner when jars are loaded.
- Turn stove on high and bring to pressure.
- Pressure can your carrots for 30 minutes.
- Allow canner to cool to zero pressure. Remove lid, and allow jars to stand for 10 minutes before removing them from canner.
- Using a jar lifter and wearing an oven mitt, remove carrot jars from the canner and place them on a clean thick towel on the counter.
- Allow them to rest, undisturbed, for 24 hours.
- Press the center of each lid to ensure proper sealing. Remove metal rings, wipe jar with a clean damp cloth, label, and store in the pantry.
Canned Carrot Recipes
Quick & Easy Glazed Carrots
- 3-4 pounds of canned carrots
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
Drain canned carrots in a strainer and set them aside. Mix the remaining four ingredients together in a skillet and warm over medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly until bubbles form. Next, add drained canned carrots. Gently fold in the carrots to warm and coat them in the mixture. Allow the carrots to cook for three to four minutes and serve.
Canned Carrot Cake
- 3 cups canned, drained carrots
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or raisins if desired
- 4 eggs
Drain and mash carrots in a blender or mixer. Mix together carrots, eggs, and sugar in a large bowl at medium speed. Add in oil and mix well. Gradually add sifted dry ingredients to the carrot mixture. Mix at medium speed for two minutes. Stir in coconut, nuts, and or raisins manually with a wooden spoon. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake in preheated, 350-degree oven for 25 to 28 until toothpick comes out clean. Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting when cooled.
Canned Carrot Souffle
- 2 cups canned carrots (steamed and mashed)
- 1 stick of salted butter
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and add drained carrots, eggs, and sugar and mix thoroughly. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and sugar, and mix together. Pour the batter into a greased casserole dish—Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 45 minutes. Serve.
Canning Pickled Carrots
Pickling carrots is another way to preserve your carrot harvest as you work to create a full pantry and preserve your homegrown carrots.
Unlike simply canning your carrots, the pickling process adds some acidity to the preservation process, so canning carrots can be done using the water bath method instead of the recommended pressure canning method for solely canning carrots.
- 5 pounds carrots
- 5 1/2 cups vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp. canning salt
- 2 Tbsp. pickling spices
- 2 cinnamon sticks (broken up)
- Cheesecloth and string
- Water bath canner
- Canning jars, seals, and rings
- Large pot
- Canning funnel
- Oven Mitts
Directions for Pickling and Canning Carrots
- Wash and peel carrots, cutting them into the desired size.
- Mix together your sugar, water, vinegar, and salt.
- Wrap pickling spices in a cheesecloth and tie off.
- Place cheesecloth in the vinegar solution.
- Add cinnamon stick pieces.
- Bring vinegar mixture to a rolling boil for 5 minutes.
- Next, add carrots and return to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer carrots for 10 minutes.
- Pack warm carrots into a heated jar using a slotted spoon.
- Remove spice bag and cinnamon sticks from the vinegar solution.
- Cover carrots with your hot vinegar solution, allowing 1/4” headspace in the jar.
- Remove any air bubbles, wipe the rim of the jar, and secure the seal and ring in place.
- Place the jar in the warm canner and fill the other jars according to the instructions above.
- When all jars are in the warm canner bath, bring to a boil and process for 20 minutes.
- Then raise your jars up out of the water.
- Allow jars to rest for 5 minutes.
- Remove jars and space them on a thick towel a few inches apart from each other to cool for 12 hours.
- When cooled, check the seals, add labels to the jars and store them in your pantry for up to 12 months.
How to Cook Canned Carrots
Once carrots have been canned, they can easily be accessed and added to your favorite meals and recipes. Note that canned carrots have already been partially cooked, so you should adjust cooking times accordingly or add canned carrots to dishes after you have partially cooked other fresh ingredients.
Best Carrot Varieties for Canning
When we are canning carrots, our goal is to extend the shelf life while maintaining the texture and sweetness of the vegetable that is being canned.
Try some of these carrot varieties, which have been tried and true favorites when canning carrots:
- ‘Parisian Heirloom Red’
- ‘Purple Dragon