Jalapeno Pickled Carrots

I have loved spicy food since I was a little girl. I can remember sitting on the couch with my dad when I was just a tiny thing eating whole jalapenos.  Anything with some heat makes me a very happy person.  But these carrots are by far my favorite snack.  One of the best parts of going to my Aunt Carol and Uncle Charlie’s house was the abundance of jalapeno pickled carrots.  As an adult this is a treat I don’t get as often as I would like.  In fact my Aunt gave me her last three jars a couple years ago (she doesn’t can them anymore).  That’s when I realized I would have to start making them myself.  So here you go.

Grab a big bunch of carrots.  A 5 pound bag of carrots will make 8-9 pints of carrots. I did two batches because there is no way that 8 pints would last long enough.

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Peel your carrots and slice them however you would like.  Some prefer rounds, I personally like long strips.  A great trick for keeping your carrots crisp while you are peeling and slicing is to put them in a bowl of cold water.

Peel your garlic cloves and cut your jalapenos into rounds.

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Then divide your garlic, jalapenos and red pepper flakes up into your jars.  Now you should know that this recipe is a pieced together version of several other recipes (trying to get them right, like my aunts).  So, I do two different batches.  For myself I put 6 pepper slices, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper flakes per jar.  For the rest of the family (who don’t like them quite that spicy) I do 3 pepper slices, 2 cloves of garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper flakes. Also this is where you could add pickle crisp, if you wanted. I prefer to just use salt in the brine and I don’t mind if they aren’t super crunch.  But my sister Sarah did a batch and said they turned out very crisp and my brother loved them.  So I might try a crisper batch next time. Just do whatever you like here.

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Start your brine of vinegar, sugar and salt on the stove. Now pack your carrots, pretty tightly into your jars. They pack better into wide mouth jars but I had regular and they worked just fine.

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Pour your brine over your carrots and leave 1/2 inch of head space.  Make sure you use a knife, chopstick or whatever you usually use to release any air bubbles. Lids on and in the canner they go for 15 minutes.

I personally think they need to sit for a while before you should eat them.

Jalapeno Pickled Carrots

Servings: 8-9 pints

18 cloves of garlic 4-5 jalapeño peppers, sliced, with seeds

2 ¼ teaspoons red pepper flakes

1/2 cup salt

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, jalapeños, and pepper flakes among the clean, hot, pint jars. Trim, peel, and cut the carrots. Pack carrots into jars.

2. Bring vinegar to a boil in a saucepan. Add the sugar and salt, stir to dissolve. Keep brine at a simmer.

3. Pour brine over the carrots, leaving ½ inch of head space.

4. Use a chopstick or knife to release any trapped air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars clean. 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.

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