This summer, I became a Master Food Preserver! I think I forgot to mention that. I started in June, actually a five-week course through Seattle Tilth designed to provide its students with the knowledge and skills needed to teach others safe methods for food preservation. I solidified my understanding of water bath canning, remembered what I had learned about pressure canning, reviewed my knowledge about freezing and dehydrating, and began my obsession with fermentation. Not to mention the countless tips, tricks and recipes I learned or the friends and connections I made.
What also came about as a result of graduating from this course along with recently tasting a myriad of delicious pickled foods is a newfound motivation to pickle fruits and vegetables. In the past, the only things pickled I made were cucumber dill pickles and dilly beans, both of which I don’t really like. But when I tasted things like pickled beets and pickle cherries, my tastes toward these brined delights began to change.
Today, I share with you one of my pickle projects of the season, cumin seed pickled carrots. I stumbled upon this post by Kaela at Local Kitchen and was stoked to see this recipe for pickled carrots. When canning something you hope to store on the shelf, especially a low-acid food like carrots, you want to be sure you’re using a recipe you can trust. So besides the fact that I trust Kaela’s know-how and credibility as a canner and cook, I was also content to see her recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, a cookbook with tested canning recipes, and a ratio of vinegar and water in the brine recipe that is safe (the amount of water should never be greater than the vinegar).
I cracked open one of the jars the other day and oh my word, the carrots were as delicious as they were beautiful! The flavor of the cumin really came through! If you can, do what I did and can a mix of purple and orange carrots – it produces the most beautiful shade of magenta you’ve ever seen! In today’s video, I’ll show you how to put this recipe together while giving you some water bath canning basics.
Cumin Seed Pickled Carrots
Adapted slightly from this recipe via Local Kitchen
So, you’re probably asking yourself, why are you posting a recipe you made changes to when you just got through saying you trusted it because it came directly from the Ball cookbook? Because the changes I made were around dry spices, which you can mix and match without worrying about safety. What is NOT ok is to mix and match different quantities or additions of fresh vegetables and herbs to tested recipes that can change the pH and thus possibly make the food unsafe to eat!
Also, it’s generally a good idea to make double the quantity of brine or syrup you need for a recipe since you almost always need more and whipping up another batch in the middle of a canning project can be a pain. Since I only had about 2 1/2 pounds of carrots, I left the brine quantity the same in order to sure I had enough. I only ended up with about 2 cups of extra brine, which I used to pickle kale stems to store in the fridge. Win win!
Vegetable and Spice Ingredients:
2 1/2 – 3 pounds purple and orange carrots, washed, peeled and julienned
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (for each jar)
2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds (for each jar)
6 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
2 cups distilled water
1/2 cup pickling and canning salt
Putting it all together:
1. Add the vinegar and water to a non-reactive pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the salt and stir to dissolve. Turn the heat down and maintain at a gentle boil.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 2 teaspoons mustard seeds to each clean and warm jar. Fill each jar with prepared carrots, leaving 1/2 inch head space.
3. Ladle hot brine into each jar, pushing floating carrots down as needed, to ensure they’re covered. Make sure there’s 1/2 inch head space still, now that the brine has been added.
4. Remove any air bubbles, wipe the rims of your jars, add your lids and rings and place into your water bath canner.*
5.Process for 10 minutes and let cool on the counter for 24 hours before checking the seals. Store without the rings in place and avoid stacking jars so that you can monitor their seals periodically.
Water Bath Canning How-to from the National Center for Home Food Preservation
Make 5 pints and one 1/2 pint
* Important Disclaimer! These how-to steps are abbreviated, assuming that you know the basic steps for water bath canning. If you’re new to the hobby, please check out my video and read the linked document above (“Water Bath Canning How-to) before getting started with this recipe. Safety first!