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Canning and Preserving Carrots and Beets

Posted Jul 19 2010 10:59am

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So we’re a little behind, but we finally harvested the last of our beets and carrots. Since we’re leaving for Montana this week, we knew that we wouldn’t have enough time to use them up and decided it was best to can them for later.

Up until last year I was always intimidated by canning. My huge German family always did it in bulk, so it was never less than an entire weekend slaving over a stove and hot jars. The kitchen would be packed with my aunts chopping, measuring, pouring and sealing. Because it’s now just Neil and I, and we have no need for that much food, my mother-in-law convinced me it was something I could still do. She was right, and it’s definitely a skill any frugal-minded person should have. Not only can you preserve what you grow in your own garden, but when produce is cheap, you can stock up for later.

So here’s my short little ditty on what I did with these beets and carrots.

canning jars
canning seals and rings
jar lifter (or hot pads)
funnel (optional)
large pot or blancher to cook beets
bowls (glass for beets)
large spoons (don’t use wood for the beets)
sharp knife
towels and dish cloths

Beets
Carrots
Canning Salt (we used Kosher Salt)

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  1. 1. Wash your beets. Cut your stems to about 2 inches, and leave on the tap root.
  2. 2. Cook beets in boiling water until skins will slip off. I just use a medium or large stock pot. Ours took around 20-30 minutes, but its entirely subjective. You’ll just need to watch. Larger beets will take longer than smaller beets. To check their progress, scrape a spoon against the beets while they are cooking. If/when the skins scrape off easily they are done. While they’re cooking you can sterilize your jars.
  3. 3. When your beets are done, remove them and place in very cold water. When they are cool enough to handle, use a washcloth to gently rub the skins off and a knife for any tough spots. Cut off the tops and tap roots at this point.
  4. 4. Slice and chop to a desired size and pack into hot canning jars leaving 1″ at the top. Add canning salt to jars if desired. (1/2 teaspoon to each pint and 1 teaspoon to each quart.)
  5. 5. Cover in boiling water, again leaving a 1-inch head space. Wipe the jar rims clean, remove any air bubbles and place your lids. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

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  1. 1. Wash your carrots. Slice to desired sizes, you can really do anything.
  2. 2. Cook carrots in boiling water for five minutes in a medium to large stock pot. Begin  sterilizing your jars.
  3. 3. When your carrots are done, remove them and place in very cold water.
  4. 4. Pack into hot canning jars leaving 1″ at the top. Add canning salt to jars if desired. (1/2 teaspoon to each pint and 1 teaspoon to each quart.)
  5. 5. Cover in boiling water, again leaving a 1-inch head space. Wipe the jar rims clean, remove any air bubbles and place your lids. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

It’s really that simple. Obviously when you get into jellies and jams or salsa things get more complicated, but not enough to be in any way worried or intimidated. I’m hoping to can some local peaches when we return from Montana!

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