Don’t tell my mom, but these spicy sweet pickled carrots might be one of my favorite things (remind me to add them to the list of my favorite things). This post contains affiliate links. We grow carrots in our garden every year, and like everything else, once fall comes we need to figure out what to do with everything that’s left.
Fundamentally I just cannot just let it all go to waste. You’d think I grew up in the depression era, but a little part of me dies whenever we have to throw away food. Then you add in the fact that we actually grew this food ourselves (when I say we I really mean my husband), and we had to figure something out
This is a variation of the first recipe we ever used to make pickled carrots from the garden. At the time I thought they were sweeter than they should be, so over the next few years we tried making them more sour than sweet. Turns out I would literally crave those original sweet pickled carrots, we just needed to add in our own twist of spice to balance them out.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
3 1/2 pounds carrots
1 bunch radishes
1 red onion, sliced
Garlic, you’ll want one or two peeled cloves per jar
3 cups water
2 cups white sugar
4 cups apple cider vinegar
1/3 cups pickling salt
2 tablespoons pickling spice
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (or powdered if you don’t have fresh)
1 tablespoon mustard seed
First thing’s first:
Clean and peel your carrots. We love using an heirloom rainbow blend of seeds like this one.
Next thing’s next:
If you have a mandoline, this is the easiest way to slice up your carrots and radishes. If you don’t have one, no biggie. You can simply slice them with a knife.
The carrots will look like this if you use the crinkle attachment.
Slice your radishes and onions as well, then mix them all together in a large mixing bowl.
Now make the pickling brine:
Mix all the ingredients past the garlic together in a large pot. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, put one or two cloves of garlic in your clean/sterilized, and preferably still warm mason jars. Then pack them with the carrots/radishes/onions.
Once your liquid is done then fill your jars, cover, and can.
- Fill a canning pot, or large pot, with enough water so that it covers the jars by at least an inch. Bring the water up to a slow boil.
- Once it JUST starts to bubble (if not right before), put your jarred carrots in the water.
- Make sure the jars are already warm/hot when you put them in the water, otherwise this will happen and you will have a giant mess. You’ll need to dump the water out of the canning pot and start fresh if this happens. The jars I used fresh out of the dishwasher worked great. It’s when this one had a chance to cool off that it broke.
- Bring it back up to a boil.
- Now let it simmer for 15 minutes, 20 minutes for higher altitudes (over 2,000′).
- After that, turn off the heat and let it sit for another 5 minutes
- Transfer the jars to a clean kitchen towel and let them sit there overnight.
Now fill a hoagie roll full of seasoned pork, Sriracha mayo, cheese, your spicy sweet pickled carrots, and cilantro… and you’ve got yourself an extremely tasty treat.
These only get better with age. I’ll start eating them after a week, but they’re best after about 4-6 weeks. But I can never wait that long.