Preparing those Summer Carrots
By Joseph Parish
Few people can resist a jar of homemade sliced or diced canned carrots. There simply is no beating the quality found in these types of carrots. Carrots are a fast growing crop and even if you happen to find it necessary to purchase your carrots at your local farmers market the cost is still very reasonable.
On the average you will discover that you need approximately 17 1/2 pounds of carrots after the removal of the tops to process a 7 quart load. If you are processing pints you will need 11 pounds of carrots to complete a load of 9 pints. At these figures a bushel of carrots without their tops would weigh about 50 pounds and your ultimate yield would be anywhere from 17 to 25 quarts. This is an average of approximately 2-1/2 pounds per processed quart.
When canning carrots the quality of your initial product is of vital importance. You should select small, firm carrots from 1 inch to perhaps 1-1/4 inches in diameter. Avoid the larger carrots as they are frequently too fibrous to can successfully.
Keep in mind that various pressure canners operate differently and have a diverse number of quirks associated with them so make certain to read your canner instructions carefully before beginning.
After you have obtained your carrots wash and peel them. Then rewash them one more time. Now according to your choice you should either slice them or dice them up.
There are several ways that you can preserve your bounty – either hot pack or raw pack. If hot packing your carrots cover them with water and bring it to a rapid boil. Simmer for approximately five minutes then fill the jars leaving a headspace of 1 inch. If you are raw packing your produce, merely fill the jars tightly with the raw carrots and again leave a 1 inch headspace. Place 1 teaspoons of salt in the jar for each quart of carrots as you add the hot water.
Place lids on the jar and process in your pressure cooker for about 25 minutes at 14 pounds pressure for pints and 30 minutes at 14 pounds for quarts. Since pressures and times may vary slightly check with your local extension office for the exact pressure and time necessary.
The complete process is simple and easy and you are assured of quality carrots throughout the upcoming winter months.
Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish