Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pickled Carrot Sticks

Pickling your own vegetables is fun and a great way to add variety to your diet!  Although cucumbers are perhaps the most popular pickled veggie, you can pickle almost every veggie you can think of!  Some common vegetables to pickle are: cucumbers, green beans (dilly beans), cauliflower, pepperr, carrots, asparagus... you get the point!  Yes, there is a bit of sodium in pickles, but these are lower in sodium than that kinds you find at the store.  If you get the vegetables when on sale, or a good deal at the farmer's market, pickling is very inexpensive.  They make great gifts for the holidays too!

I got a five pound bag of carrots on sale for $1.99 and decided that the remainder of my carrots would make perfect pickles.  Total time for making 3 pints of pickled carrots was ~1 hour.  I have never made these before so I wanted to make 3 flavors to find my favorite.  The basic brine mixture is the same, plus some extra ingredients in each jar.
The three flavors: 1. Sweet Ginger
                             2. Spicy Garlic
                             3. Garlic and Thyme

Pickled Carrot Sticks (or chips)
Makes 3 pints

Ingredients:
3 Ball canning jars and tops, sterilized
2 pounds of carrots, peeled
1.5 cups of apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar or splenda
2 Tbsp garlic
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
Fresh or dried dill
1 Tbsp salt

Directions:  Cut the carrots into sticks (about 3 inches long) or into chips by slicing them.  Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.  Blanch the carrots by placing in the boiling water for 30 seconds and drain into a colander (This helps them keep their pretty color).  Bring the remainder of the ingredients to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Place carrot sticks into the canning jars.  Pour the hot pickling solution over the top of the carrots.  Add any additional ingredients and close the jars.  Allow to sit for at least 12 hours before consuming!

Varieties: For sweet ginger: Add 2 more Tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp of ground ginger
                For spicy: Add 1 Tsp crushed red pepper
                For Garlic and Parsley: Add 1/4 tsp garlic powder and 5 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 Tbsp dried

Nutrition Facts: 3 carrot sticks
8 calories, 2 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, 0 g fat, .5 g fiber, 130 mg sodium

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