Spicy Garlic Carrot Pickles

These spicy garlic carrot pickles are full of flavor and perfect for snacking or serving alongside (or inside of) sandwiches.

Spicy Garlic Carrot Pickles

At the end of last year, when we first got wind of the fact that we might be moving cross-country, I pretty much halted my canning efforts altogether. I hated to do it; I was missing out on raspberry, apple and pear season (though I still made an exception for my pear ginger preserves!), but I knew that moving full jars of preserves is a lot more complicated than moving a bunch of empty jars.

Full jars of preserves can’t go on the moving truck, for one thing. At least not if you are moving in the middle of winter – since the trucks aren’t temperature-controlled, the preserves could freeze and break their seals or jars. So of the two cars we drove to Minnesota in December, about 3/4 of the storage space in one of them was taken up by ten boxes of finished preserves, jams and jellies. It was a bit of a pain, but every jar arrived intact, so it was worth it.

Now that I have all my jars, canning pots and other necessary tools unpacked, I was able to embark on my first canning project since September this weekend. I started with something easy: these spicy garlic carrot pickles. They are so, so quick to make – the most time-consuming part is waiting for the water in the canning pot to come to a boil. Beyond that, the process is slice carrots, boil brine, pack jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, and boom! You’re done!

I thought about making dilled carrot pickles, but seeing as I still have four large jars of dill pickles left from summer, it seemed unnecessary. I wanted to mix up my flavor profiles!  So I went with a red pepper flake and garlic combination for a spicy, aromatic pickle. These carrot pickles will be perfect for serving on or alongside sandwiches, or just eating straight out of the jar when we want a crunchy, flavorful snack.


If you aren’t a fan of spice, you can cut back on the red pepper flakes a little bit – you’ll still get lots of garlic flavor. However, you can not safely increase the amount of garlic in each jar.

You may use distilled white vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar here. The color of your brine will definitely be clearer, though the vinegar flavor will also be stronger. I like using apple cider vinegar because it has a more mellow flavor. Do not substitute another type of vinegar unless you know for sure it is at least 5% acid.

Spicy Garlic Carrot Pickles

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 3 pint jars

Spicy Garlic Carrot Pickles

These spicy garlic carrot pickles are full of flavor and perfect for snacking or serving alongside (or inside of) sandwiches.


  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2” thick sticks and trimmed to fit your jars


  1. Prepare for canning: Wash the jars and flat lids. Put the jars in the canning pot and cover with hot water. Heat over high to bring to a boil and keep the jars hot.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, salt and oregano to a boil.
  3. Line the hot jars up on a folded towel.
  4. Put 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes, 2 garlic clove halves (so a full clove) and a few peppercorns into the bottom of each jar.
  5. Pack in the carrot sticks, leaving a generous 1/2" of headspace.
  6. Pour the hot brine over the carrots, again leaving 1/2" of headspace.
  7. Use a clean towel to wipe any vinegar off the rims, then top each jar with a lid and a tightened ring. Place the jars back in the canning pot and make sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the lid from the canner and turn off the heat. After 5 minutes, transfer the jars to a folded towel and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check the seals of the lids after 1 hour. If a seal has not formed, refrigerate the jar immediately.

PS: New to canning? Here are all the tools you’ll need. And here’s how to get started with hot water bath canning, step-by-step!

PPS: I also made this creamsicle jelly from Food in Jars this weekend. Dan loves the orange + vanilla combo, so the jelly was a big hit!

Spiced Apple Butter

Apple Butter on savvyeat.com

It had been far too long. I made apple butter last month for the first time since 2010. It isn’t that I don’t like apple butter- far from it. Apple butter is one of the easiest preserves to use in cooking and baking. Its smooth texture allows it to melt right into whatever you’re cooking, leaving behind a warm spiced flavor and a subtle sweetness.

No, the reason it had been so long is that I majorly overdid it four autumns ago. I was new to canning, and fruit butter was so accessible as a beginner. So I made batch after batch of every kind of fruit butter I could think of – peach, blueberry, cherry and of course, apple. It was enough to last us for at least two years. Between that and the shelf-full of applesauce I made that fall, I just got completely burnt out on apple preserves. As a result, I skipped them entirely last year even though our supply was close to depletion.

By the beginning of this summer, I was back to missing smooth silky apple butter, so I chose to make a fresh batch for a recipe.com freelance piece. The recipe is based off of one from Betty Crocker and I have to say, I like it better than the one I made back in 2010. It has just the right level of fall spices so that it is flavorful without being overwhelming, and the sweeting is subtle enough that the apples can shine through.

Get the apple butter recipe here!

I’ve published some other pieces on recipe.com recently as well. Check them out!