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Healthy Snack for Kids: Quick Pickled Carrots

quick pickled carrotsBack when we were childless, we used to scoff at people whose kids wouldn’t eat vegetables. Our kids were going to eat all their vegetables and then ask (politely) for seconds. The reality turned out to be this — it’s tough to ply kids with vegetables. I mean, it’s tough to get a lot of adults to eat their vegetables and kids don’t even have a sense of what’s good for them. Luckily for us, we discovered early that our daughter will eat any vegetable if it’s been pickled first.

These quick pickled carrots have become a mainstay of our household. As the name suggests, they are quick to make. And like most things that are quick, they are also easy. And for a long time, they were the only reliable way to get our daughter to ingest a veggie. They also taste really good, so try making some even if you or kids already like vegetables.

Quick Pickled Carrots
makes 3 pints jars of pickled carrots

1 lb. of carrots, peeled. sliced into 4″ lengths and quartered
2 cups water
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
8 bay leaves
10 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
pinch celery seed
4-6 smashed garlic cloves or a quartered onion (optional)

Wash and dry 3 pints jars, rims, and lids.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and blanch the carrots for one minute. Pack the carrots into the prepared jars. In the same saucepan used for blanching, combine the water, vinegar and sugar and spices. Bring the heat up until the mixture is almost boiling and the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the carrots, leaving 1/2″ head space. Distribute the bay leaves, cloves, and garlic or onion, if using, evenly between the jars. Let the pickling liquid come to room temperature and seal. Keep the pickles in the refrigerator. They should keep for a week or so.

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