Fermenting your own food has never been so easy. Just 2 simple ingredients + 5 minutes of prep = fermented carrots the whole family will LOVE.
Y’all know I’m all about gut health and keeping the microbiome in good shape. Fermented foods are a simple and inexpensive way to improve your digestion, balance out the good bacteria in your gut, help you absorb more of the nutrients from your food, and to add a bit of delicious flavor to every meal.
New to lacto-fermentation? I’ve covered the basics in the previous blog posts. Hop on over and check them out.
OK… let’s get to those easy fermented carrots. I like to call these the gateway fermented food because they are so tasty and delicious that everyone seems to love them.
This is the first recipe I usually suggest when someone is new to fermented foods (along with easy homemade fermented pickles.) They are so simple to make and are ready in just a few days.
Crunchy, zesty, and full of gut-friendly lactobacillus bacteria , these fermented carrots are a real gold mine to have in the fridge. Food is medicine when we prepare foods in this way.
You don’t have to spend all your hard earned money on expensive probiotics when you can ferment your own foods right at home. Fermented foods provide healthy bacteria/probiotics to help your digestive system function better and to boost your immune system which in turn will benefits every other system in your body.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I USE FOR FERMENTATION?
For shorter fermentations like this one, I like to use air-tight lids that fit wide mouth mason jars . They are super easy to use and work great.
I pack my carrots in tightly so they stay put and under the brine. If your carrots are sneaking up towards the top, you can use weight on top of your fermenting foods so they stay below the brine. I use glass fermentation weights made specifically for that purpose.
HOW MUCH SALT DO I NEED FOR THIS RECIPE?
Carrots prefer a 2% brine in order to ferment properly, which is about one tablespoon of salt in one quart of water. If you are a fermentation nerd like me, a 2% brine is exactly 19 grams of salt in a quart of water. I use a food scale like THIS to measure my salt. But don’t worry, if you don’t have a scale, one tablespoons of salt in one quart of water is close enough.
HOW LONG DO FERMENTED CARROTS TAKE?
There are many factors that affect the rate at which foods ferment, including temperature. The ideal temperature for vegetables ferments is 68′ to 72′ F. Fermented carrots will ferment slower in cooler weather and faster in warmer weather.
The other factor to consider is personal taste. Fermented carrots will get zestier as they ferment. I check them after about 48 hours to see how they taste. Mine take anywhere from 3 days to 7 days to be perfect, depending on the time of year and the carrots that I use.
HOW MANY FERMENTED CARROTS SHOULD I EAT?
I always say start slowly, especially if you are new to fermented foods. Fermented foods are teeming with good bacteria and can cause bloating and upset stomach if introduced too quickly as the good bacteria begins to take over the unhealthy bacteria in the gut.
Start with just a small bite per day, Work up to a small bite 2-3 times per day. Once your body feels good with this, eat these fermented carrots liberally. We use small amounts of fermented foods as condiments with each meal.
I’ve been fermenting for years, and I’m obsessed. It’s so easy. It’s so healthy. And anyone can do it. It is normal for the brine to get cloudy after a day or so. You will also see some bubbles, which is the fermentation magic happening. Use your common sense. If you ever see mold or pink scum, something is wrong and you’ll need to toss your carrots.
Back in the day before I used completely air-tight fermentation lids, I lost a few batched of fermented foods, but since I’ve gone completely anaerobic (no oxygen), things have been perfect. They keep stray airborne microbes and molds out, which can make your ferments funky.
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Fermenting your own food has never been so easy. Just 2 simple ingredients + 5 minutes of prep = fermented carrots the whole family will LOVE (and teeming with gut-friendly probiotics.)
- 4–5 carrots (about one pound)
- 1 quart water
- 1 tbsp sea salt
OPTIONAL ADD INS
- 1–2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- a few sprigs of fresh dill
- 2–3 small hot peppers
- Make brine with one quart of water and one tablespoon of salt by stirring until all salt is dissolved.
- Wash and peel carrots. Cut into sticks and tightly pack into into quart-sized wide mouth mason jar along with any optional add ins. Pour prepared brine over top, making sure to completely cover carrot stick. Leave at least one inch of head-space at top of jar.
- Place air-tight fermentation lid on top, wrap jar in kitchen towel, and set on counter for 2-7 days, depending on the temperature and your personal preference. Once carrots are to your liking, place in refrigerator.
I prefer to use airlock lids for fermentation to ensure that the fermentation remains anaerobic (no air gets in and no mold spores or other airborne microbes get in.) But if you do not have one, you can place any mason jar lid on it lightly (meaning don’t screw it on completely) so that air bubbles can escape as the pickles ferment.
I pack my carrots in tightly so they stay put and under the brine. If your carrots are sneaking up towards the top, you can use weight on top of your fermenting foods so they stay below the brine. I use glass fermentation weights made specifically for that purpose. I know some folks get creative and use rocks or other clean/sterile items.
Be sure to use chlorine free water as this could affect the living bacteria in your ferments.
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