Fermented Carrots

This has to be the easiest ferment I’ve ever done. I stumbled onto it while looking for something to replace the sauerkraut in those couple months when the previous crop of cabbage best suitable for fermenting is out and a new one is not in yet. Not that you couldn’t make it, but the kick is weaker than I like, and I am always curious about something new. Sure, brined cucumbers are always here, and it’s my long-standing favorite, but curiosity… what can I say, cats are my favorite animals for a reason. But back to carrots. 

Get 3 pounds of carrots, rinse them well and cut into sticks. Dissolve 2 tablespoon sea salt in 1 liter (quart) of water. Grab a 2-liter glass jar, put it on its side and start filling it with carrot sticks, squeezing them in as tight as you can. This will keep them from floating to the surface – just as with sauerkraut, you want them to remain fully submerged in brine. As you can see on the image, I managed to put them in two layers, while leaving some headspace for the brine to cover them:

Fermented carrots

Fermented carrots

Add a couple of bay leaves broken into 3-4 parts and a few black peppercorns to your brine. You can experiment with additional flavors, of course, but let’s start with a basic recipe; dill, ginger, garlic, lemon, and all the usual suspects will present interesting twist for your subsequent batches. Fill the jar with brine, cover with a coffee filter or a towel secured with a rubber band, and set it away from sunlight at room temperature. Start tasting them in 7 to 10 days. The flavor is very mild and pleasant, a mix of sweetness with saltiness, plus the usual kick of fermentation. The texture is crunchy, although softer than the fresh carrots have. When you are satisfied with the flavor, put the lid on and move the jar to a fridge. The taste will continue to develop slowly over time – if you give it a chance that is, which is unlikely.

Told you it was the easiest one ever. Enjoy!

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