Simple Fermented Carrots Recipe

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Fermented carrots - one of the easiest ferments, and a great one to start off with!

When I was a young, newly-wedded lass, by accident I discovered something quite magical:

If I put baby carrots into a jar of leftover pickle juice, I would end up with crunchy, juicy, mouth-watering carrot pickles.

Yes, my husband did think I was crazy, but it was a feeling he would be growing accustomed to during our nine years of marriage (and counting). 🙂

Years have passed, and due to health challenges in our family, I have stopped buying the neon green jars of pickles from the supermarket. When I started learning about how simple home fermentation is, and the benefits of fermented foods, you better believe I was a happy girl when I realized fermented carrots tasted very similar to my “homemade” carrot pickles (actually, better!) – and were way healthier!

I’m going to be showing you how easy fermentation is in the next few months, sharing the recipes that I use ’round these parts. . . and I wanted to start with these fermented carrot pickles because I think they are the simplest veggie to ferment for beginners.

Fermented carrots - one of the easiest ferments and they taste so yummy too.

Benefits of Fermented Carrots

Why on earth would someone want to get started fermenting vegetables? Wow – you could write a whole book talking about fermentation. Thousands of entire websites are devoted to the subject. For starters, I’ll list the more well-known benefits.

  1. Probiotics – pesticide-free vegetables actually contain their own unique combinations of beneficial bacteria. When you add these veggies to a salt brine and keep in an airtight container, the good bacteria are allowed to proliferate at an enormous pace. The result? One bite of fermented food can have more beneficial bacteria than an entire bottle of expensive probtiotics.
  2. With that in mind, I’ll just mention that since one bite of sauerkraut – or what have you – has more bacteria than most bottles of probiotics, which are very pricey, fermented foods end up being extremely frugal. I’d much rather make a batch of sauerkraut for a couple bucks than pay twenty times that for a bottle of probiotics that might not survive the digestive process.
  3. Enzymes – another great side effect of fermenting live food is the enzymes they contain. Taken before a meal or as a condiment/side with a meal, they provide enzymes that aid digestion and relieve your body of the burden of having to make so many enzymes to complete digestion.
  4. Fermenting is a way of preserving foods.
  5. Detoxifying – fermented foods, filled with beneficial bacteria, are “potent detoxifiers”. According to Dr. Mercola, beneficial gut bacteria perform a number of surprising functions, including:
  • Mineral absorption, and producing nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin K2 (vitamin K2 and vitamin D are necessary for integrating calcium into your bones and keeping it out of your arteries, thereby reducing your risk for coronary artery disease and stroke5)
  • Preventing obesity and diabetes, and regulating dietary fat absorption
  • Lowering your risk for cancer
  • Improving your mood and mental health
  • Preventing acne
  • and so much more.

Want to learn more?

There are also some really great books out there on the art of fermenting which go into much greater depth than I will be able to. 🙂 These are my favorites:

The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from around the Worldir?t=itsaloloth 20&l=as2&o=1&a=160358286X by Sandor Katz

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Katz

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocratsir?t=itsaloloth 20&l=as2&o=1&a=0967089735 by Sally Fallon

The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle Featuring Bone Broths, Fermented Vegetables, Grass-Fed Meats, Wholesome Fats, Raw Dairy, and Kombuchasir?t=itsaloloth 20&l=as2&o=1&a=1607744686 by Jennifer McGruther

So with all that said, let’s get right down to business, shall we?

But wait – A note on fermenting vegetables with whey:

Many, many recipes (including some of the recipes in the aforementioned books) recommend the use of whey (the liquid left over from straining yogurt) as a starter culture to add to each batch of fermented vegetables.

I don’t recommend the use of whey when fermenting fresh vegetables. The beneficial bacteria found in whey are specifically suited for fermenting dairy. It is just not necessary, and I think you’ll end up with an inferior batch. So – my advice – feel free to skip the whey! As long as you are using fresh, organic vegetables, they will contain all the beneficial bacteria you will need. This is often referred to as “wild fermentation” – using the “wild” bacteria found on the vegetable itself and in the air to ferment rather than with a starter.

Just my two cents – but I have been fermenting without the use of whey for years and it is very, very rare for me to have a batch that doesn’t turn out perfectly. I find it totally unnecessary! Plus, many people who are especially in need of fermented veggies/foods for healing are dealing with dairy allergies, such as my children, and couldn’t use whey anyway.

So let’s get started!

Fermented Carrots

Ingredients

  • about 1 1/2 pounds of organic carrots. They can be from the garden, from the farmer’s market, from the grocery store, with tops or without. It doesn’t matter how they come. 🙂 And you won’t use a whole pound if your jar is a quart-sized jar.
  • 19 grams of high-quality sea salt (this is the kind I use) per quart of non-chlorinated water to make a 2% brine – I got this digital scale for my birthday and it is *perfect* for measuring salt. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!!)
  • 3 peeled cloves of garlic (optional)
  • a few sprigs of fresh dill (flowering is good) – this is also optional

Equipment

  • 1 quart glass fermenting jar. I’ve tried all sorts of fermenting jars, and the ones that give me consistent results every time are Fido, hermetically sealed jars. I love fermenting with our 1/2 gallon jars like these, because we have a larger family, but you can use any size. These jars are high-quality, worth every penny. They will gently release CO2 buildup over the fermentation period, preventing explosions, and yet they will not allow any air to enter, decreasing the chance of mold getting into your ferment. I can’t recommend them enough. (See notes for all your jar options.)
  • sharp knife & cutting board

Instructions

  1. Make sure your hands are washed, carrots are rinsed, and equipment is clean.
  2. Cut the tops off the carrots, and slice the carrots into carrot sticks, like you see in the photos. Make sure they are the right length for your jar – not too long, not too short. You want to leave about an inch of space below the “shoulder” of the jar – where the jar curves inward.
  3. Into the empty jar, put your garlic and dill, if using. Fresh is best – I have read that dried can cause problems with mold. These are not necessary but add nice flavor.
  4. Pack the carrots upright into your jar, as tight as you can possibly pack them. As I mentioned, try to leave an inch of room between the top of the packed carrots and the shoulder of the jar.
  5. Make your brine by dissolving 19 grams of sea salt into a quart of purified water. (I just stir with a spoon until dissolved.) Pour the brine over your carrots, and try to pour up to the shoulder of the jar and no higher. You might need to make more than 1 quart of brine, depending on the size of your fermenting jar. Just remember to keep the same ratios.
  6. Wipe the opening of the jar with a clean towel or paper towel, and seal shut.
  7. Store your carrots in a cool, dark place for 7 days. (I keep mine in my pantry.) When done, will keep in the refrigerator for many months.

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How to ferment carrots - one of the easiest ferments, and a great one to start off with!

Fermented Carrots Recipe


  • Author: Lovelovething

Description

These delicious, tangy fermented carrots are an easy first fermenting recipe for beginners.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1.5lbs organic carrots
  • 19 grams of high-quality sea salt
  • 3 peeled cloves of garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Wash your hands and rinse your carrots, making sure everything is clean.
  2. Slice carrots to fit your car, removing tops and any brown bits.
  3. Fill the empty jar: Put your garlic and dil in first, if using.
  4. Pack the carrots upright into your jar, as tight as you can possibly pack them .Leave an inch gap at the top of the jar for the brine.
  5. Make your brine by dissolving 19 grams of sea salt into a quart of purified water.
  6. Pour the brine over your carrots, and try to pour up to the shoulder of the jar and no higher.
  7. Wipe the opening of the jar with a clean towel or paper towel, and seal shut.
  8. Store your carrots in a cool, dark place for 7 days.
  9. When done, your fermented carrots will keep in the refrigerator for many months.

Notes

Try not to open your jar while fermenting. The fermentation process will build up pressure, and if you are using a Fido jar, it will escape on its own, preventing contamination. However, if you are not using a Fido, then you may need to slightly twist open the lid and “burp” the jar, quickly closing again.

Feel free to add other flavorings, such as peppercorns to spice it up!

Even though I pack my carrots as tight as I can, during the 10 days they shift around and some end up above the water line. This is not ideal, but if you’re using a truly airtight system, you shouldn’t have to worry about mold.

I have used many different kinds of setups for fermenting. I really speak highly of the Fido jars because I have had so much success with them.  You can definitely use mason jars, or even airlock lids with mason jars. I have used those as well, although my results varied quite a bit. But I do realize not everyone has Fido jars on hand. I bought a 6 pack of 1/2 gallon Fidos from Overstock.com by using some rewards points I had accumulated and a discount code. I also have lots of luck finding Fido jars from discount stores such as Ross, Marshall’s, etc. They are worth hunting around for or adding to your wish list!

  • Method: Fermented

Keywords: fermented carrot sticks recipe

Pin This:

How to ferment carrots and make carrot pickles! And which is the best jar for fermenting.

There you have it! It’s as easy as stuffing a jar with carrots and salt water (and spices, if you wish). Do your body a favor, and try this very, very soon!

Much love,

Dandy

P.S. Love fermented foods like I do? Oh Lardy’s Guide to Fermenting Fruits and Vegetables has just been released! For a limited time, you can use coupon code FERMENT30 to receive 30% off the price.

Read This Next: Cell Salts: The Easy Homeopathy

46 thoughts on “Simple Fermented Carrots Recipe”

  1. Thank you for this recipe! I just tried it out, and I am excited to be making my first batch of fermented food. I do have a question about the purified water for future reference. I happened to have a couple of bottles of purified water on hand this time around, but in general, I don’t usually like to buy water. : ) What constitutes as purified water? The two big ones I can think of are either maybe filtered water from my refrigerator, or water that I have boiled on my stovetop. What do you think?

    Reply
  2. Hi,
    I’m totally new to this and was just wondering if I can’t get hold of organic carrots, is it still ok to do fermenting with regular carrots still? I live in a country where it’s hard to get anything really organic and even if I find some, they are very expensive.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. I'm busy pinning all my fellow food bloggers and came across this… I got right up and made a batch 🙂 Will report back in 7 days… thank you for making this so easy!!!

    Reply
  4. I have jars for IKEA with a similar rubber gasket. Any idea if they will work just as well or if this particular brand is special?

    Reply
    • Hi Stephanie! Since I’ve never tried the IKEA ones, I can’t say for sure if they’ll work. Do they have any special markings on the bottom or lid? You could always try it and see!

      Reply
  5. Hi,
    Just a question, the brine seems really light on the salt. I measured 19 grams of salt and it was barely a teaspoon. Is this right to go with just under a litre of water??

    Thanks,
    Heather

    Reply
    • Hi Heather! So glad you’re trying the fermented carrots. When I measure 19 g of fine grain pink salt with a digital scale (zeroing out to account for the container), I get almost 4 teaspoons. Try 4 teaspoons, and see how it goes.

      Reply
  6. I do this with lots of different vegetables with amazing success! Daikon radish, Jalapeno (or milder) peppers, mushrooms, cabbage (both red and green), onions, etc. Experiment and have fun!

    Reply
    • Hi Eileen – kombucha is a yeast ferment, and yeast need oxygen to ferment. (aerobic) However, this is an anaerobic ferment, and oxygen would actually be harmful to the fermentation process. So definitely keep this ferment airtight. I love fido jars for this, as I mentioned in the article, they give great results every time!

      Reply
      • Another quick question what should we expect after 7 days taste wise? I guess being new to fermenting not sure if it came out right

        Thanks Danielle

        Reply
          • Leave them in the brine until they’re all eaten. I love drinking a bit of the brine myself, as a sort of probiotic tonic, but it’s up to you!

        • Hi Curtis!! They should be fairly crunchy and the brine could have some carbonation visible. They should taste like a crunchy, salty (seasoned if you added seasonings) pickled carrot. I love them! I hope they turned out for you!!

          Reply
  7. Danielle,

    Thanks for your responses but I have another question, my last batch didnt seem to carbonate much….. are they still good? What can do in the future to change that?

    Also i noticed this time some of the carrots wouldn’t stay packed down and floated to the top and looks like a few of them might have some very tiny white spots on them which I think might be mold maybe? Should i just toss them and is it ok to eat the rest?

    Really appreciate your help

    Reply
    • Hi Curtis! May I ask what type of vessel you were fermenting in? Was it a Fido jar? I have a lot of confidence in those for fermenting. Anything else, I’ve not had as reliable results. Many times my carrots will shift and move around, and since I’ve use the Fidos, they have not developed mold and have been fine to eat and the brine wonderful to drink. I wish I could help you more, but I would have to see it in person to judge for sure. I like to be very cautious when it comes to mold. There is a Facebook group called Wild Fermentation (there are many fermenting groups, actually) that might be able to better answer your question, if you provided pics and information. Does that help? Let me know if you have any more questions!!

      Reply
  8. Hi
    I have successfully made 3 batches of fermented carrots using you formula for the brine. I have been fermenting cabbage for 2 years and just took some of the liquid and used it as a starter for my carrots. I noticed the bubbles when fermenting the carrots were very tiny and effervescent and you could hear them. The bubbles while my cabbage were fermenting were more round.
    The last batch of carrots I did, I used the liquid from fermented carrots as a starter and the carrots seemed more mushy. I actually prefer fermenting carrots it is easier than the cabbage. I always peel the carrots even though they are organic because I don’t like how the liquid looks dirty.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Does adding either whey or leftover brine work? Yes, but . . . .
      IMO you get a better, broader flavor from a “wild” ferment. Over the length of the ferment, a variety of micro-organism grow, depending on acidity and such. Each contributes to the over-all flavor of the finished product.

      Reply
  9. I realize this is a non-purist option for preventing mold, as it introduces plastic – but a very handy trick for fermenting with a plain mason jar is to insert a plastic sandwich baggy filled with a little brine into the top of the jar. This holds the veggies down and brings the water level up around the top of the jar so you won’t get mold. I think I saw the idea in a Saveur magazine.

    Reply
  10. Please could you give me the amount of salt in teaspoons? I dont have the money to buy a digital scale even if I could find one in my country town – which I doubt

    Reply
  11. My first batch I got yeast and mold. My second batch there was a lot more fermentation and after one day the lid burped on its own and threw out a bunch of the brine because of the pressure. I had to open up the jar and punch down the veggies with a clean butter knife — there’s still enough brine to cover them. But I don’t know if I’ve destroyed the batch now. I’m disappointed so far.

    Reply
    • Make sure you’re adding enough salt to kill any pathogens, and also make sure your fermentation area is not near something that could possibly have mold, like a kitchen sink, etc. Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • So you must be saying you leave the Fido jars sealed and let the pressure build until it forces a leak? That would be the only way to make carbonation I believe.

        Reply
  12. This is a great recipe! I really want to try branching out and making more fermented goodies for my family. I have made sauerkraut once and it turned out okay, but I definitely want to start heading down different avenues for my fermentation projects. This looks like it could definitely be a good candidate for me to try the next time I go for it! Thank you for sharing your recipe, and I’ll have to report back when I make them!

    Reply
  13. Hi! I tried to ferment different kind of vegetables but they all spoiled on me. I use regular jars with a screw lid. Last time I tried the Ikea Mason jar dupe for my pickles and it worked quite well. I am still not totally happy with the saltiness of the veggies. I know you need salt to eliminate the pathogenes but do you have an idea. I thought I might try to put the veggies in my homemade kombucha vinegar. It is probably packed with probiotics and should result in more sour than salty pickles….what do you think?! Have a fabulous day!!

    Reply
    • Hi Martina, the salt is in fact necessary. There are some great recipes out there for fermenting with apple cider vinegar, perhaps you could test your vinegar’s pH and if it’s the same, you could use those recipes. Happy fermenting!

      Reply
  14. I’m giving these 5 ⭐️ on my initial experience. My carrots have only been in that brine for 2 days and the carbonation is incredible! I will post once the fermentation period has completed for taste and texture.

    Reply

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