Fermented food is getting its due these days, with more and more research showing the health benefits of eating probiotic and lacto-fermented foods. What does that mean, exactly? Well, that all your parents’ worries about keeping the food in the fridge and making sure mold never made an appearance in the kitchen were a mite misplaced. We now know that nature’s effect on certain foods is both delicious and so good for our guts. Here’s a basic how-to for one of the simplest veggies to ferment — carrots. I’ve also included a couple variations for experimenting. You’re going love this way of eating your carrots. Promise!
- 1 Tbsp. fine sea salt
- 1 sprig fresh dill OR 1 sprig fresh rosemary OR 1 Tbsp. grated lime zest
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced (mix with dill or rosemary) OR 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (mix with lime zest)
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced longways into 1/4 inch thick sticks
- filtered water
- Place salt, herbs, and fruits or veggies into a quart-sized mason jar. (Wide mouth jars are easiest to use.)
- Pack carrot sticks standing on end into jar as tightly as you can. You might try fitting together thick end to thin end. Your goal is to keep the carrots from floating to the top and poking above the water line.
- Fill jar with water, leaving one inch space at top. Screw lid on tightly and shake to mix ingredients.
- Remove lid and check to make sure all carrots are submerged. Then cover jar with square of cheesecloth and screw jar band over the cloth.
- Allow jar to sit in a dark space that stays between 65 F-75 F. Leave for 3 days.
- After 3 days, try a carrot. See if you like its flavor and texture. You can continue to ferment for up to 5 days, according to your liking. If any mold forms on top, simply remove it.
- Replace cheesecloth with metal lid of jar. Place carrot jar in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.