Fermented foods are a great way to improve your gut health. Fermented carrots are easy to make and delicious. Learn how to make fermented carrots with this easy fermented carrots recipe.
Eating fermented foods is a great way to increase the beneficial bacteria in your gut which can help improve digestion, support your immune system, decrease inflammation in the body, in addition to so many other benefits.
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Many people take a probiotic supplement but you can actually get probiotics from eating fermented foods as well.
That is how I prefer to get get my daily probiotics. My family and I consume fermented foods every single day.
Fermented foods are not only a great way to keep your gut healthy but they are also an easy way to preserve vegetables from your garden.
Fermenting foods might seem a little intimidating at first but I promise you it’s so easy. And carrots are probably one of the easiest vegetables to ferment which makes them perfect for beginners.
How to Make Fermented Carrots
To make fermented carrots you’ll need the following items/ingredients.
Always use reverse osmosis or filtered water when making fermented vegetables. Plain tap water can contain chemicals or bacteria that can interfere with the fermentation process.
Salt is what prevents bad bacteria from forming. Never use table salt. The chemicals and iodine in table salt can inhibit the fermentation process.
Of course, you need something to store your fermented carrots in. I always use glass mason jars. Usually the wide-mouth quart jars. But it basically comes down to personal preference and the amount of fermented carrots you plan to make.
When making fermented vegetables you have to make sure all the vegetables are completely submerged under the saltwater brine. If any vegetables come in contact with the air, mold can develop and your ferment is ruined.
With carrots, you can usually pack the jar super tight so that the carrots are stuck in place under the brine.
This method has almost always worked for me. But the last time I made fermented carrots one carrot broke loose and popped up to the surface and was exposed to air. Mold grew all over and that batch of fermented carrots was completely ruined.
They make fermentation weights that work perfectly for keeping all the vegetables submerged underwater. I use them all the time when making fermented jalapenos and radishes. But I’ll definitely be using them from now on when making fermented carrots as well.
They are optional but definitely recommended!
You’ll need a lid to cover your jar so that no bugs or other foreign objects contaminate your fermented carrots. They sell fermentation lids and I actually own a few but have never used them. These white mason jars lids work just fine.
You can also use metal mason jar lids. I just prefer not to because they rust quickly.
Whenever I make fermented foods I like to always use organic ingredients. My main concern with using non-organic ingredients (besides not wanting to ingest pesticides) is that the pesticide may interfere with the fermentation process.
My local Costco sells a giant bag of organic carrots (I think it’s around 5 pounds) for about $3. So I always grab carrots there when I see them.
If you don’t have a store near you that sells organic carrots you should check out GrubMarket. They will deliver fresh, organic produce right to your doorstep. And their prices are amazing!
If you place an order over $35 you can use this link to get $10 off your purchase.
Seasonings aren’t necessary. Your fermented carrots will taste good without them. But if you want to add some extra flavor then adding seasonings to your fermented carrots will do just that.
Garlic and dill are my go-to seasonings when making fermented carrots. I usually just use organic minced garlic that comes in a jar but fresh garlic would work just fine.
And I like to use dried organic dill weed but fresh would work fine also. This gives the carrots more of a pickle flavor which my family and I love.
Homemade Fermented Carrots Recipe
So once you’ve gathered all the necessary items and ingredients you’re going to want to start making a saltwater brine.
There are several ways to do this. You can heat the water on the stove and add the salt while the water is still hot. Let the salt completely dissolve and allow the water to cool down to room temperature.
Or you can add the salt to room temperature water and let the salt completely dissolve over a longer period of time.
Either option works fine. Obviously, the second option takes more time.
The main things you want to make sure of when creating the brine is that the water is room temperature when you add it to your jars (never use hot water), the salt is fully dissolved, and that you have the correct salt to water ratio.
A 2-3% saltwater brine works well for hard vegetables like carrots. I like to use around 2 tablespoons of salt per quart of water. Which is a little more than 3% but works just fine.
You can make one quart, you can make five quarts, or you can make ten quarts. It all comes down to how much fermented carrots you plan to make. Just make sure your salt to water ratio is correct.
Next, you’ll need to wash your carrots. Be sure to scrub all the dirt off. Once your carrots are clean you can peel your carrots if you’d like, although it is completely unnecessary.
Not only does it save a ton of time to not peel the carrots but there are extra nutrients and beneficial bacteria in the carrot peel.
Now it’s time to cut the carrots. They don’t need to be all the same exact size. The thickness really doesn’t matter. Just make sure that they can fit well in the jar length-wise.
You want there to be enough room for the brine to completely cover the carrots and to add a fermentation weight if you decide to use one.
If you decide to add seasoning you’ll want to add that to your jar now before adding the carrots. There is no exact measurement when it comes to adding seasoning. I typically add 1-2 teaspoons of both garlic and dill to my fermented carrots.
But sometimes I add a little more and sometimes I add a little less. It all comes down to personal preference.
I would start with a small amount and if it doesn’t add enough flavor for you add a little more when you make your next batch of fermented carrots.
Next, pack your carrots into the jar. Pack them as tight as you can. I like to lay the jar on its side to do this.
Fill the jar with the saltwater brine. Make sure the carrots are fully submerged. Leave about an inch of space between the top of the water and the top of the jar.
Add a fermentation lid if you like and place the lid on top of the jar but do not over tighten.
Allow the carrots to sit on your counter for at least 3 days. The warmer your house is the faster the fermentation occurs. My house is around 76-77 degrees and my carrots are almost always ready by the third or fourth day. If your house is cooler it could take longer. If your house is warmer it could be quicker.
The fermentation process can take anywhere between 2-10 days.
You’ll know the fermentation process is working when the water begins to get a little cloudy and you may also notice tiny bubbles rising to the surface of the jar.
Remove the lid every few days to let the gasses escape from the jar and then place the lid back on the jar. If you notice any mold growing throw it out and start again.
But if you have followed the directions above there shouldn’t be any mold. A white scum might form on the top of the water which is totally normal. This is just the bacteria and yeast working together. Don’t worry about that.
The best way to tell if your ferment is ready is a taste test. On the third or fourth day taste one of the carrots. If you like the flavor and texture then it’s ready. If it’s too salty it’s not ready. Leave on the counter a little longer and keep checking each day until they’re ready.
When you’re happy with the flavor and texture of the fermented carrots remove the weight, attach the lid tightly, and store it in the fridge. Fermented carrots should stay good for 6 months when refrigerated.
Keep in mind, the carrots will continue to ferment in the refrigerator. Just at a much slower rate. In my opinion, the flavor continues to get better after a few days/weeks of being store in the fridge.
- 1 pound of carrots
- 2 tablespoons of sea salt
- 1 quart of filtered water
- 1-2 tsps of minced garlic (optional)
- 1-2 tsps of dried dill (optional)
- Quart mason jar
- Create saltwater brine by dissolving 2 tablespoons of sea salt into a quart of filtered water
- Cut washed carrots into sticks that will fit lengthwise into the jar
- Add a few teaspoons of garlic, dill, or any other seasoning you like to jar
- Lay jar on its side and pack carrots in tightly
- Once the jar is full fill with saltwater brine. Leave about an inch of space between the water and the top of the jar
- Place lid on top of the jar but do not over tighten
- Leave on counter for 2-9 days
- On the third or fourth day taste one of the carrots. If you like the flavor and texture then it’s ready. If it’s too salty it’s not ready. Leave on the counter a little longer and keep checking each day until they’re ready
- Once carrots are ready. Attach lid tightly and place in the fridge
More detailed instructions are above. Fermented carrots should stay good for 6 months when refrigerated.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 3 Carrots
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 29Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3g
And that is it. Like I mentioned earlier, fermented carrots are so easy to make and perfect for beginner fermenters.
They were one of the first vegetables I ever fermented and now I’m obsessed with fermenting all kinds of other foods.
So I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and please let me know if you have any questions!