Fermenting Carrots

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I crave a bit of sour pickles in the winter, whether it be kimchi, pickled daikon or some gingered carrots. Since we have a bit of a carrot theme going on this week, I thought I’d share my method for making pickled, or fermented, carrots.

Even though carrots will last all winter long in cold storage, I still like to preserve them in a sour gingered brine.

This recipe is from an old blog I used to maintain. I copied it down verbatim. I’ve been using this basic method to make pickled veggies for 7 years now!

How to Ferment Carrots

  1. Rinse (if dirty) firm carrots.  Peel and rinse again.  Chop off the tops and any bad spots.  Slice into thin, even slices.  I used my awesome 14-cup capacity food processor, but you may prefer thicker slices, which can be cut by hand.  The thicker the slices, the longer the fermentation process will take.
  2. Pack sliced carrots into jars, or a ceramic crock.
  3. You may make plain carrots, or add seasonings.  If you prefer, alternate the seasonings between layers of carrots, or just put them in at any point of the packing process.  My two preferred seasonings are chopped ginger root, and garlic and dill.  You can also try peppercorns, chili, or any other herb. I use a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped, per 1/2 gallon ball jar. I use 5 cloves of garlic and 3 sprigs of dill per 1/2-gallon ball jar.
  4. After you have packed the carrots, make a salt water brine.  I use 1-1/2 TBS of NON-IODIZED SEA SALT per QUART of water.  Mix until the water is clear and pour over the carrots until they are covered.  You may need more or less than a quart of brine depending on how may carrots you have and how big the slices are.DSCN0640
  5. Place a weight on top of the carrots so the brine covers them completely. Place the jars or the crock of carrots in the corner of your kitchen in the winter, or in a cool place, such as a cellar, in the summer. Mold or yeast bloom might form on the top.  If the brine covers the surface of the carrots, the carrots should be fine.
  6. Check the carrots every few days.  Scrape off any scum that has formed on the surface and taste the pickles.  I usually let vegetables ferment for 5-10 days or so.  They will develop a pleasant, sour-pickle flavor, but should also maintain some crispness.  When they taste delicious to you, cap them off, if in jars, or ladle them into jars if using a crock and move them into the refrigerator.  They will continue to ferment at a slower rate, so don’t be alarmed if they soften after a month or so.  Enjoy in moderation.
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