Lacto-Fermented Carrot Sticks

Lacto-fermented carrot sticks

These carrot sticks have quickly become a favourite of mine. Most recipes for lacto-fermented carrots call for grated carrot, which turns out a little too mushy for my taste. I decided to try carrot sticks for a less mushy recipe, and modified a basic lacto-fermented dill pickle recipe.

I often use purple carrots, which come out a lovely shade of fluorescent pink (who says real food can’t be fun!).Β As well as eating the carrots, I also use the brine in salad dressings, or just take a shot of it for the probiotic benefits.

This recipe is for a dill pickle flavoured version, but feel free to experiment with other flavours like chilli, lime, coriander (cilantro) and caraway seeds.

Ingredients (makes about 1L/1qt)
6-8 medium carrots (orange are perfectly fine, but I love using purple ones if I can find them cheap because of the lovely colour)
2 tsp dried dill
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp mustard seeds
1.5 Tbsp unrefined salt (I use Himalyan pink salt, but you can also use sea salt)

Method
Chop carrots into sticks. Place them in a clean glass jar, along with the garlic, mustard seeds and dill.

Dissolve salt with 2 cups of filtered water (if you don’t have a filter, you can boil water and wait for it to cool). Pour this brine into the jar until it is covering the carrot sticks (make up extra brine in the same ratio if you need to).

Screw the lid onto the jar and leave unrefrigerated for at least a week. You will need to “burp” the jar to release the gases produced by fermentation, by unscrewing the lid 1-2 times a day (depending on how warm it is in your kitchen).

After a week, taste the carrot sticks. They should be sour and slightly soft. If they are not sour or soft enough, leave them to ferment for longer.

Enjoy πŸ™‚

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Comments

  1. Okay, this actually looks reasonably easy – maybe I will try it! Your regular incorporation of lacto-fermented foods in your diet has me curious.

  2. When you ferment things, do you ever have to worry about things going “wrong” and making you sick when you eat them?

  3. OK… I too am intrigued by the fermented food thing… but where does the “lacto” part come in? Do you add acidophilous or something? Or am I just being too literal.

    Anyhow, I have generalized fear of fermented foods. Partially because I’m afraid of poisoning myself, but also because they tend to trigger migraines for me. So… not sure if I should try this or not.

    • The “lacto” part comes in because it uses lactic acid bacteria to preserve the food. They can live in a high salt environment and then create enough acid that the food is preserved.

      The bacteria come from the air or the surface of the food, but there are all kinds of other yeasts and stuff, which might be why you react to them. Anyway, I think I need to do a proper post on lacto-fermentation, so keep an eye out for it in the next couple of weeks.

  4. I’m intrigued by this as a self-sufficiency strategy and a great way to utilize excess garden produce. But as EcoCatLady above says…I also have a generalized fear of fermented foods. Mine goes back to the 70s when we loved watching Mum canning things with the Fowler’s kit, only to see our parents one day throw the entire kit away after some kind of poisoning incident in the US that was well publicized.

    I have to get over it as I think this looks great and needs to be tried!

    • Okay, I’ve definitely decided to do a whole post about lacto-fermentation in the next few weeks πŸ™‚ I’m pretty sure the problems with canning were due to botulism, which is one of the few things that can survive at the high temperatures used in canning. Lacto-fermentation uses salt to inhibit the growth of all bacteria except lactobaccilus, which produce lactic acid and preserve the food.

      It can go wrong, but it’s usually pretty obvious when it does – there is mould or weird growths! I’ve only had it happen in very hot weather or if I haven’t put enough brine in.

  5. These look yummy and really easy. I always thought you needed a starter of some kind for fermented veggies… definitely could use a post on getting started! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing, I’ve bookmarked to give it a try.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by Maranda πŸ™‚ You can use a starter, and it does make it easier, but a brine works just as well. I’m working on the getting started post – hopefully it should come out this week πŸ™‚

  6. In the event of there being obvious mouldy growth,of course, throw it away, but prior to its actually being visible, mightn’t it be present invisibly?

    • Thanks for stopping by Anonymous. I was worried about mould when I first started fermenting veggies, but the more I read about the science, the more it made sense. The salt inhibits the growth of mould and bacteria, so if something does go bad, it goes bad in a big way and is pretty obvious. Anyway, I’ll cover this more when I do a post on lacto-fermentation, so look out for it πŸ™‚

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