These are a super easy fermented vegetable to prepare. Carrots are easy to find and inexpensive – and this time of year you should even be able to find them at a farmer’s market. The flavor is similar to dill pickles and the texture will remain pretty crisp, so if you are new to fermenting vegetables, these carrot sticks shouldn’t come across as overly exotic.
The salt and the tightly-sealed jar create the conditions necessary to repress undesirable bacteria from growing while you wait for the lactic acid producing bacteria to populate and preserve the vegetables. These “friendly” bacteria are the same class as those found in yogurt and those probiotic supplements you can pay a lot of money for from the store. A healthy population of beneficial bacteria in your gut means better overall health, since a whopping 70% of our immune system resides in the intestines. The vitamin content of the carrots is also preserved through fermentation, whereas the vitamin content of even raw vegetables degrades significantly every day from the time they are picked (another reason to start a garden or buy locally!). In addition to the high vitamin and probiotic content of fermented produce, they are also rich in enzymes that help your body to digest whatever else you’re eating as well! The ideal would be to have a small side of something fermented with every meal. Try it and see what changes you notice in your health!