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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!

Fermented Carrot Sticks
Print Recipe
Dill-flavored probiotic carrot sticks - great for snacking or with any meal to support digestion!
Servings Prep Time
1 quart 5 minutes
Passive Time
7 days
Servings Prep Time
1 quart 5 minutes
Passive Time
7 days
Fermented Carrot Sticks
Print Recipe
Dill-flavored probiotic carrot sticks - great for snacking or with any meal to support digestion!
Servings Prep Time
1 quart 5 minutes
Passive Time
7 days
Servings Prep Time
1 quart 5 minutes
Passive Time
7 days
Ingredients
Servings: quart
Instructions
  1. Prepare a brine by dissolving 2 tablespoons salt per 1 quart of water (that’s 4 cups). Place a clove or two of garlic, a few sprigs of dill and your tannin-containing agent, if using, into the bottom of the jar. You may adjust for any size jar, and the exact amount doesn’t matter. The photo below shows what I used for a pint-sized jar.
  2. Pack carrot sticks into the jar. If you are using carrots fresh from your garden, go ahead and leave a tiny bit of dirt on them, and if they are from elsewhere, you can wash them, but don't peel them. The microorganisms on the surface of the carrots will help get the probiotic activity going. Leave an inch or two at the top of the jar (called “headspace”). You can see below how I left a bit of dirt on my carrots from the garden.
  3. Pour brine over the carrots until they are submerged by an inch of brine. You may have to wedge them in strategically to keep them from floating. Or you can use something to hold them down, such as a folded cabbage leaf or some random tiny dish or lid from around your kitchen - anything but metal should be fine.
  4. Cover tightly and let sit on the countertop for 7-10 days or longer, according to preference. Look for bubbling activity, a sour aroma and for the brine to become cloudy. Early on, a lot of carbon dioxide will be released - check the jars daily to see if pressure is building up and “burp” them by opening them slightly and then re-tightening the lid. When you have them how you want them, move to a place below 65 degrees - a cool basement, root cellar, fridge, etc. The colder the environment, the less fermenting activity will continue to change or "develop" the product. So if you really like them just how they are, the fridge might be your best bet. You can see in the photo below how the brine becomes cloudy during fermentation - the jar on the right has been fermenting for several days.
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