Lacto-Fermented Carrots

Variety of pickled vegetables
Evan Skiar/Photolibrary/Getty Images
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Fermentation Time: 168 hrs
  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Yields: 2 pints
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
0 Calories
0g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 0
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 583mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 9mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Lacto-fermented foods, including these delicious carrots, are rich in healthy probiotics. Keep in mind that cooking destroys those good-for-you probiotic bacteria. Try chopping the fermented carrots and adding them to grain-based salads such as tabouleh, or simply as a salad ingredient with other, non-fermented vegetables. If you decide to add them to a cooked dish such as soup, add them at the last minute after you've turned off the stove.


  • 2 teaspoons salt (kosher or other non-iodized salt)
  • 3 cups water (filtered)
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium bowl, dissolve the salt in the filtered water.

  3. Wash the carrots. Slice off the stem ends and tips, and peel the carrots.

  4. Cut the carrots short enough to fit into a pint jar with a little headspace above the carrots.

  5. Cut the carrots lengthwise into quarters.

  6. Place two clean glass pint jars on the side. Pack the carrots in so tightly that it is impossible to squeeze in even one more carrot.

  7. Once the jars are full, set them upright. Pour the salt brine over the carrots. They must be completely covered by the brine.

  8. Cover the jars loosely with lids. Place the jars on small plates to catch the overflow that may happen during active fermentation. Leave the jar at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours.

  9. After the first 24 hours, remove the lids and check on your ferment. You should start to see some bubbles and it will begin to develop a mild, refreshingly sour smell (like a light version of sauerkraut).

  10. Once you see and smell signs that the carrots are actively fermenting, transfer the jars to the door of your refrigerator. This is the warmest part of the fridge but still cooler than room temperature—perfect for your carrots to keep slowly fermenting.

  11. Fermented carrots are ready to eat 1 to 2 weeks after you make them. Enjoy them straight out of the jar as a pickle, or use them in recipes.


  • It's important to use filtered water because the chlorine and other chemicals in most municipal tap water can interfere with the fermentation process.
  • It is not necessary to sterilize the jar for this recipe; just make sure it is very clean.
  • The vegetables will shrink a bit as they ferment, but packing them in tightly ensures that they will stay immersed in the brine and not float up out of it.
  • It's easier to get the carrots to line up straight if you start out with the jar on its side rather than loading the carrots in from above.
  • If you plan to store the fermented carrots for longer than a month, move the jars to a cooler part of your refrigerator (one of the central shelves rather than the inside of the refrigerator door).

Recipe Variations

  • Try adding onion or garlic, or fresh or dried dill leaves, bay leaves, or other herbs to the jar as you pack in the carrot pieces. For a spicy variation, add 1 or 2 small hot chili peppers to the jar.
  • Use a colorful combination of white, purple, and orange carrots for a healthy and bright snack.
  • If salt isn't an option for you, you can use the alternate method for lacto-fermentation without salt.