Lacto-Fermented Carrots

Lacto-Fermented Carrots

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Fermentation Time: 168 hrs
Total: 168 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 2 pints
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
30 Calories
0g Fat
7g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 30
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 582mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 3mg 15%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 200mg 4%
*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, which are normally destroyed by cooking. Lacto-fermenting requires just salt, water, and vegetables; the salt kills the bad bacteria, leaving the good bacteria to convert sugars into lactic acid, which creates a safe environment, in turn preserving the food.

These fermented carrots can be chopped and added to grain-based salads such as tabouleh, or simply used as a salad ingredient with other, non-fermented vegetables. If you decide to incorporate them into a cooked dish such as soup, add them at the last minute after you've turned off the stove.

Ingredients

  • 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.

    Lacto-Fermented Carrots ingredients

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    salt and water in a bowl

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    peel carrots and remove stems and tips

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    carrots cut into pieces on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  5. Cut the carrots lengthwise into quarters.

    carrots cut into quarters lengthwise

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    carrot pieces in a jar

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    pour brine into the jar with the carrots

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  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.

    carrots and brine in jars

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  9. After the first 24 hours, remove the lids and check on the 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).

    carrots and brine in jars

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  10. Once you see and smell the 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.

    carrots and brine in jars in a refrigerator

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  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.

    Lacto-Fermented Carrots on a plate

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Tips

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Although you may be tempted to preserve the fermented carrots, the process of canning will kill all of the healthy probiotics.

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.