Lacto-Fermented Carrot Sticks (aka How to Make Store-bought Winter Carrots Actually Taste Good)


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I love carrots in all forms. Carrot salad. Carrot cake. Carrot soup. Carrot bread. Carrot cookies. Carrot juice. Farm fresh carrots.

Okay, maybe not all forms of carrots. I can't stand store-bought carrots this time of year in the PNW. Frankly put, they are gross. They are flavorless at best and tasteless at worst. Throughout the rest of the year I can get them at farmer's markets and just snack on them. But this time of year, I typically avoid buying them from the store at all. That is until I discovered how to lacto-ferment carrots. Now, even the not-so-great store-bought carrots taste amazing.

You should seriously consider giving this recipe a try. The measurement I have given you is for one jar of carrots. I usually buy a bulk five pound bag but am thinking of switching to a twenty pound bag because we eat so many. You can add garlic, ginger, dill, or whatever spices or seasoning you would like. I love them just plain.


Lacto-Fermented Carrot Sticks


You Will Need:


1 lb organic carrots 

1 mason jar (Where to buy)
1 Tbs Celtic sea salt (Where to buy)
1 Tbs active-culture whey (How to make)
(optional additions: garlic, ginger, dill, etc.)

To start, make sure you have a clean mason jar. Add 1 tbs salt to the bottom of the jar. Pour on a bit of hot water. Swirl to dissolve the salt.


Next, cut off the tops and bottoms and peel your carrots.



Cut into carrot sticks. 


Rinse in a colander and drain thoroughly. 


Place carrots in mason jar with salt. Add whey. Fill jar with filtered water just enough to cover over carrots about half an inch. Screw metal lid on tightly. Shake. Make sure water is still over carrots by half an inch. Leave at room temp for 3-7 days (or longer if you prefer a stronger taste) before transferring to refrigerator. Shake and serve. 


Better tasting than plain store-bought carrots and better for you. Good old probiotics! Enjoy!

What's your favorite way to eat carrots?

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26 comments:

  1. Yummy. We are lucky enough to have a local market farmer who plants carrots in November and then leaves them in ground to harvest as needed through the winter. They are so sweet after a couple freezes. They are a little expensive so we only have those for fresh eating and I buy organic carrots from the store for cooking. They just don't have as much flavor.

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    1. That is basically what we do, too. I love it when I can get local farmer carrots! But during these months I buy organic carrots from the store and use them for cooking... and now for fermenting. :)

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  2. Is there a substitute for the whey? Dairy allergies in our house. This looks delicious!

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    1. You can always use more sea salt in place of whey. You will just have to experiment with the amount. Maybe do half a tablespoon more and if that is too salty, use less. I have made this before without whey... I can't remember exactly but I think I used two tablespoons sea salt total. But everyone has a different taste tolerance for salt... Hope this helps! Just make sure the carrots are submerged under the brine and you should be fine.

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  3. Is the whey a powder or a liquid. I've never purchased whey before :)Are there brands you have more of a preference for?

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    1. It is liquid whey. I don't know if any body sells it. All you need to do to make it yourself is to strain yogurt. I will do a tutorial soon. You can also just use more sea salt (see comment above). Thanks for stopping in! Hope you have a great week!

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  4. These were amazing, and I even think they helped with nausea. I am going to try to make some... but I'm confused about exactly how much whey and salt per jar... Did you put a whole tablespoon in the jar that you gave me?

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    1. Yes. I wrote up the recipe based on one jar. But, like I said... I always buy a five pound bag of carrots (so I make five jars) but I am going to switch to start doing 20 lbs at a time. We love them that much. I can't quite remember but I think that specific jar I gave you might have had more whey than salt (I ran out of salt). I like the way I have written the recipe best, though. I am not an exact cook if you can't tell... ;)

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  5. do you put a cover on it during the process or just a thin cloth?

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    1. Wow. I feel special. Yes. You need to put a lid on! Thanks so much for catching this, Tasha. I will edit the instructions now...

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  6. Thanks so much for this recipe, Im in the middle of making them now :)

    I live in the country where there is no fresh organic produce available to buy so I stock up when I go to the bigger cities to shop.

    Carrots are one of the few veggies that take so long to grow and I always seem to run out/dont plant enough.

    Thanks for this tip I can use to preserve carrots (and Im thinking some other fresh organic produce too) - I can now buy more organic carrots and veggies and ferment them - Im sure this way they will last longer for us.

    Are there any veggies that shouldnt or cant be fermented?



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    1. Hello Kim!

      I use this same method to preserve celery, too! ;)

      There are lots of ways to preserve food using fermentation. This is a a review I wrote a while back on my favorite book on fermentation if you are interested: http://bit.ly/19DRYlw

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  7. What size jar do you use? Quart? Pint? Half gallon? Thank you. ~Liz

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    1. Hey Liz!

      Thanks for noticing and commenting on that. I will edit that.

      You can use whatever size but I always do 1 tbs salt and 1 tbs whey for a quart jar.

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  8. This sounds SO exciting as my Granny had an acre garden with her brother & her own grocery store where she sold her canned goods, eggs, made hamburgers for the High School kids across the road, sewed button holes, etc. She worked hard all her life quilting for family and others knowing how many stitches were in each quilt! �� Yet I never learned to can her way as I was a picky eater! I cannot wait to try this! Thanks for bringing back my best memories of my life! And about that question of a lid? Does she just mean the mason jar under lid and them a cap or ring after??? Thanks, now I'm the Granny!

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    1. Hey! Yes, you want to close the carrots in the jar. So you want a lid that doesn't let air out. Whether that's a plastic mason jar lid, or the metal life with both the ring and the cap part. Doesn't matter for that part.

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  9. Any tips on how to keep the carrots down below the 1/2 inch line? Mine keep floating to the top? Why the need for 1/2 inch? Thank you.

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    1. The idea is that you want the carrots to be submerged under the brine. You could try using a smaller jar and really packing them in?

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  10. I can't wait to try this! I'm just finishing a ferment on sauerkraut and I think it is time to branch out. Pinned fo sho!

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  11. I'm so glad I found you on Gluten Free Wed! I'm always looking for ways to get probiotics in my kids' diet, and I think they'll like carrots. Thanks so much for sharing! Aloha, Lori

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  12. Are there other veggie sticks you can ferment like this ? Like celery or . . . .
    ?
    Just wondering . . . .
    thanks

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    1. Hey!

      Yes. Definitely. I use this exact same method to preserve celery sticks. There are tons of ways to ferment fresh food. This is a review I wrote on my favorite book on the subject if you are interested: http://bit.ly/19DRYlw.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. Does this make them taste sour like a pickle? I am the picky eater in the family ;-)

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  14. I've never made anything like this but I am finally taking the plunge! Thanks for the recipe, how lucky for me that I have some whey sitting in my fridge that I've been trying to figure out how to use :)

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