Fermented Heirloom Carrots

By Kate Walsh

Fermented Heirloom Carrots

I was in shock last night as my daughter wolfed down nearly the whole jar of these delicious heirloom fermented carrots. Well maybe not the whole jar but she made a good dent in it. Normally she won't touch a carrot, so these will now be on high rotation in my kitchen. These seriously take 10 mins to make and are delicious - crispy but with a much more complex flavour than a normal carrot. Make sure you taste them every day and pop them in the fridge when you think they are ready. I like them after around 6 days but it all depends on the weather. Serve alongside a roasted chook with salad, pop into a nourish bowl full of brown rice, seasonal greens and a big handful of herbs or eat straight from the jar like my little one does!

Photo Credit: Luisa Brimble

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x 1L mason jar with lid
  • One to two bunches of dutch heirloom carrots
  • 1 tablespoon of high quality sea salt
  • 1L (or quart) of filtered water
  • optional: 1 tsp of whey
  • optional: a jar weight

additional flavourings: one garlic clove, 1 tsp peppercorns, handful of fresh dill, 1 tsp mustard seeds, tsp fennel seeds

METHOD

Prepare the vegetables: Scrub the carrots and cut to fit snugly inside the jar. You can either cut them in rounds or leave them whole. If you cut them in rounds you might need two bunches. You can also use regular carrots if you can't find the heirloom ones. 

Pack the jar: Place the carrots into the jar making sure they are really tightly packed. 

Salt: Add the salt to the jar and any additional flavourings.

Add water: Fill the jar with the filtered water until the carrots are submerged. It is important that the vegetables do not access oxygen during the fermentation process otherwise you will encourage bad moulds.

Add weight: To ensure the vegetables are submerged, some people like to add a weight or a zip lock bag filled with water. I just ensure that the jar is very tightly packed and then there is less of a chance for the vegetables to rise above the water.

Add whey: If you want to add the whey, do this now. Adding whey gives the fermentation a bit of a kick start but it isn’t essential.

Leave to ferment: Screw on the lid and leave for 4-7 days at room temperature. After a day or two, you will notice the jar bubbling. This is perfect and exactly what you want. Open the jar every day to release the build up of the carbon dioxide bubbles. This is called burping and it guarantees that your jar will not explode so make sure you do it. Saying this, carrots won't bubble too much.

Put in the fridge and enjoy: When you like the taste, put the jar in the fridge and it will last for up to two months if not more. 



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