Fermented carrot sticks are one of my family’s favorite snacks. During the school year, we always have a few jars of pickled carrots in the kitchen. They are quick to make. Easy to serve. And deliciously flavorful.
Why I love fermented carrot sticks
Honestly, fermented carrot sticks are my go-to winter snack. We don’t usually bother in the summer when we’re able to buy fresh, sweet carrots from the farmers’ market. However, fermenting is the best way to eat the bitter, winter storage carrots.
Here are a few reasons why we love fermented carrot sticks:
- They are so quick to make. Honestly, it’s as easy as chopping up carrots for a snack.
- The brine can be reused a number of times, making it even easier to ferment carrots
- They are a great way to get probiotics into my children.
- Fermenting carrots helps to release the beta-carotene, making them more nutritious than raw carrots.
- Fermented carrots are softer than typical carrot sticks, so they are easier for toddlers and young children to eat.
Flavoring Fermented Carrots
The best part about making fermented carrot sticks is that they are perfect for all sorts of different flavors!
Here are a few options:
- Dill pickle: add 1 clove of garlic 1 tsp of pickling spice and a sprig of dill to each jar.
- Curry: 2 tsp of Indian curry spice mix.
- Sweet beet: make a mix of sliced beets and carrots for a sweet mix.
- Spicy: add 1 jalapeno pepper sliced in half along with a few slices of onion.
- Caraway mustard: 1 tsp of mustard seed and 1 tsp of caraway.
How to Reuse Brine
Carrots don’t need to be packed into new brine every time. That’s what makes them so easy! As long as the brine is yeast and mold-free, you can add in more carrot sticks for another round of fermentation.
Here are a few details:
- The ferment will go quite quickly the second time around. Only leave the carrot sticks out of the fridge for up to 2 days.
- If the brine has stuff floating in it (usually bits of herbs and spice) then pack the carrots into it and store it in the fridge instead. The risk of contamination is greater if there’s anything that floats on the surface of the ferment.
- It will take carrots between 3 to 7 days to ferment in the fridge. Cooler temperatures slow down fermentation, they don’t stop it completely.
- I usually reuse brines 3 to 5 times. You could probably do more than that, but I have so many ferments in my fridge that I like to cycle through the flavors.
Packing into brine from Other Ferments
One of the simplest ways to make fermented carrots is to pack them into brine leftover from a different ferment. The carrots will naturally take on the flavor of that ferment.
Here are a few options:
- Fermented onions
- Brined kimchi
- Fermented dill pickles
- Italian pickled vegetables
- Sweet and spicy pickles
It’s fine to mix and match brines. Or to use brines from sweet ferments. Feel free to experiment with this very versatile vegetable!Print
Fermented Carrot Sticks
I love fermented carrot sticks because they are a quick, easy and delicious snack. The perfect use for those bitter winter storage carrots. The brine can be reused to make several batches, making it even easier to enjoy probiotic carrot sticks. See the section above for details on flavoring carrot sticks and reusing the brine.
- Prep Time: 8 minutes
- Total Time: 8 minutes
- Yield: 1 quart jar 1x
- Category: Pickles
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Probiotic
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 cups of water (chlorine-free, enough to cover)
- 3 tsp non-iodized salt
- 4 to 6 large carrots
- Vegetable starter (optional, see notes)
- Flavors (see section above)
- Mix the salt and 1 cup of water in a quart-sized jar to make a brine.
- Wash and cut the carrots into sticks. It’s not necessary to peel them, however, feel free if the skin is particularly rough.
- Pack the carrots into a quart jar, making sure that the carrots are 1-inch (2.5 cm) below the top. Try to pack the carrots in tightly, or use a weight to keep them from floating above the brine.
- Add flavors to the jar, along with the culture (if you are using it.) Then add enough water to completely submerge the carrots. Be sure to leave a bit of head room for bubbling. Be sure to use a jar that will allow gas to escape during the ferment. See notes for details.
- Place the carrots in a dark, room temperature location (a kitchen cupboard is perfect). Let them ferment for 3 to 7 days. After three days the carrots will be deliciously fermented, but still crisp. They will continue to soften the longer they ferment.
- Store in the refrigerator and enjoy within 1 month.
- Organic, field-grown carrots can ferment without a starter. However, starters are a great way to boost the ferment and add flavor. Starter options include whey, sour kombucha, sauerkraut juice, cultured apple cider vinegar, or a purchased starter.
- I often ferment in fido jars or mason jars with a loosely tightened lid.
Keywords: flavour, vegan, gluten free, paleo, keto, whole 30, healthy, pickled, snacks, school snacks, fall, winter