Fermented carrot sticks are the easiest ferment to get on the table. It is ready in just 4 days in the average kitchen with no messy pounding and just two ingredients for a basic recipe. You can change it up with a few spices or leave it plain. It’s up to you. If this is your first ferment you can’t go wrong with fermented carrot sticks. And your whole family will love this tasty treat that’s full of probiotics.
Here is the easiest way I know to get fermented veggies on the menu whether in a lunch box or in a pickle dish. Fermented carrots only take 4 days to finish fermenting in the average warm kitchen. They are only slightly sour. You can make them plain with just carrots and salt. But they are also a great palette for other flavors like dill, fennel, lemon or orange peel or something stronger like garlic. If it’s your first try at fermented vegetables you can’t go wrong with carrots.
Start with organic carrots. Carrots are one of the crops used on toxic land to detox the soil. There is a chance when you purchase conventionally grown carrots that you will get a load of toxins with it. Instead, begin with organic carrots.
You’ll need one 2 pound bag for a quart jar of fermented carrots. While you might be tempted to lay out the extra cash for a colorful bag with red, purple, yellow, and orange carrots once the fermentation is completed they will all be orange. (Yes, I tried this and that’s what happened.) The pH in the ferment evens out the carrot’s flavonoids and anthocyanins so save those rainbow carrot blends for the crudite tray and use plain organic orange carrots for this recipe to save some cash.
Equipment you’ll need for fermented carrots
- A wide-mouth quart jar
- Wide mouth canning jar ring
- Silicone fermentation airlock lid like this one
- Glass weight
Easy fermented carrot sticks that are perfect for lunch boxes or the veggie tray. Ready in just 4 days.
- 2 pound bag of organic carrots
- 2 teaspoons Himalayan salt
- Zest from 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon Fennel seed
- Sanitize wide mouth jar, glass weight, and fermentation air lock lid.
- Peel the carrots and cut them into carrot sticks about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide and 3 inches long.
- In a separate measuring cup mix the salt in 2 cups of water to make the brine. Stir until fully dissolved.
- Pack carrot sticks into jar so that they stand upright.
- Pour the brine over the carrots in the jar. Using a clean knife, dislodge any air bubbles that remain around the carrots.
- Add lemon zest and fennel seed to the jar.
- Place one or two glass fermentation weights into the top of the jar to keep the carrots submerged under the brine. Push down on the weights so that they are covered in brine and the carrots are held down under the brine.
- Place the air lock on top of the jar and secure in place with a canning jar ring.
- Place the jar on a plate to catch any overflow from the jar. Set the plate away from sunlight and heat and allow it to ferment freely. It should take 3 to 4 days in a warm kitchen or a day or two longer in a cool kitchen.
- The ferment is finished when the fermentation air lock remains concave, sunk-in on the top of the jar, after it has been puffed up (convex) for a few days.
- Once the ferment is finished, remove the fermentation weights from the jar and replace the airlock lid with a conventional nonreactive canning jar lid. Refrigerate the ferment. The ferment will stay crisp and full of probiotics for several months. But eat it don’t store it.
Lemon zest and spices can be omitted from this recipe. I love to play with the additions adding things like cayenne peppers, garlic, basil leaves, citrus zest, dried tomatoes, and other tasty herbs and spices. Since the ferment only takes 10 days to make you can easily create a vast array of flavor profiles for tasty pickle trays.
Some herbs and spices to try with fermented carrot sticks
Use the following amounts for 1 quart of small-batch fermented carrots. Pick only one or two for a single jar so the flavors are crisp and clean without being overwhelming
- Zest from 2 small lemons or 1 large lemon
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon anise seed
- 1 teaspoon dill seed
- 1 cayenne pepper, dried
- 2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes
- 1 — 2 inch piece of ginger, washed and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and left whole
- 2 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
- 1 teaspoons spearmint leaves, dried
- 1 teaspoons lemon balm leaves, dried