Lacto-fermented Garlic Carrots

Recently, I have been experimenting with lacto-fermentation.  What in the world is lacto-fermentation?  This is a way of processing your food so that it enhances it’s store-ability, and it’s digestibility.  Your body can better process the nourishment of the fermented food than pre-fermented foods.  This way of storage is superior to canning because:

  • You don’t have to worry about botulism.  Botulism is one of those scary things that can live in home canned foods.  Botulism is the last thing to die when we process our home-canned foods.  The other things that live in our food keep the Botulism from spreading too much.  Botulism also needs an anaerobic environment to proliferate.  So if you don’t kill all the nasty Botulism the when you process your food in your water bath or pressure canner, you are creating the perfect environment for these killer bacteria to take over your food.  This is the scariest part of being home canner. I still can, and will probably continue to can, but I respect canning, and the protocols of canning.  It can be life and death.  Lacto-fermenting is not life or death.
  • There is little or no heat needed for this processing.  My dad and my father-in-law have strong memories of a hot kitchen in July and August made even hotter by boiling water for the canner and boiling foods.  Canning produces a lot of heat.  (**TIP ALERT**I have some ways that I work around this for tomatoes: I freeze my tomatoes and can them when I have time and the weather is cooler.  That way it’s more comfortable and the tomatoes peel EASILY!!)
  • Canning can break down the nutrients in foods, lacto-fermenation enhances the nutrients.
  • You know all those probiotics that are super popular right now.  A 30-day supply can be over $40?  Yeah, these pale in comparison of the probiotics contained in the lacto-fermented foods.

Most folks’ gateway into lacto-fermenting is through sauerkraut.  Mine was through garlic carrots.  This is so easy and simple.

What you need:

  • Quart Glass Jar
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds Carrots
  • 2 tablespoons Sea Salt
  • 2 Cups of water
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Cabbage leaf
  1. Put 2 cups of water in a sauce pan, add 2 tablespoons of salt, and heat.  We’re doing this to combine the salt and the water, so it doesn’t have to be crazy hot.  Remove from the heat and let cool
  2. While the water is cooling, peel your 3 cloves of garlic and put them in the jar.
  3. Chop up your carrots in whatever way your like.  I chop mine up into quarters and then break that down into finger length pieces.  Picture when someone brings a veggie tray to a party.  The way those carrots look is what I go for (***TIP ALERT***NOT THE BABY CARROTS, NEVER USE BABY CARROTS, THEY ARE TREATED WITH CHLORINE AND THIS WILL NOT WORK).
  4. Place these carrots in the jar.

    I recommend using whole garlic gloves and not crushing them.

    I recommend using whole garlic gloves and not crushing them.

  5. With cooled salt water (this means it’s comfortable to the touch), cover the carrots and garlic.  It is really important that everything is covered here.
  6. To make sure that all of your veggies remain submerged, place your cabbage leaf on top. Carrots exposed to air will rot and not ferment.  Rotted food is not good for you.20141105_184741
  7. Cover with a lid and let sit in a warm environment (65-80 degrees) for 7 to 10 days.  Be sure you burp your jar daily.  This part I found to be really cool, and it lets you know your ferment is working.  When you unscrew the lid, lots of air bubble rush to the surface.  20141105_212416
  8. Now you’re in business.  You can eat your carrots right away or you can store them in a cool area such as your basement, root cellar or even fridge.

Super simple, Super Easy, Super Yummy.


11 thoughts on “Lacto-fermented Garlic Carrots

    1. Julia Post author

      Yes. You can add some dill to it for “Dilly Beans”. Another nice thing about this is that your bean will keep their crunch (as my carrots kept theirs).

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  2. Deidre

    how long after opening the jar will the food last and how long will it last before opening? I am assuming it will self seal? can you use the same ratio of ingrediants for other veggies and is there any that you shouldn’t try to ferment? sorry for the deluge of questions but I have been very interested in this way of preserving food!

    1. Julia Post author

      I love lots of questions!! Thank you for asking!!!!

      How long will it last before opening: I don’t know. I would say about a year. The nice thing with Lacto-fermenting is that your ferment won’t actually go “bad”, it will just continue to ferment getting more sour. The texture will start to change as well. Once you no longer like the texture and the taste, it is done. If it is not good to eat, it will be obvious. Basic rule of thumb is the harder the cell wall of the fermented food, the longer it will last.

      I haven’t had mine seal for me, but I’ve had friends who did. The seal isn’t the important part, it’s the fact that it starts fermenting. Store your ferment in a cool place (think root cellar or Fridge).

      What can you do like this? I would think almost anything. Cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, celery, onions, garlic, peppers all will work. I believe if it comes from your garden, it should be good to try.

      The formula for the brine is 1 – 3 Tablespoons of sea salt to 1 quart of water. Make sure you veggies are completely covered and you’re good to go.

      Please feel free to ask me any more questions you might have!! I would love to help you in your food adventures!

  3. Deidre Sowerby

    this sounds so great! I never thought of fermenting other veggies and haven’t had much luck with cabbage (sour Kraut)….once the fermenting is done how long will it last before it it too fermented…I guess I just need to know how many jars to make at once so I wont have too many if they are going to go bad. and also…once the fermenting is complete do you remove the cabbage leaf and just keep the lid on?

    1. Julia Post author

      The ferment will last for a long time (months). Store in the fridge and after the ferment is done, I take the cabbage leaf off and compost it. I do keep a lid on.
      Hope that helps!


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