Visiting the farmer's market each week is a great way to get motivated for fermenting vegetables. Here in Portland, Oregon, my local market is already filled with so many vegetables, it's difficult to choose just one! However, I prefer to keep things simple, so this week, I'm going for fermented carrots.
Fermented carrots are a wonderful, kid-friendly snack, and they take almost no time to put together. Garlic adds wonderful flavor, as do many herbs, such as thyme or rosemary. Today, however, I am keeping it simple, so just garlic cloves for a little added kick.
Getting started, Get Fermented
I assemble everything I need:
- Garlic cloves, peeled
- Sea salt
- Filtered water
- Measuring cup and spoons
- Pint jar
The first step is to measure out the sea salt and dissolve it in the unchlorinated water. The general rule is to use 1-3 tablespoons salt per quart water, adjusted to your personal taste. I like things salty, so I am using 3 tablespoons in 1 quart of water.
Next, wash and chop the carrots. Remember that you want all the carrots to ferment at about the same rate, so chop them into pieces of about the same length and thickness. No need to get out a measuring tape, just estimate. Keep it simple!
Once the carrots are chopped and ready, it's time to pack them into the jar.
Fermenting vegetables is quite easy and doesn't have many rules, but there is one big one:
Keep everything completely submerged in the salt water!
An easy way to do this with carrot sticks is to pack them in the jar standing up, to pack them in pretty tightly, which holds them down and keeps the carrot sticks from floating. Pack the peeled garlic cloves in with the carrot sticks.
Next, pour the cooled salt water over the carrot sticks until they are completely covered. Be sure to leave a little headspace, as things can expand and bubble a bit during fermentation.
The final step is to cover your jar with a breathable lid, to keep out pests, dust, falling cocoa powder, and other things flying around your kitchen. I like to use a double layer of butter muslin and a rubber band, super easy!Now let the jar sit in a cool spot for about 2 days. Taste the carrots every day after 2 days of fermenting. If they have a nice sour flavor and are crunchy but not 'raw' crunchy, they're ready! Screw on a tight lid and store them in the fridge. Get Fermenting with fresh veggies from your local market and these handy fermenting supplies!