My fermented carrot pickles are one of the easiest ways to start eating fermented foods! The natural sweetness in carrots helps to mellow the acidity and tangy-sour flavor that occurs during the fermentation process which helps people who are new to eating fermented vegetables really enjoy them.
Growing up in Ohio we had a lot of really wonderful delicatessen’s that served homemade pickles. I loved going to these deli’s so I could enjoy all the different varieties of their pickles, ranging from garlicky to briny salty and hot. I also adored the fabulous crunch of these deli pickles.
If you are a carrot or pickle lover this recipe will quickly become one of your new favorites. The cucumber brine, sea salt, and organic pickling spice come together to provide the familiar pickle flavor that pickle lovers crave. Once you combine this cucumber brine with the organic carrots you get a unique healing foods pickle that has a fantastic crunch and delicious flavor that goes well with a variety of different foods.
I like making carrot pickles with different varieties of heirloom carrot from the farmers market but for this recipe I decided to use organic baby carrots because they are easy to find at your local grocery store and you don’t need to cut them into smaller pieces which makes the recipe super easy to make. If you can find red or purple heirloom carrots in your area please try this recipe with them because it is so good with these varieties.
If you are not familiar with fermenting or eating fermented foods I will give you some information on why you need to include these foods into your daily diet for vibrant health.
The ancient art of making lacto-fermented or cultured foods was used to preserve fresh foods and beverages before refrigeration, canning, and freezing was available. The Greeks explained the transformation of food that occurs with fermentation as “alchemy.” Some good examples of fermented foods and beverages include raw sauerkraut, kimchi, soy sauce, miso, wine, kefir, cheese, and yogurt.
Lactobacilli are naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria that are present on vegetables and fruits. This bacteria is high in natural enzymes and are responsible for turning the starches and sugars in foods into lactic acid that preserves food and enhances its nutrients.
This lactic acid bacteria also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in our intestines. Fermentation makes foods easier to digest and eating them on a regular basis will help heal your digestive system and strengthen your immune system. If you want more information on the health benefits of eating fermented foods check out my post.
Fermenting foods requires the right starter, time, and temperature to be successful. For vegetables and fruits, fermenting at room temperature is best and the timing can take from 2 days to weeks depending on what foods you’re fermenting and if you choose to ferment with sea salt, whey, or vegetable culture starters. My carrot pickles take 5 days to ferment to my taste but you can go longer if you like a more sour tangy pickle.
Have you eaten fermented foods before and what are your favorites? Please contribute to the conversation by leaving a comment.
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Fermented Carrot Pickles
Raw Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
Makes 2 quarts
2 lb. organic baby carrots or regular carrots cut into sticks
2 organic Persian cucumbers-you can peel them or leave the skin on
3 cups filtered or spring water*
4 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt or 1 packet vegetable culture starter
1 tablespoon organic salt-free pickling spice
2-1 quart clean Mason jars with lids
2- small clean glass jars that fit inside mason jar
1. Rinse cucumbers thoroughly and pat dry with a clean paper towel. Divide carrots into the two mason jars evenly and set aside while you make the brine.
2. Put water, pink salt, and cucumbers in the blender and blend until smooth.
3. Stir pickling spice into cucumber brine and pour on top of carrots in jars making sure brine covers carrots by at least 2 inches. Leave at least 1 inch of space above the brine and below the top of the jar to allow for fermentation expansion. Place a weight on top of the carrots to keep them submerged (I use a glass weight, small drinking glass or small glass jar).
4. Screw lid on top of carrots and store at room temperature for 5 days. I like to place my carrots in a small box and cover them with a towel. I put them in the coolest place in my house during hot weather so they don’t ferment too quickly.
5. After fermentation open lid carefully, remove glass jar, and check the carrots. The carrots should still be a vibrant orange color and should smell like cucumbers and spice. Taste one of the carrot pickles and if you like the flavor place them in the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process. Carrot pickles will stay fresh for months if they last that long!
*Never use tap water the chlorine will prevent your vegetables from fermenting.
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