Once a necessary staple in most traditional kitchens due to the lack of electrical refrigeration, fermented vegetables have made a welcome come-back in recent years thanks to their numerous health benefits.
During the fermentation process, beneficial lactic acid bacteria are produced. While they consume the sugars in the food, the fermenting bacteria release beneficial lactic acid that has the double advantage of preserving the food and providing our digestive system with a great tonic boost.
When we eat fermented vegetables, we are then also adding several billion live bacteria to our gastro-intestinal microbiome. While these lactic acid bacteria aren’t able to colonise our colon, they nevertheless produce some highly desirable anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects during transit.
Most people who are new to fermenting are a little bit daunted or even scared by the process. Frequent questions I’m asked are whether it’s safe to ferment at home and whether it is ok to feed to home-fermented vegetable to children. So I’d like to reassure you that fermenting at home is perfectly safe, in fact even safer than just leaving your veggies out on the bench as the lactic acid bacteria act as protection against bad bacteria.
This recipe for fermented carrots is the quickest recipe I know. It’s the dairy-free version from nourishinggourmet.com. It’s super easy to make and it works every time. It’s also my go-to recipe for introducing kids to fermented vegetables if they’re not used to sauerkraut or beet kvass.
If you don’t have dill, don’t worry, they will still taste great.
The process of fermentation also increases the vitamin content of the vegetables you use, as well as giving them a delicious tangy taste. Carrots have the added advantage of being a prebiotic food for bifidobacteria.
- 6 medium organic carrots, washed and scrubbed (you can peel them if you prefer) cut into even sticks
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- filtered water
- a few sprigs of fresh dill
- Place the carrots and dill in a 1L mason jar or any jar with a tight fitting lid.
- Cover with filtered water (just leave 2-3 cm from the top as the ferment will expand).
- Add the salt.
- Cover tightly and allow to sit at room temperature for 3-4 days.
- After 3-4 days, taste one and if it’s tangy enough, place jar in the fridge or leave to ferment at room temperature for a couple more days if you prefer a more sour taste.
- Once refrigerated they will last for a couple of months. But they’ll get eaten well before that, I promise.