My favorite fermented veggie is hands down carrots with ginger. Such a great combo. Sweet carrots take on the tang produced by lactic acid bacteria quite well and balance it out.
The ginger in this recipe is wonderfully reminiscent of a carrot and ginger soup, but with its refreshing tang, it serves up well alongside your favorite protein or as an addition to a salad.
Fermented ginger carrots can be made in a couple of different ways. You can either buy a culture starter like Body Ecology vegetable culture starter or use whey that contains lactobacillus bacteria that are ready to munch away on your carrots and ginger to ferment them.
What the Hell is Whey?
Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained and is the starter for lacto-fermented fruits, vegetables, and beverages. Whey can be used to make sauerkraut or other lacto-fermented foods. Whey is pretty easy to obtain: Put plain yogurt in a dish towel or cheese cloth and let the whey drip out overnight. I tied my dish towel together with rubber bands, and suspended it from a cabinet knob over a pitcher. Once the yogurt and whey are separated, save the whey in a glass mason jar. Refrigerated whey will last for months. You can use goat, sheep or cow’s milk yogurt.
With just a few simple ingredients, this ferment couldn’t get much easier.
- 4 cups grated carrots
- 2 Tablespoons fresh grated ginger root
- 1 Tablespoon sea salt
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 cabbage leaf per jar used
- 4 Tablespoons whey
If not using whey:
- Use Body Ecology vegetable culture starter for your gut bugs
- 1 teaspoon honey (to awaken the little beasts)
- 1 cup celery juice
- 1/2 cup filtered water
Grate carrots using the larger hole setting on a box grater or food processor.
Choose to make either salt or celery juice brine.
Make brine. Mix sea salt and 2 cups filtered water. If your water is cool you may have to heat the water in order to dissolve the salt. Allow brine to cool to room temperature before using.
Make celery juice brine. I prefer to use freshly juiced celery because it already contains natural salts and tons of minerals adding extra nutrition to your ferment.
Mix grated carrots, grated ginger and whey or vegetable starter in a large bowl. Move your mixture to canning jars or other fermenting vessels.
Press mixture down tightly into vessel with either a wooden utensil or clean hands. Pour over water or celery juice brine until the liquid brine covers the shredded carrots completely.
Roll up cabbage leaves and place them at the top of your carrots. The cabbage leaves serve to keep your precious carrots submerged in the brine. Stuff your cabbages in there!
Seal with a lid and place in an area with a cool room temperature, 60° to 70°F, for 3 to 7 days or until tangy to your liking. Use airlock jars or mason jars with the lids not screwed on too tight. You need room for overflow. Jars may leak during the fermentation process due to production of carbon dioxide. They are burping. This is normal. You may also have to ‘burp’ the jars yourself once a day to release the carbon dioxide to prevent jar from exploding.
Enjoy your fermented ginger carrots right away! OR move jars to the fridge once they have fermented to your liking. They will last for 6 months.