- 3 cups water (filtered)
- 2 teaspoons kosher (or other non-iodized salt)
- Dissolve the salt in the filtered water. It's important to use filtered water because the chlorine and other chemicals in most municipal tap water can interfere with the fermentation process.
- Wash the carrots and slice off the stem ends and tips. Peel the carrots. Cut them short enough that they can fit into a pint jar with a little head space above the top of the carrots. Cut the carrots lengthwise into quarters.
- Place a clean glass pint jar on its side (it is not necessary to sterilize the jar for this recipe; just make sure it is very clean). It's easier to get the carrots to line up straight if you start out with the jar on its side rather than loading the carrots in from above. Pack the carrots in so tightly that it is impossible to squeeze in even one more carrot. The vegetables will shrink a bit as they ferment, but packing them in tightly ensures that they will stay immersed in the brine and not float up out of it.
- Repeat to load the second jar with carrots.
- Once the jars are full, set them upright. Pour the salt brine over the carrots. They must be completely covered by the brine. Cover the jars loosely with lids.
- Place the jars on small plates to catch the overflow that may happen during active fermentation. Leave the jar at room temperature for 24 - 48 hours.
- After the first 24 hours, remove the lids and check on your ferment. You should start to see some bubbles and it will begin to develop a mild, refreshingly sour smell (like a light version of sauerkraut).
- Once you see and smell signs that the carrots are actively fermenting, transfer the jars to the door of your refrigerator. This is the warmest part of your refrigerator but still cooler than room temperature - perfect for your carrots to keep slowly fermenting.
Fermented carrots are ready to eat 1 - 2 weeks after you make them. If you plan to store them for longer than a month, move the jars to a cooler part of your refrigerator (one of the central shelves rather than the inside of the refrigerator door).
You can enjoy your fermented carrots straight out of the jar as a pickle, or use them in recipes.
Keep in mind that cooking destroys those good-for-you probiotic bacteria. Try chopping the fermented carrots and adding them to grain-based salads such as tabouleh, or simply as a salad ingredient with other, non-fermented vegetables. If you do decide to add them to a cooked dish such as soup, add them at the last minute after you've turned off the stove.
- Try adding onion or garlic, or fresh or dried dill leaves, bay leaves, or other herbs to the jar as you pack in the carrot pieces. For a spicy variation, add 1 or 2 small hot chili peppers to the jar.
- Use a colorful combination of white, purple, and orange carrots (don't peel the purple carrots - it's only the skin that has the attractively intense color).
Note: If salt isn't an option for you, you can use the alternate method for lacto-fermentation without salt.