Fermented Citrus Ginger Carrot Sticks with kids

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In the same way I talked about loosening up on meal planning, I’m trying to stop stressing so much over ferments. While I often look for inspiration, they don’t need to be as complicated or exact as I used to think. I’m experimenting with throwing flavors together, adding a brine, and seeing if we like it! One of our favorite ferments is carrot sticks – we eat them so fast, I can hardly ferment them quick enough. They’re quick and easy to grab, a great snack for places like the car where you don’t want a mess, and the perfect stepping stone for a picky eater who might not be ready to explore more unusual ferments.

Why eat fermented food? I’m so glad you asked! Here are a few great articles to read up on, if you’re new to or skeptical of fermented food!

Fermented Citrus Ginger Carrots

this recipe is for a 1.5 liter fido jar

Ingredients:

  • Zest of 2 oranges 
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, grated [I peel and freeze mine and then grate on a microplane]
  • Carrots cut into sticks, as many as you can cram in the jar. The more you can fit in, the better they’ll stay under the brine.
  • Brine [I dissolved 3 tsp celtic sea salt:4 cups filtered water]

Directions:

  1. Cram carrot sticks into the jar.
  2. Top with orange zest and grated ginger.
  3. Pour brine over everything, enough to cover the carrot sticks.  You want them fully submerged to prevent mold. See my tip for keeping them submerged in the photo below! [If mold does develop, don’t worry! Just remove the culprit – the rest of the ferment is still safe to eat.]
  4. Place jar in shallow dish – plate, pyrex container, etc., in case the brine over flows. Seal your air tight jar, but make sure you “burp” it several times a day, to avoid an explosion!
  5. Leave carrots on counter for about 3 days. The ferment will start to getting bubbly.
  6. After 3 days, seal and place in fridge. This will slow down the fermenting process. The ferment will stay good for at least 6 months. If you open the ferment and it smells bad, it is. You will know when it’s time to toss it! If it’s been 9 months and it still smells fine, it’s safe! Trust your 5 senses ;-)

Emery peeled the carrots, loaded them into the jar, grated the ginger, attempted the oranges but couldn’t hold it very well so she asked me to do it, poured in the brine, and closed the jar. So, she basically did this all herself, minus the chopping. Moments like this make me so excited to see what she can do when she’s 5, 7, 10, etc! I’m already seeing the fruit of allowing her to be my right hand girl.

Tip: Because I don’t have glass weights yet, whenever I’m doing a ferment [including non-carrot ferments] and I can’t keep things submerged, I make a horizontal layer with carrots to act as a barrier for the rest of the veggies. I size them just right so the ends of the carrots fit into the “shoulder” of the jars, and the mouth of the jar keeps them down.

If you try these, I’d love to  know what you think! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!