DIARY OF A CHEF AT HOME
a collection of holistic nutrition tips & tricks, plus many of Food on the Table's favourite recipes
My son's been asking me to make pickled carrots for about a month. I finally made them and honestly, I don't know why it took me so long. Life I guess. But, these literally take about 10 minutes to prep and 3-7 days to ferment.
Then I have a happy kid, a science experiment happening in the kitchen (we check the carrots everyday and one of the ways we do is with our ears, we listen for the bubbles!), a tasty and inexpensive snack that would normally cost you $8-10 in the grocery store...IF you can find them and, it's a FANTASTIC and DELICIOUS way to get probiotic nutrients into your body. In my experience, eating small amounts of lacto-fermented foods everyday is far more effective than taking a daily probiotic pill. Of course, there's a time and a place for both, but I'm just saying...(it's way cheaper and tastier this way ;)
Plus, when we culture foods, this magical thing happens where many of the nutrients are elevated and unlocked making them more digestible and absorbable. Eating them regularly will help promote healthy digestion and immunity while gently detoxifying. You can have all of this from a small jar of deliciously soured foods!
I introduced cultured foods to my son at a very young age, maybe around 1? So hard to remember these things! But now he's a lover of soured foods. He'll often ask if we can do a "gut shot" (juice from sauerkraut) and we'll toast to Good Gut Health! Sour flavours are great to introduce to children very young, especially before the onslaught of SUGAR. If you haven't introduced them yet, it's certainly not too late, even if they feel they have an aversion. Just a little bit at a time.....
The fermentation process only takes about 3-7 days depending on how sour you like them. After about 2-3 days the water will become cloudy, this is a good time to taste them (with clean hands or utensils of course!). When you like the flavour, place a lid on the jar and refrigerate to slow down fermentation. And voila...Pickled (lacto-fermented) Carrots! Feel free to try other veggies with this recipe; cucumbers, beans, radishes etc.)
PICKLED DILL CARROTS
1 pound carrots ( You can also try beans, mini cucumber or other vegetables.)
4 cups water
2½ tablespoons unrefined sea salt
4 sprigs of fresh dill
1-2 cloves garlic
1. Wash, trim and slice carrots t o fit into jar, allowing 1 inch of air space at the top.
2. In a large measuring cup or bowl, dissolve salt in water to make the brine.
3. Place dill and garlic into clean jars. Place carrots on top of dill.
5. Pour brine solution over carrots leaving a 1-inch space from the top of the jar. Ensure that the veggies are covered with the brine solution. You can use a pickling weight or place a smaller jar over the carrots to ensure they remain covered by the liquid. Remove any pieces of food that float to the surface. These can attract unwanted moulds.
6. Cover jar with a lid, airlock lid, cheesecloth or light cloth to keep bugs and dust out. If using a lid, burp daily to release excess pressure.
7. Ferment carrots at room temperature for 4 to7 days. When water becomes cloudy, taste one. If you like the flavour, place a lid on the jar and refrigerate to stop fermentation. If they are still salty, let them sit for another day or two until they become sour. Refrigerate when you like the flavour.
8. Will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months.
*Your senses will tell you if the batch is “off”. Trust your nose. If it smells foul in any way, compost the batch and try again. They should smell like pickles and taste sour *
One of my great joys in life is cooking! As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) & food lover I continue to explore the balance between healthy, traditional food preparation and tasty dishes.
Check out my new COOKBOOK! Planting Seeds of Nourishment with over 40 whole-foods based recipes and tons of nutrition info!