Monday, April 3, 2017

How To Make Lacto Fermented Ginger Carrots

A Life Unprocessed

Buying raw lacto-fermented condiments gets crazy expensive. Ginger carrots are not only delicious and easy to make yourself, they will cost you the low price of some carrots and a nub of ginger.

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 3" section of ginger
  • 2 tsp sea salt

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First, wash your carrots and cut the ends off. Likewise, make sure your ginger is clean and free of bad spots. As you may know from my previous article, I never peel my veggies. It's a waste of time and you lose precious nutrients.

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Run the carrots and ginger through a food processor with a shredder attachment. The carrots help push the ginger through, so run the ginger through first, and then the carrots. If you don't have a food processor, a low-tech cheese grater works fine too.

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Transfer the shredded veggies to a mixing bowl, and add the salt. I usually mix my sauerkraut by hand and really squeeze the salt into the cabbage, but for the carrots it works fine to use a stand mixer and just thoroughly mix everything. Let sit, so the salt can start to dissolve and break up the cell walls of the veggies, and then mix again. The carrots should release a bit of juice. This is our brine.

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Stuff the mix into a wide-mouth quart jar, or two pint jars if you prefer. I have a wide funnel that helps fill the jars with less mess, but it's not necessary. Pack it down so there's no air mixed in with the carrots, and the liquid rises to the top. I discovered that the small ladle, shown below, helps me to pack the veggies in. But if you don't have something like that, your clean fingers will work fine. Just try to remove the air pockets, and get all the shredded veggies pushed below the level of the brine. It's OK if the brine sinks back down and some of the carrots aren't fully covered by the juice. They will be fine during the short fermentation time.

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I like to cap mine loosely with a plastic lid, since metal will corrode over time, with exposure to the acids in fermented veggies. Store them at room temp, in a dark spot, with the caps loose. I put mine on the counter near my stove, covered by a tea towel.

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Ferment for 2-4 days, testing it out each day to see how you like it best. Ginger carrots take much less fermentation time than traditional sauerkraut. The high sugar content of the carrots makes it kind of a different animal, with a much shorter shelf life. It's best to make small batches, only what you will use in the next two weeks. You will know when it goes bad if you see white spots on the carrots at the top, or if the consistency turns slimy. Just don't forget about it in the back of your fridge, and it will be fine, since it is so delicious you will want to use it up long before it has a chance to go bad! My partner and I just ate half a batch in one meal, with our curry and rice. Fortunately, it's easy and quick to make a new batch!

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For more on making your own fermented vegetables, check out my other articles: Easily Make Sauerkraut Right in the Jar, and Making Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut.

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