I have a few fermenting recipes that are favorites around here. I make these recipes every year and keep them stocked (until they get gobbled up, that is). My newest addition to this list are these fermented carrot sticks. They make the easiest side to grab straight from the fridge. They’re also a fantastic snack for both kids and adults.
I was a few miles down the gardening and preserving road before I came across fermenting. I first got my feet wet with kombucha (figuratively). You can read my Kombucha Making Guide for Lazy Beginners.
Finding fermenting was a game-changer for our kitchen. It is something I love to implement as part of our regular practices. Read the Top 6 Reasons to Choose Fermenting for Food Preservation.
I hope you and your people enjoy this fermented carrot sticks recipe as much as my family has. Some of the products linked in this post are affiliate, which means a purchase could provide a small commission to GWR at no added cost to you.
Watch: How to Make Fermented Carrot Sticks
What equipment will I need?
Fermenting is one of the simplest methods of preserving in terms of necessary equipment.
For this recipe you will need the kitchen basic for chopping your vegetables—cutting board and chef’s knife.
You will also need a glass jar. The recipe, as written at the bottom of this post or shown in the video above, is for one quart jar. I always double it to make two jars at a time.
I also prefer to use glass weights (this is the kind I bought). If you have pickle pipes, you will want to use those as well.
A few tips
It’s really difficult to go wrong with this fermented carrot sticks recipe. As a general rule, I like to check on my ferments every day or two. This allows me to watch for any problems and check how quickly the fermentation process is moving.
You will want to watch for kahm yeast and/or mold. A ferment will still be safe with kahm yeast, but it may mean you need to adjust some aspect of your ferment. Preventing kahm yeast and mold is a good post to familiarize yourself.
Don’t throw out a ferment because it develops kahm yeast. However, if you see much mold you will probably need to throw out the whole jar.
You can taste your fermented carrot sticks at any point during the process. Once they’re sour enough for your liking simply remove the fermentation weight and place the whole jar into your fridge. They’ll be ready for you to enjoy any time.
- 2 Pounds carrots (approx.)
- 3 Cups water
- 2 Tablespoons additive-free salt
- 4 Cloves garlic
- 2 Tsp peppercorns
- 1 Tablespoon cumin seeds (or two teaspoons ground cumin)
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (optional)
- Prepare your brine. Use filtered water, or water that had sat on the counter overnight. You could also boil the water and then allow it to cool. Mix your salt together with the water and stir to dissolve.
- Trim and peel your carrots. Slice them into sticks, Also peel and slice your garlic. Pack into a glass quart jar—intersperse the garlic and peppercorns among the carrot sticks.
- Measure the cumin and paprika, and add it directly on top of the carrot sticks. Then top off with the prepared brine, leaving an inch of headspace. Remember to account for your weight, if using.
- Add the apple cider vinegar, if using. This isn't necessary, but can help jump-start your ferment and provide a small amount of acidity to help keep any mold from forming in the first days.
- Top the jar with your fermenting weight. If you don't use a weight you will want to submerge the vegetables with the back of a spoon once or twice a day. Top with a paper towel, cloth, pickle pipe, or loose lid. You do not want it to be airtight.
- Leave your jar of fermented carrot sticks at room temperature. I check it every day or two. (Submerge the veg manually every day if you're not using a weight.) If you see a thin white layer form, this is likely kahm yeast. However, if you see mold you can choose to try remove it, if it's only a small amount. I throw out a ferment if it gets a significant amount of mold.
- After five days give one of your fermented carrot sticks a taste test. They should be starting to get a sour pickled taste. You can decide, at any point, that the carrots are fermented to your liking. At this point, remove the weight, put a lid on your jar, and transfer to your fridge.
Once you've made and consumed a jar of fermented carrot sticks, you can use the remaining brine for future ferments. Exclude the apple cider vinegar, and simply use any brine available from previous ferments.