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Fermented Ginger Carrots

December 3, 2010

This post is submitted to Monday Mania!! Thanks for hosting, Sarah!

Check out my Urban Fermentation Project to see how this post fits in to my grand fermentation scheme :)

Remember when I said that I had been toiling away, shredding lots of things for a secret brew? The brew I was working on was ginger carrots. I used a whole (2 pound) bag of multi-coloured carrots that arrived unsuspecting in my weekly organic bin. Purple, yellow, orange, and reddish carrots – peeled, shredded, and committed to an extended life in my fridge for as long as it takes to eat them all up. I am starting to notice a theme – home-brew veggies are not hard to set up. There’s even some instant gratification involved, since the jars look so pretty when they’re sitting on the kitchen counter. Here is a picture of this brew post-kitchen-counter (note that the colours have melded to a deep orange hue):

Is your interest piqued in this whole fermentation thing yet? If it is, and you’re feeling stymied by your lack of whey, fear not, because you don’t need raw milk to make whey. You can make it from plain yogurt! Here’s how. Now what’s your excuse for not setting up a little brew of your own? C’mon, everyone loves a little science experiment, right??!

Ahem. Back to the ginger carrots. I used:

  • 2 lbs. of organic carrots
  • about 1/2 Tbsp. of grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. unrefined sea salt, and
  • 4 Tbsp. whey.

I left the jar at room temperature for 3 days and then transferred it to my fridge.

Experiment Wrap-Up:

Rating: Thumbs-Up

Simplicity: 3 (it takes a lot of shredding! I have a bruise to prove it!! This would be a 1 or 2 if you used a food processor instead, but I like the shreds as opposed to little chunks). If you’re fancy and have a mandoline slicer, you’re all set.

(1 being “a monkey could do it”; 5 being challenging)

Notes on Taste: I plan to mix a few tablespoons of this into my salads or the juice into salad dressings for some probiotic zing. I find the ginger very strong, so next time I’ll use a quarter (or even none, and maybe garlic instead – I am noticing another theme – I long for the taste of garlic in my fermented vegetables!). Other ideas: mixed into egg or tuna salad sandwiches for a little probiotic crunch, alongside a spicy main dish for a little refreshing repose. Any other ideas? Share and share alike!

Questions/Hesitations: None! Full-steam ahead!

Happy Brewing…

11 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2010 10:53 am

    I am so impressed! So far I have only fermented pickles, but they are pretty darn good. You are definitely piquing my fermenting interests.


    • December 3, 2010 11:16 am

      Excellent! :) My goodness, do I even have pickles on my list?? If not, they must be added! Thanks for stopping by!


  2. December 7, 2010 8:11 am

    Great blog! I found it through a comment you made on mine. I have been wantng to dip my toe into this fermentation thing (I only fermenting have really done is in sourdough bread) and this seems like it would be a good thing to start with. Next grocery trip I am picking up carrots!

    • December 7, 2010 8:23 am

      Thanks for stopping by! Sourdough bread is on my list of things to make too. I hope you enjoy the carrots if you end up giving them a try!

  3. ian permalink
    December 15, 2010 12:21 pm

    whats the deal with the whey, i have not heard of that used in fermenting, whats it for? how much do you use for say one glass jar?

    • December 15, 2010 12:53 pm

      Hi Ian,

      If you just use salt for preservation, the salt inhibits the bacteria until the vegetable produces enough lactic acid for preservation. If you use whey, you jack up the lactic acid from the get-go. You are almost guaranteed success for fermentation if you use it.

      In Nourishing Traditions, which is my kitchen bible, it says “Rich in lactic acid and lactic-acid producing bacteria, whey acts as an inoculant, reducing the time needed for sufficient lactic acid to be produced to ensure preservation. Use of whey will result in consistently successful pickling; it is essential for pickling fruits.”

      The amount varies a bit according to the recipes, but in general it ranges from about 2 Tablespoons to 4 Tablespoons per quart jar of veg. The fruit fermentation recipes call for more – for example, marmalade calls for 1/4 cup.

      Sandor Ellix Katz doesn’t use whey in most of his recipes for fermented fare in Wild Fermentation, but he does mention it briefly, noting that it is useful as a starter to get the fermentation process going.

      I hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by.


  4. January 3, 2011 6:35 pm

    I’m going to finally give this a try. I have the NT book and read it often but haven’t started fermenting anything yet, so here it goes.
    Did you cover the jar with the mason lid and close tightly/loosely or with a coffee filter and rubberband? Does the air not matter as it does with cabbage? That’s what I want to try next.
    Thanks for posting,

    • January 3, 2011 6:39 pm

      Hi Lori,

      I closed the jar tightly with the metal lid. I left at least an inch of airspace at the top, though. I think that’s enough airspace to let the brew do its magic. I actually did the same for my sauerkraut. Different sources seem to suggest different things….everything from tightly closing the jar (and not opening it for a few days) to just making sure the veggies are immersed and held underwater with something heavy. The tightly lidded jars method worked for me!! Though, I needed serious brawn to open them after the few days were up – lots of pressure was created! Hope you have every success.


      • January 3, 2011 6:44 pm

        P.S. If you are looking at the picture in this post, you can see that there is very little space at the top of the jar. This picture was taken AFTER the fermentation process. So, there was about an inch of expansion during that time. When I prepared the carrots and left the brew on the counter, you could have seen right through the jar to the other side at the top. Hope this helps :)


  5. Lauren permalink
    January 7, 2011 6:25 pm

    I actually made ginger carrots a few weeks ago and found them way too spicy. I was kind of disappointed. I love your idea to add a just little to other things and also to try garlic instead of ginger. Thanks for the great post!

    • January 7, 2011 6:37 pm

      Hi Lauren,

      I agree about the spiciness!! Thanks for stopping by :)


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