You may wonder WHY Lacto Fermentation is making such a big comeback lately?
Mainly because the process of lacto fermentation creates beneficial bacteria more often called probiotics that's good for the gut. Basically fermented food replenishes the good bacteria in the gut. Good gut bacteria is important because it keeps the whole body happy and healthy.
Only recently scientist have discovered how much of an important role the gut microbiome plays in the health of the body, studies have found that having a balanced microbiome can help protect the body from behavioural disorders, heart disorders and even diabetes.
Fermenting food is one of the safest food preservation techniques and have been practiced safely for centuries. It's also a fun project for the singleton or whole family to enthusiastically enjoy. The kidos love to see how the food changes and go through different stages, I've found that they are more eager to eat their veggies when making them part of the process.
I like this way of food preservation because it's easy to do and it's easy on the dishes. Meaning there's not allot to struggle with and clean afterwards. This ferment is a winner whenever I need to add some color or probiotics to a plate. Even works with a braai (BBQ)
This recipe is called the NO WHEY LACTO FERMENTED GRATED CARROTS because that's what it is. Normally it's suggested that whey is added to the ferment to "kickstart" the process, but it's NOT necessary and can be done without the addition of whey.
When looking at the photos you may notice that I've only made about half a liter (Quart) of lacto fermented carrots, the recipe below can be doubled or halved to your liking.
EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED
- 1 clean liter glass jar (Consol or Mason jar will do the job, no fancy crock needed)
- 1 clean glass bottle or jar small enough to fit into the big 1 liter jar
- 1 plastic baggie and 2 elastic bands to secure the baggie
- Bowl that’s large enough for your hands to move around in
- Sharp knife or grater
- 8 cups of carrots
- 1 tablespoon of Himalayan salt
- 1 small apple * optional
Step 1: Prepare the Carrots
- Wash the carrots to get rid of all the dirt.
- Peel the carrots once washed thoroughly.
- Grate the carrots and put it a bowl big enough for hands to move around in so that you can massage the salt into the carrots with ease.
Step 2: Brining
- Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the grated carrots
- Put some good music on and start massaging the salt into the carrots. The salt will draw liquid, called brine, out of the carrots by a process called osmosis. This is where the freshest veggies are the most appreciated ;)
- The massaging will go on until enough brine has formed to cover the carrots. You can even salt your carrots and put a lid over the salted grated carrots so that it can draw more brine and let it overnight in the fridge to continue the process the next day.
Step 3: Optional Apple
Usually all the fruit and veggies should be added before the salt is added as it will save time but Iv’e decided to add a small apple to the ferment because the brine looked a bit low and I wanted to add more prebiotics which is food for the probiotics. Meaning that there will be more probiotics in the finished ferment waiting to do good in my belly!
Continue to massage, press and punch if you have to.
Step 4: Stuff the Jar
Now is the time to add the spices you want to flavor your ferment with. Putting your spices at the bottom of the jar ensures that it stays at the bottom and don’t float on top of the brine where it can attract mold.
Stuff the carrots in the jar and clean the sides as the main idea is to keep the small pieces of carrot and apple (if using) under the brine.
Step 5: Wrap It Up
You can use your fist to press those veggies under the brine or you can use the smaller jar to do the job for you.
Close the jar with the plastic baggie, this will keep the oxygen out and keep the ferment safe from flying insects.
Get a nice spot on your counter or in a cool dark place, out of direct sunlight, for your veggies to ferment and mature in taste.
If you are making this for the first time I’ll suggest that you try your carrots after day 5 and if it’s to your taste you can move it to cold storage. You can remove the jar or bottle in the jar and replace it with the lid of the 1 liter jar.
Step 6: Stuff You May Wonder About ?
Bubbling, fizzing and foaming is all normal occurrences and is part of the process.
Sometimes a thin white layer of Kham yeast may form on the surface of the ferment but can be scraped off and the ferment will still be safe to eat.
Some say it’s okay to scrape off mold but I wouldn’t, if you have mold growing rather throw it out and start again.
You can leave this ferment for up to 6 weeks to fully mature, just make sure that the carrots is covered with brine at all times.
Step 7: Wrap Up
- Pick the freshest vegetables
- Wash the veggies
- Grate the veggies
- Salt the veggies
- Massage for the brine to form
- Stuff the jar and close it with a jar in jar and the plastic baggie
- Put it on the counter to ferment for 7-14 days
- You'll know it's ready when it starts to have a tangy or slightly sour pickly taste to it, you may also experience a slight tingling on the tongue (which I absolutely LOVE) The longer you leave it out to ferment on the counter the more sour it will get.
- Refrigerate, eat and enjoy at least 1 Tablespoon per meal