I finally did it. I finally attempted and succeeded at fermenting vegetables (on purpose anyways). In reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and in my other research, I've decided that it would be in my family's best interest to include fermented vegetables into our diet. I'm all about gradual change, so I'm taking the "it's a condiment/relish" approach for now. My decision to make carrots was based on the remnants from last weeks CSA basket. These were delicious! It has a sweet and tangy flavor and as an added bonus, it is chock-full of beneficial bacteria to aid in digestion.
I always keep a ginger root in my freezer just in case I don't have it fresh and need it in a recipe. I had some whey from this weeks batch of yogurt, so I was set. Whey is not a mandatory ingredient, but it does help the ferment and helps it last longer.
My carrots were a little beat up (thus why they weren't eaten yet) since they had been in my crisper drawer for a week and I think even one or two might even have been left there from the CSA basket 2 weeks ago. So, I broke out the food processor and my Nourishing Traditions Cookbook and decided to give the recipe for Ginger Carrots a go.
The recipe then called for me to pound the carrots with a pounder or meat hammer to release the juices. Since I have neither of those things, I used the back side of a sturdy ladle. It took about 10 minutes, but was easy.
The next step was to put it in a jar and pound/press it firmly until the carrots were covered in juices
I then covered the carrots and let them set at room temperature for 3 days. After which time I took a look and was surprised to see bubbles in the carrots (this is supposed to happen). It was like a bubbly carrot concoction and quite frankly, I was a bit scared to try it. But I was really surprised at how yummy it was. I think it will be good used as a relish of sorts with crackers and cheese or as a topping for meats. I can't wait to see how I can incorporate this yummy and healthy ferment into my family's menu. I'm going to have to do it incognito though because when it comes to fermenting, my Handsome Hubby always says the same thing (as a joke of course!), "You're going to go blind from eating/drinking that!" While it's funny to hear, I know that he's worried that he's going to have some adverse reaction to it. I have to give him credit though, he's very open to trying what I make and all the "funny/weird" things I do that are healthy and I really appreciate that.
So, if you're interested in fermenting vegetables and haven't done it yet, I highly recommend this. It was super easy and un-intimidating to me and a good start. I'm now a bit more confident to try other vegetables to ferment.
Fermented Ginger Carrots
Recipe by Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions
Makes 1 quart
Ingredients:4 cups grated carrots, tightly packed (Make sure to use regular carrots and not "baby" carrots)
1 Tbs. freshly grated ginger
1 Tbs. sea salt
4 T Whey – this is optional, omit and use an additional 1 Tbs. sea salt if you don’t want to use whey
In a bowl, mix all ingredients and pound with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer to release juices. Place in a quart-sized, wide mouth mason jar and press down firmly with a pounder or meat hammer until juices cover the carrots. The top of the carrots should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and leave at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage.
What was the first fermented vegetable you tried?
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