Easy Fermented Quick Pickled Carrots

by Kaitlynn Fenley

How do you quick pickle and ferment carrots at the same time? Easy, you just need sauerkraut brine, apple cider vinegar, and some fresh carrots! You can slice or chop the carrots any way you like. try adding in some jalapeno slices or garlic for flavor.

Fermented Carrots

The way I ferment carrots is different from the way I usually ferment other vegetables. I’ve done quite a few fermented carrot recipe tests using traditional wild fermentation techniques… and I wasn’t too fond of them. They usually tasted yeasts and effervescent. So I turned to my other favorite method of fermentation called wild heirloom culturing.

Quick Pickled Carrots

My wild Heirloom culturing method uses sauerkraut brine (or any fermented vegetable brine) and apple cider vinegar to ferment fresh vegetables using wild heirloom cultures found in the fermented sauerkraut brine. 

This method of fermentation is more similar to yogurt fermentation than it is to something like sauerkraut fermentation… and it’s very similar to refrigerator pickling (aka quick pickling), but with beneficial microbes included. Now, it does take a little longer than a straight vinegar quick pickle. Kind of like in yogurt culturing, you need to give the microbes a little time to ferment the carrots.

Options for Fermenting Carrots

You can use this recipe to ferment carrots with any mix of spices and additions you like. So you can add in some garlic, or some jalapeno to put your own twist on it. Just keep the total weight of vegetables at 300 grams in the recipe.

You can wild ferment carrots in a salt brine if you want, it’s just my preference to do it this way. If you can just dump already acidic brine with a lot of Lactobacillus already present, you can skip the first two stages of wild fermentation (you know the part with all the bubbles). Lactobacillus bacteria only make lactic acid, they can’t make alcohol. So the carrots will still ferment, but only the desirable homolactic fermentation occurs.

How to Pickle Carrots with Sauerkraut Brine

Here are the supplies you need to make these quick pickled fermented carrots:

Probiotic Pickled Carrots Recipe

Here are the ingredients will need to make low-sodium fermented carrots:

  • Sauerkraut Brine (the liquid from already fermented sauerkraut)
  • Rice Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Carrots
  • Pickling Spices

This is a different kind of vegetable fermentation: You are culturing the carrots using sauerkraut brine, so you only need to ferment them for 48 hours, then place them in the fridge.

Always Trust your sense of smell: Fermented carrots should smell pleasantly sour and a bit carrot-y. Never eat anything that smells repulsive. 

Never eat anything that had mold growing on it: By following directions you should not encounter this problem. 

Taste test at 48 hours: If you prefer the Carrots to be more tart and sour, let them sit in the refrigerator for a few days before eating.

Fermented Carrot Sticks

This recipe is great with carrots cut any way you like. I’ve even used already cut bags of carrot matchsticks to make this recipe, with great results.

Peeling your carrots is also optional. I often make this recipe with unpeeled, very fresh carrots from my garden. Since carrots grow in the soil, it is a good idea to scrub them well if you aren’t going to peel them.

Print

Easy Fermented Quick Pickled Carrots

How do you quick pickle and ferment carrots at the same time? Easy, you just need sauerkraut brine, apple cider vinegar, and some fresh carrots! You can slice or chop the carrots any way you like. try adding in some jalapeno slices or garlic for flavor.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Servings 1x
  • Category: Fermented vegetables
  • Method: Fermentation
  • Cuisine: american
  • Diet: Low Salt

Ingredients

Scale
  • 300 Grams Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 Grams Unrefined Sea Salt
  • 175 Grams Fermented Sauerkraut Brine
  • 75 Grams Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Cups Boiling Water

Instructions

  1. Wash your fermentation equipment (jar, weight and lid) 
  2. Wash your chopped carrots in cool water. (You can chop them, grate them, cut them to whatever consistency you’d like).
  3. Place your kitchen scale on the counter. Turn it on and set it to weigh in grams. 
  4. Place a mixing bowl on your kitchen scale and tare/zero the scale.
  5. Add chopped carrots into the bowl on your scale until the scale reads 300 grams. 
  6. Remove the bowl from your scale. Add two cups of boiling water to the carrots and blanch for 3 minutes. Immediately strain the carrots from the boiling water after three minutes, and put aside.   
  7. Place your empty, clean mason jar on the scale, and tare/zero the scale. Make sure your scale is still set to grams and add 175 grams of Cultured Guru Sauerkraut Brine and 75 grams of apple cider vinegar to the jar. 
  8. Add the 300 grams of carrots, into the mason jar. 
  9. Place a small bowl on your scale and tare/zero the scale. weigh out 5 grams of salt. Then add the 5 grams of salt to the jar of carrots.
  10. Place your standard mason jar lid on the jar, and secure. shake the jar vigorously for 2 minutes.
  11. Remove the silver standard mason jar lid. Place your fermentation weight in the jar making sure to submerge the carrot pieces and weight fully in the liquid. 
  12. Secure the standard mason jar lid to the mason jar. 
  13. Ferment for 48 hours. Then remove the weight, secure a standard lid to the jar, and store in the fridge.

 

Notes

  • Taring/zeroing the scale with a container on it subtracts the weight of the container, allowing you to weigh only what is added to the container. After taring/zeroing the scale, the scale should read 0.0 with the container on it. 

Keywords: carrots, low sodium, fermentation

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25 comments

isabelle November 13, 2020 - 9:30 am

hello Kaitlynn,
why do you blanch the carrots ?
thanks
Isabelle

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley November 13, 2020 - 12:52 pm

Hey there,

The blanching step is for food safety. Since this is a wild heirloom culturing process without any additional salt added, the blanching step prevents the raw carrots from contributing any undesirable microorganisms to the final product.

Reply
Lacy Goudeau December 1, 2020 - 7:32 pm

Why is this a shorter amount of time? The time when you do it is four weeks for sauerkraut.? Thank you

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley December 1, 2020 - 8:39 pm

Because this is a different process called wild heirloom culturing. I explain this process in the blog post, right above the recipe.

Reply
Tina Quinn December 12, 2020 - 7:45 am

Thanks for the great article. You mentioned in the beginning that the type of salt makes a difference however you didn’t elaborate. I would love to hear your thoughts on how not all salts are equal!

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley December 12, 2020 - 8:42 am

Hey Tina, I’m working on a separate blog post covering the best types of salt for fermentation and how different types of salt can influence the fermentation process. I’m not sure when I’ll have that blog up though, as the holidays are very busy!

Reply
Gordon February 5, 2021 - 2:04 pm

Hi Kaitlynn, I’m in search of advice for low-sodium fermentation due to dietary restrictions. I must stay under 1500 mg of sodium a day. But I love the flavor of fermented foods. I make most of my own sauces, condiments, stocks, quick pickles, etc. and I’m a brewer of beer, mead, and cider. So I have some skills and tools, plus desire to try new things. Can I start a fermentation recipe by adjusting the pH of the solution to less than 4.5, then possibly innoculating with some lacto culture (probiotics, for example), and omit salt entirely? I know I am sacrificing flavor (but I have methods for compensating) — I don’t want to create deadly products, however. There are methods for creating sour beers that do this, but I don’t know enough food science to know if this method translates. Can you offer an opinion?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley February 10, 2021 - 3:23 pm

I suggest using the methods I’ve already explained in this blog for low sodium fermentation. I don’t give other people’s processes or methods any kind of “stamp of approval” for free.
So I’m sorry, but I’m not going to validate or verify what you are trying to do. On this blog, I teach processes I have designed and studied extensively.
If you want to experiment using your own techniques that are not included here, you can do so at your own risk. I’m going to tell you what any person of science would tell you, I do not have enough evidence and I have not studied the process you are presenting so I cannot give you a solid answer.

Reply
sk February 24, 2021 - 8:38 am

Is 3-4 days vegitable fermentation at 20-25 degree Celsius produce Probiotics strain ?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley February 24, 2021 - 8:45 am

For this recipe specifically, the fermentation time is short because we add the bacterial strains via fermented sauerkraut brine. When wild fermenting vegetables (which is a different process than the recipe outlined here) it takes 14-21 days.

Reply
Katy March 3, 2021 - 1:47 pm

By pouring off the brine and adding vinegar, does the vinegar kill the probiotics?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley March 8, 2021 - 9:11 am

Nope, the microorganisms involved in wild fermentation tolerate lactic acid and acetic acid (vinegar) very well! They love acidic conditions.

Reply
Ted March 27, 2021 - 9:40 pm

I’d be very curious for a set of low sodium fermentation recipes, as a heart patient with inflammatory / autoimmune condition. You might reach out to your national heart association / foundation and see if there’s an opportunity to work on diet-related products with them.

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley March 29, 2021 - 12:45 pm

Thanks for the feedback! We have loved ones who need low sodium fermented food options too, so we will add more low-salt fermentation recipe options here.

Reply
Megan October 7, 2021 - 3:46 pm

I would be very interested in more low sodium recipes too!!! Thank you for all this information!

Reply
Dukjin Im June 19, 2021 - 1:18 pm

What if you pasteurized the veggies first in a sous vide bag, then introduced acid with petty low salt and live lactobacillus directly? Could that solve the sodium problem?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley June 25, 2021 - 5:24 pm

It would depend on the source of the acid, the final acidity, and the source of the live Lactobacillus. But it sounds like it could work. No guarantees though, as I’ve never tried something like this myself. You’d have to experiment at your own risk.

Reply
Oliver October 16, 2021 - 6:44 am

Could pickles be substituted for the carrots in low sodium technique?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley October 19, 2021 - 10:04 am

I’ve never tried it because I prefer wild fermented pickles… but it should work. You do not need to blanch the cucumbers.

Reply
Faye January 29, 2022 - 10:50 am

Hello 👋
I am wondering if using Kombucha vinegar would be okay? Or is it not acidic enough?
Thank you for creating this site. I have to be careful with sodium and been trying to find a low sodium way to keep fermenting! I love that it’s science based 👍

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley January 31, 2022 - 9:46 am

It might work, Kombucha vinegar should be about the same acidity. I’ve never tried it though! Let me know if it works for you!

Reply
John Fox March 6, 2022 - 12:04 am

Hello, stumbled across your post. I am an avid amateur for about three years and am realizing that while my efforts have mostly been successful, I need to measure! I am educated but not in science.

Most notable failures? Asparagus.

And tomatoes.

Black beans and rice

Moderate? Garlic. Onions.

Kimchi. And green onion Kimchi.

Beet and mushrooms mostly good.

Best attempts have been with kraft. Mostly green. Some red. Some blended. Some red with red onions

And Tabasco peppers.

But I’ve not measured. Nor kept a journal. Thinking I need to make a change.

Thanks!

Reply
Maddy August 13, 2022 - 1:00 pm

Could you reuse the brine from this recipe for another batch? First batch turned out great! We love them!

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley August 15, 2022 - 8:16 am

Yes! you can reuse the brine. I do it all the time.

Reply
Maddy August 24, 2022 - 12:01 pm

To reuse the brine from a first batch, what adjustments do you need to make to the recipe for a second batch?

Reply

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