Lacto-fermenting sounds like a stinky, maybe scary endeavor. Let me assure you that it is easy and very yummy. It's a time-honored way to preserve food (think: sauerkraut the way your great-grandma used to make it.) More than food preservation, it is a way to introduce billions of friendly bacteria to your gut. In our sterilized, hand-sanitized world, believe me when I say you need more bacteria in your belly.
This recipe is a sneaky way to get it in the tummies of your most picky eaters.
It doesn't look weird. It's just carrots. They taste a bit pickled. And another beauty of lacto-fermented foods is that you don't have to eat a whole jar to get the benefits. Just a couple tablespoons will do a lot of good.
I bought a 5 pound bag of organic carrots and shredded them in my food processor. However, if you wanted to shred enough for a pint jar, you could do the shredding by hand.
Because I like garlic, I added a few cloves (and shredded radishes from my FarmShare) but you could omit either or both. Then I sprinkled enough dried dill into the carrots so that I could see it. I wanted to be able to taste the dill. Next you want to sprinkle sea salt into the mixture - about 1 tablespoon per quart.
The last step was adding 1 T whey per quart. Whey seems to trip up people who haven't stepped into lacto-fermenting. "Where do I get it?" they ask. Well, since you asked... you know that liquid that seems to sit in a pool once you've scooped out some yogurt? That's whey. You could drain more whey from yogurt using a coffee filter or cheese cloth. For the visual learners, watch this one minute youtube video. Let me recommend using non-flavored yogurt. :) Since I have a bunch of jars of lacto-fermented things in my fridge, I usually just mooch a little starter liquid from something else.
Once everything is in your air-tight jar, let it sit on your counter for 3-5 days depending on the temperature of your kitchen. The warmer it is the faster the magic happens. You can taste after 3 days to see if you like it. Then refrigerate.
What do to with these lacto-fermented carrots?
-Sprinkle on a green salad.
-Use in brown rice salad or a pasta salad.
-Hide them in chicken salad.
-Eat them as is. Delish.
The sky is the limit, really.
PS - because carrots have a higher sugar content, they will turn to alcohol after a few months. They do not keep in the fridge as long as sauerkraut (about a year!). But these carrots will keep for a couple months at least.