Recipe: Fermented Garlic Dill Carrot Pickles

These healthy fermented carrots make a great substitute for regular dill pickles, and they're so delicious, even picky kids will love them!

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by Stephanie ThurowJuly 16, 2021
PHOTO: Ramil Gibadullin/Shutterstock

Fermenting carrots is a wonderful way to preserve them for long term storage. Through the process of fermentation, the flavor transforms, yet the carrots keep their delightful crunch. These fermented dill garlic carrot pickles make a great dill pickle replacement for picnics and barbeques. 

Yield: 1 quart jar

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh dill 

Optional for spice: 1 jalapeno (or hotter pepper of choice), sliced into quarters


Read more: Check out these 10 tips for getting started with fermentation.


Brine

  • 1 tbsp coarse kosher salt, dissolved in 2 cups water

Wash and scrub carrots, trim off the ends. No need to peel—the skin on the carrots will aid in the fermentation process.

Lay a clean, quart-size canning jar horizontal next to the carrots. Cut carrots so that they fit in the jar vertically, while leaving 2 inches of headspace (space from top of carrots to the rim of the jar).

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It is preferable to use thin to medium-sized carrots, though if your carrots are thick then you can halve or quarter them lengthwise. Try to use carrots uniform in size so they ferment evenly.

To pack the jar, begin by adding the dill and garlic to the bottom. Then proceed to add the carrots, carefully fitting them in as snug as possible, without bruising or breaking them. If you are adding hot peppers to this ferment, add them within the carrots.

Once the jar is completely filled with carrots, pour the brine mixture over the produce until the brine covers the carrots by at least 1/2 inch. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace so the ferment has room to bubble without overflowing. 

If you have a small fermentation jar weight, add it to the jar to hold down the produce under the brine. Remove any small pieces of food that float up to the top of the brine. Anything above the brine will increase the risk of mold and a spoiled ferment.

Wipe off the rim of the jar with a clean, dampened towel. Add the canning jar lid and tightly screw on the ring.

fermented dill garlic carrots
Gabriel Gurrola/Unsplash

Fermentation

This recipe for fermented dill garlic carrot pickles is a seven-to-10-day ferment. Ferment at room temperature, ideally between 60-75 degrees F (15-23 degrees C), and keep out of direct sunlight.

Check on the ferment daily to make sure the brine covers all the produce. If any produce has floated above the brine level, use a clean utensil to push it back below the brine. 

Burp the jar daily. Unscrew the lid briefly and tighten it back on to allow any built-up gas to release. (This avoids possible jar breakage or the ferment from overflowing, too.)

Once fermentation is complete, transfer the jar into the refrigerator, brine and all.

Fermentation does not stop once the ferment is transferred to the refrigerator. However it does slow the process way down. The taste and texture of your fermented dill garlic carrot pickles will continue to change, therefore this ferment is best enjoyed within 12 months.


Read more: These fermented asparagus pickles are a dilly delight!


Side Notes

If you do not have a glass jar weight, you can improvise by using an easily removable small food-grade glass dish that fits inside the jar. Or, if you have a smaller glass canning jar that can fit into the mouth of the jar you are fermenting with, you can use that to keep the produce pushed under the brine.

If you are unsure if your water is safe for fermentation, you can boil it and allow it to cool to room temperature before stirring in the salt to make your brine.

You may substitute fine sea salt instead of coarse kosher salt if you prefer. The measurement will remain the same for this recipe.

Consider adding additional herbs to change the flavor of the pickles. Pack them in the bottom of the jar, under the carrots, to assist in holding them down under the brine.

Through fermentation, the brine will become cloudy. You may also see white sediment appear at the bottom of the jar or on the carrots. These are normal parts of the fermentation process.

Kahm yeast is common with this recipe, so be sure to watch it carefully. This yeast is a completely safe reaction that is common with high sugar ferments, though it’s avoidable if you keep the produce submerged and catch it early.

Kahm yeast is visually different than mold in that it is not fuzzy. Rather, it is powdery and appears more as a film on the top of a ferment. If caught early, it can be removed by scooping it out with a spoon or dabbing it out of the ferment with a paper towel.

If the yeast takes over the ferment, however, it may change the overall flavor of the fermented dill garlic carrot pickles. Though not harmful, it is not pleasing to most.

Check out Stephanie’s books, including Can It & Ferment It, for more fermentation recipes!

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