It’s the last day of the calendar year. I enjoyed lunch and saw a movie with my son. What a treat!
Then I did something I haven’t done for a long time. I began a fermenting project. Actually, I began one of my New Year resolutions a day early. Eating more fermented foods in your diet provides probiotics, which helps to provide the good bacteria your stomach needs. I plan to eat more fermented food in 2015. And of course I plan to make my own.
Back in the day I used to use a crock for fermenting, but now it is a simple thing to use a mason jar. There wasn’t anything hard about this project at all. I used an air-lock system from Fermentools, and the thing that took the longest was peeling and cutting the carrots, which didn’t take long at all. Add a few cloves of garlic to the carrots, and cover them with a salt-water brine. Then just follow the directions that come with the air-lock system, which are incredibly easy, and voilà! C’est fini!
I couldn’t be happier with this new equipment. In about a week I’ll be sampling the carrots, and I’ll let you know how they turn out. What should I ferment next? I might make pickles, ferment garlic for storage, or maybe make some apple cider vinegar. Probably I’ll do all three, and then some. Stay tuned.
If you are interested in the “recipe” for the carrots, here it is:
- 1-1½ pounds of carrots, peeled and cut (I used heirloom carrots)
- 5 cloves of garlic (you can add more or less to taste)
- Ancient Himalayan Salt (high in trace minerals)
- Distilled water
- Quart Wide-Mouth Mason Jar
- Airlock system (includes a glass weight to keep the items you are fermenting below the surface of the brine)
Sterilize your mason jar and glass weight. Place the vegetables (carrots and garlic) in the jar. Using a 2% solution*, add brine to about 1″ below the top of the jar. Add the glass weight, then install the gasket and lid, and use the existing “ring” from the original mason jar lid to fasten the Fermentools lid to the jar. Then install the stopper on the airlock and install it on the lid. Fill the air lock about ½ full of water and you are done.
The minimum fermenting time for this is 1 week. Keep it on the counter covered with a towel or paper sack, or in a dark cupboard, so that light won’t kill the bacteria.
After the ferment period is done you can enjoy the carrots, but they will improve over time in a cool place (50°-70°). The refrigerator is a bit too cold. The carrots should last up to 6 months.
If you want to add other things, like celery seed, mustard, dill or coriander, you can.
*Fermentools sells this fine-grain salt, with measurements on the package for 2%, 3.5% and 10% solutions.
Wishing you all a healthy and happy new year!