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5 Simple Fermented Carrot Sticks Recipes [Crunchy Goodness]

I love my naturally fermented sauerkraut, but when am I looking for vegetables to plunge into a creamy dip—blue cheese, hummus, or ranch all work for me—nothing beats a nice crunchy carrot stick.

And, when I came across an article touting the hormone balancing effects of raw carrots, I decided to double those benefits by making fermented carrot sticks. Not only are they

Easy to make,

Delicious, and

Kids love them.

They are an inexpensive way to consume beneficial bacteria for improved gut health.

Rarely does something go wrong during fermentation,

And…

They’re ready in a few short days.

Plus, they can add a rainbow of color to your day. Just check out what I found during a recent trip to my local farmer’s market.

Three image collage of bundles of carrots of different varieties. | MakeSauerkraut.com

Fermented carrot sticks. Another great ferment for those with still a bit of trepidation when it comes to embracing our wonderful microbial world.

First off, two sets of benefits to share: hormonal balancing from eating carrots daily and the added benefits of fermenting carrots.

Carrots contain higher levels of beta-carotene than any other vegetable or fruit. Beta-carotene, an essential nutrient for good vision, is converted into Vitamin A in your liver. 

Hormone Balancing Impact of Carrots

“There are interesting associations between vegetable “fiber” and estrogens. Because of my own experience in finding that eating a raw carrot daily prevented my migraines, I began to suspect that the carrot fiber was having both a bowel-protective and an antiestrogen effect. Several women who suffered from premenstrual symptoms, including a migraine, had their serum estrogen measured before and after the “carrot diet,” and they found that the carrot lowered their estrogen within a few days, as it relieved their symptoms.” – Ray Peat, Natural Estrogens

Eating one raw – unpeeled –  carrot a day can help to:

  • Remove toxins from your body.
    Raw carrot skins – the peel – contain insoluble fiber that binds to toxins in our intestines and is eliminated in our stools. NOTE: If you peel your carrots, you are tossing away the health benefits of insoluble fiber. Darn, I like to peel my carrots.
  • Balance your hormones.
    Endotoxins are a particular type of toxins that are bound to the insoluble fiber in carrots. Endotoxins are found in unhealthy bacteria and cause an imbalance in your hormones. By consuming carrots, endotoxins – particularly excess estrogen – get safely carried out of your body.
  • Improve peristaltic movement.
    Insoluble fiber relieves constipation and increases regularity. However, drastically increasing your fiber intake can cause gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation so don’t suddenly go overboard on your carrot consumption.
  • Can help your liver remove excess estrogen.
    An overabundance of bad bacteria in your gut can cause bloating, gas and constipation and lead to a sluggish liver.
    One of the jobs of your liver is to remove excess estrogen, but when it is burdened with toxins from the foods we eat and the stress in our daily lives, it can’t keep up. Excess estrogen then becomes a huge problem causing all sorts of health issues – in both men and women – such as mood swings, acne, allergies, thyroid issues and lack of muscle tone. Consuming insoluble soluble fiber lightens the load on your liver.

It is true that eating massive amounts of carrots can sometimes cause a person’s skin to turn yellowish-orange. This is most noticeable on the palms or soles of feet and is called carotenemia. But don’t worry, it is completely fixable just by reducing carrot intake.

Health Benefits of Fermented Carrots

If you ferment your carrots, they are packed with the same goodness as sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables. They:

  • Are an excellent source of probiotics.
    Similar to those found in yogurt, probiotics produced during fermentation are known to have many health benefits: improved digestion, enhanced immune system, better brain function to name a few.
  • Have increases nutritional value.
    Lactic-acid fermentation produces and enhances the levels of enzyme, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Are easier to digest than raw or cooked vegetables.
    Fermentation breaks down hard-to-digest cellulose.
  • Are safer to eat than raw vegetables.
    Raw vegetables can have E.coli on them, but lactic acid produced during fermentation kill off the E.coli bacteria. They can’t survive in the acidic environment of fermentation.

Fun facts about carrots. | makesauerkraut.com

5 Recipes for Fermented Carrot Sticks

Five images in a row of different fermented carrot recipes. | MakeSauerkraut.com

You can effortlessly infuse the bright orange crunch of a carrot with the addition of a few simple seasonings: Garlic, dill, ginger, jalapeno peppers, or onions all work nicely.

First, here’s the recipe in pictures followed by tips for success, 5 suggestions for flavoring your carrot sticks, and then the step-by-step recipe.

Bundle of fresh carrots. | MakeSauerkraut.com
1
Purchase Fresh carrots

I love fall at my Farmer’s Market. Plenty of carrots for sale. Fresh carrots are your best choice, but a bag of carrots from the grocery store work just fine. Be aware however, if they have been stored for months, you might find them to be a bit woody.

Garlic, ginger, onions, jalapenos and various spices in two spoons over striped red and white cloth. | MakeSauerkraut.com
2
Choose a Way to Flavor Your Carrots

Garlic, ginger, onions, jalapenos and various spices can all be used to flavor your fermented carrot sticks.

Sliced carrots, sliced garlic cloves and 
 with garlic peelings scattered around. | MakeSauerkraut.com
3
Prepare Flavoring Item: Sweet Garlic Carrot Sticks

For Sweet Garlic Carrot Sticks, slice garlic cloves into slivers. Place in the bottom of your jar.

A huge piece of ginger and a couple of sliced ones at the side. | MakeSauerkraut.com
3
Prepare Flavoring Item: Ginger Carrot Sticks

For Ginger Carrot Sticks, slice a 1-inch piece of ginger root into slivers. No need to peel the ginger. Place in the bottom of your jar.

Sliced jalapeno with some seeds sticking to the slices. | MakeSauerkraut.com
3
Prepare Flavoring Item: Firecracker Carrot Sticks

For Firecracker Carrot Sticks, slice one or two jalapenos into quarters. To reduce heat, remove seeds and membrane. Place at the side of your jar.

Green spoon with dried dill, a jar with some dried dill inside and some carrot sticks to the side. | MakeSauerkraut.com
3
Prepare Flavoring Item: Dilly Delight Carrot Sticks

For Dilly Delight Carrot Sticks, use 1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh dill. Place in the bottom of your jar.

Chopped onions and spring onions with half of a while onion, whole white onion, and fresh spring onions in a wooden table top. | MakeSauerkraut.com
3
Prepare Flavoring Item: Three-Onion Carrot Sticks

For Three-Onion Carrot Sticks, roughly chop one green onion and finely slice a bit of red and yellow onion. Place in the bottom of your jar.

Carrot sticks packed into the jar. | MakeSauerkraut.com
4
Pack Carrots into jar

Cut carrots to size to fit into your jar leaving 1 to 2 inches of headspace.

A large measuring bowl with clear brine and a fork mixing it and a jar filled with carrot sticks in the background. | MakeSauerkraut.com
5
Mix Brine

For a pint jar of packed carrots, mix 1 tablespoon of salt dissolved in 2 cups of water. Double for larger batches.

Measuring cup pouring brine over jar of carrot sticks. | MakeSauerkraut.com
6
Pour Brine Over Carrots

Pour brine over carrots letting it percolate down. Stop when brine is just below the threads of the jar.

Jar of carrot sticks with brine and a white lid. | MakeSauerkraut.com
7
Carrot Sticks Ready for Fermentation

Screw lid on snugly and place in a shallow dish on your counter out of direct sunlight to ferment for 7-10 days.

Recipe Flavors

I like to keep these simple, though you might not believe that is possible for me with the wide range of creative recipes in my SureFire Sauerkraut Recipe Collection eBook.

Here are five ways to infuse your fermenting carrot sticks with just a bit of extra zing.

1. Sweet Garlic Fermented Carrot Sticks

Left image showing sliced carrot sticks and garlic with some peels scattered around, right image showing an opened jar with carrots sticks and garlic inside. | MakeSauerkraut.com

For Fermented Sweet Garlic Carrot Sticks, slice 1-2 peeled garlic cloves into slivers. Place in the bottom of your jar.

2. Fermented Ginger Carrot Sticks

Left image with whole ginger and ginger slices, and right image of an opened jar with carrot sticks and ginger slices. | MakeSauerkraut.com

For Fermented Ginger Carrots, slice a 1-inch piece of ginger root into slivers. No need to peel the ginger. Place in the bottom of your jar.

3. Fermented Firecracker Carrot Sticks

Left image of jalapeno slices with bits of seeds, right image with an opened jar with carrot sticks and jalapeno slices. | MakeSauerkraut.com

For Fermented Firecracker Carrot Sticks, slice one or two jalapenos into quarters. To reduce heat, remove seeds and membrane. Place in the bottom of your jar. Feel free to add a pinch of oregano, cumin seeds and red pepper flakes for a greater depth of flavor.

4. Fermented Dilly Delight Carrot Sticks

Left image with spoon of dried dill and jar with dried dill inside and carrot sticks, right image of an opened jar with carrot sticks and dried dill and a green spoon with dried dill in front. | MakeSauerkraut.com

For Fermented Dilly Delight Carrot Sticks, use 1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh dill. Place in the bottom of your jar.

5. Fermented Three-Onion Carrot Sticks

Left image showing chopped onion and spring onions and some fresh whole onions and spring onions at the side, right image of an opened jar of carrot sticks with chopped onions and spring onions. | MakeSauerkraut.com

For Fermented Three-Onion Carrot Sticks, roughly chop one green onion and finely slice a bit of red and yellow onion. Place in the bottom of your jar.

Tips to Successfully Ferment Carrot Sticks

Fermenting carrot sticks is truly easy-peasy.

Cut carrots into sticks,
pack into a jar,
pour brine over,
screw on lid and
leave on your countertop for 5-10 days. That’s it.

However, there are always questions as one ventures down the road of leaving food to “rot” in your kitchen. The step-by-step recipes follow these tips:

  • Recipe directions are for a one-pint (500 ml) batch.
    Feel free to double the recipe and use a larger jar. Some like to use a narrow-mouth jar finding that the smaller opening helps to keep the carrot sticks submerged. With larger jars, there is no need to be careful about the length you cut your carrots.
  • Packaged baby carrots?
    I would not use these – though very handy – due to the fact that they are typically given a chlorine – which inhibits fermentation – bath during processing.
  • To peel or not to peel?
    I’m a peeler though I probably shouldn’t be. Guess why?
    The greatest concentration of microbes – that make fermentation happen – reside in the peels of root vegetables (The part that comes in contact with the dirt where those little buggers live.). By peeling the carrot, one is hindering the process of fermentation.
    And… as we learned above, the peel contains insoluble fiber that binds to toxins and removes them from your body.
    Time for me to eliminate one of my hangups: The bright and clean carrot look!
  • My favorite salt for fermentation is Himalayan Pink.
    I talk about the best salt for fermentation here, here. In short, use a non-iodized salt.
  • Use a 2% brine strength.
    This is for the geeks out there; the rest of you, just follow the recipe. Use 2% salt by weight for the weight of water you’re dissolving your salt in.
  • Leftover brine (not fermented)?
    If you do not need all of the brine you mixed up, just keep the leftovers in a jar in your refrigerator for future fermentation projects. It will keep for a few weeks.
  • Below the brine.
    For worry-free fermentation, it is best to use some sort of weight to hold the carrot sticks below the brine. However, if packed tightly they seem to stay below the brine on their own.
Left image showing fingers picking a jar of fermented carrot sticks by the hook of the Pickle Pusher, right image showing fingers placing glass fermentation weight in the jar of the fermented carrot sticks with a Pickle Pebble to the side. | MakeSauerkraut.com

On the left, I use the Pickle Plunger to keep everything submerged. One the right, I’m placing a Pickle Pebble into my jar of carrot sticks.

  • No airlock?
    Airlocks allow excess gases to escape. If you don’t have an airlock and you want to be super safe, though I don’t feel carrots create enough CO2 to warrant it, burp the jar once daily during the first 3 days.
  • Simple flavors.
    I’ve kept the recipes simple with the addition of just one flavoring item, usually. You can also ferment them on their own with no extras. A hard one for me.
  • Looking for some kimchi flavor?
    Add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of Korean red pepper powder to a batch.
  • Adjust fermentation time based on ambient room temperature and desired product.
    Ideal fermentation temperature is 65-70°F (18-21°C) is ideal.
    If it is super hot, shorten; cold, lengthen.
  • Eat the fermented flavoring items.
    When using garlic, ginger, hot peppers, etc. to add flavor to your ferment, you are also fermenting those items and they can be eaten as well.
  • Make fresh brine for each batch of fermented carrots.
    See my recent post on why I say: Don’t reuse the brine – or feel you need to use a starter.
  • Do drink leftover fermented brine, or use it to make salad dressings.
  • Keep your fermented carrot sticks handy.
    My fermented carrot sticks greet me front and center when I open the refrigerator and are just begging to be snacked on. You might need to do likewise so they are not forgotten somewhere in the back of your refrigerator.

The Five Tools I Grab Every Time I Make a Batch of Sauerkraut

67000 Ball Qt Mason Jar WM 12-pack
Trellis + Co. Stainless Steel Fermentation Jar Kit | 3 Waterless Fermenter Airlock Lids & 3 Pickle Helix Fermentation Weights, For Wide Mouth Mason Jars | Recipe eBook Included With Fermenting Kit
Ball Wide-Mouth Plastic Storage Caps, 8-Count
Kitchen Scale - Bakers Math Kitchen Scale - KD8000 Scale by My Weight, Silver
The Spice Lab Himalayan Salt - Fine 2 Lb Bag - Pink Himalayan Salt is Nutrient and Mineral Dense for Health - Gourmet Pure Crystal - Kosher & Natural Certified
Fermentation Vessel
Fermentation Weight and Airlock Lid
White Plastic Storage Caps
A Scale: MyWeigh KD-8000 Digital Scale
Himalayan Pink Salt
Quart (Liter) Jar: Wide-Mouth
The Trellis + Co. Pickle Helix Kit is strong enough to hold your ferment below the brine throughout fermentation. Its design leaves plenty of room for brine.
Use for storing sauerkraut or as your lid during fermentation.
A bit pricey but a workhorse. Makes weighing your ingredients and salt a breeze.
My favorite fermentation salt. Broad range of minerals. Add subtle flavor.
$30.89
$38.49
Price not available
$56.99
$7.99
1,498 Reviews
260 Reviews
3,429 Reviews
2,953 Reviews
6,560 Reviews
67000 Ball Qt Mason Jar WM 12-pack
Fermentation Vessel
Quart (Liter) Jar: Wide-Mouth
$30.89
1,498 Reviews
Trellis + Co. Stainless Steel Fermentation Jar Kit | 3 Waterless Fermenter Airlock Lids & 3 Pickle Helix Fermentation Weights, For Wide Mouth Mason Jars | Recipe eBook Included With Fermenting Kit
Fermentation Weight and Airlock Lid
The Trellis + Co. Pickle Helix Kit is strong enough to hold your ferment below the brine throughout fermentation. Its design leaves plenty of room for brine.
$38.49
260 Reviews
Ball Wide-Mouth Plastic Storage Caps, 8-Count
White Plastic Storage Caps
Use for storing sauerkraut or as your lid during fermentation.
Price not available
3,429 Reviews
Kitchen Scale - Bakers Math Kitchen Scale - KD8000 Scale by My Weight, Silver
A Scale: MyWeigh KD-8000 Digital Scale
A bit pricey but a workhorse. Makes weighing your ingredients and salt a breeze.
$56.99
2,953 Reviews
The Spice Lab Himalayan Salt - Fine 2 Lb Bag - Pink Himalayan Salt is Nutrient and Mineral Dense for Health - Gourmet Pure Crystal - Kosher & Natural Certified
Himalayan Pink Salt
My favorite fermentation salt. Broad range of minerals. Add subtle flavor.
$7.99
6,560 Reviews
Fermented carrot sticks in 5 flavors. | makesauerkraut.com

Fermented Carrot Sticks

FERMENTATION LENGTH: 7-10 days
SALT PERCENT: 2%
4.42 from 17 votes
Print Pin
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Keyword: Carrot, Fermented, Paleo, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 20 mins
AUTHOR : Holly Howe

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 large carrots
  • Flavoring |, Choose from ONE of the following:
  • 2-3 garlic cloves,, peeled and cut into slivers
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger,, sliced and cut into slivers (No need to peel.)
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers sliced lengthwise into quarters, (Remove seeds to white membrane to reduce heat.)
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill, (1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 1-2 sliced green onions,, a bit each of sliced red onion and sliced yellow onion
  • Brine, (2%)
  • 1 tablespoon iodine-free salt (fine-grain)
  • 2 cups non-chlorinated water

INSTRUCTIONS

  • PREP FLAVORING ITEM. Place what you’ll be using to flavor your carrot sticks in the bottom of a wide mouth pint (500 ml) jar, or jar size of your choosing.
  • PREP CARROTS.
    Gently scrub clean. Then, slice carrots lengthwise to just the right length (one inch shorter than the height of your jar) and snugly pack into the jar on top of your flavoring item leaving one inch of head space. If you prefer, you could also cut the carrots crosswise into disks.
  • MAKE BRINE.
    Mix 1 tablespoon of salt with 2 cups of water. Stir with a fork until somewhat dissolved. If there's some undissolved salt, don't worry, it will dissolve during fermentation.
  • POUR BRINE over carrots letting it percolate down. Stop when brine is 1 inch from the top of the jar. Jostle the jar to get the brine between all the packed carrots and add more brine, if necessary. Screw on lid, snugly. Label with the date.
  • FERMENT.
    Place in a shallow bowl on your kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight to ferment until active bubbling stops, usually 7-10 days depending upon the temperature of your room Feel free to taste them. The carrots are ready when bubbles have stopped rising to the surface, there is a slightly sour aroma and the carrots taste tangy.
  • STORE.
    Add the fermentation length to your label and put in the refrigerator. Your fermented carrots may be eaten immediately, but will increase in flavor with time and will keep for up to a year, though they lose color as the months go on.

Notes and Tips

  1. Recipe directions are for a one-pint (500 ml) batch. Feel free to double the recipe and use a larger jar. Some like to use a narrow-mouth jar finding that the smaller opening helps to keep the carrot sticks submerged. With larger jars, there is no need to be careful about the length you cut your carrots.
  2. Packaged baby carrots? I would not use these – though very handy – due to the fact that they are typically given a chlorine – which inhibits fermentation – bath during processing.
  3. To peel or not to peel? The greatest concentration of microbes – that make fermentation happen – reside in the peels of root vegetables (The part that comes in contact with the dirt where those little buggers live.). By peeling the carrot, one is hindering the process of fermentation. And… as we learned above, the peel contains insoluble fiber that binds to toxins and removes them from your body.
  4. My favorite salt for fermentation is Himalayan Pink. I talk about the best salt for fermentation here, here. In short, use a non-iodized salt.
  5. Use a 2% brine strength. This is for the geeks out there; the rest of you, just follow the recipe. Use 2% salt by weight for the weight of water you’re dissolving your salt in.
  6. Leftover brine (not fermented)? If you do not need all of the brine you mixed up, just keep the leftovers in a jar in your refrigerator for future fermentation projects. It will keep for a few weeks.
  7. Below the brine. For worry-free fermentation, it is best to use some sort of weight to hold the carrot sticks below the brine. However, if packed tightly they seem to stay below the brine on their own.
  8. No airlock? Airlocks allow excess gases to escape. If you don’t have an airlock and you want to be super safe, though I don’t feel carrots create enough CO2 to warrant it, burp the jar once daily during the first 3 days.
  9. Simple flavors. I’ve kept the recipes simple with the addition of just one flavoring item, usually. You can also ferment them on their own with no extras.
  10. Looking for some kimchi flavor? Add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of Korean red pepper powder to a batch.
  11. Adjust fermentation time based on ambient room temperature and desired product. Ideal fermentation temperature is 65-70°F (18-21°C) is ideal.
    If it is super hot, shorten; cold, lengthen.
  12. Eat the fermented flavoring items. When using garlic, ginger, hot peppers, etc. to add flavor to your ferment, you are also fermenting those items and they can be eaten as well.
  13. Make fresh brine for each batch of fermented carrots. See my recent post on why I say: Don’t reuse the brine – or feel you need to use a starter.
  14. Do drink leftover fermented brine, or use it to make salad dressings.
  15. Keep your fermented carrot sticks handy. My fermented carrot sticks greet me front and center when I open the refrigerator and are just begging to be snacked on. You might need to do likewise so they are not forgotten somewhere in the back of your refrigerator.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @MakeSauerkaut on Instagram

Fun facts about carrots. | makesauerkraut.com

Ways to Eat Fermented Carrot Sticks

Either eat your fermented carrots sticks straight out of the jar or try plunging them into one of these dips:

Herbed Yogurt Cheese from EatingWell

Herbed Yogurt Cheese from Circle B Kitchen

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing from I’d Rather Be A Chef

15 Health Benefits of Hummus, According to Science (+ 9 Delicious Hummus Recipes) from Jen Reviews

How to Make Hummus from Scratch from The Kitchn

Yogurt Ranch Dip by Nourishing Days

Sources

Can You Balance Your Hormones with Carrots? + A Recipe! by Holistic Health Herbalist
How Eating One Raw Carrot a Day Can Balance Hormones + Detox the Body by Organic Olivia
Natural Estrogens by Ray Peat

What is your favorite dip for carrots? Let us know in the Comments.

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

14 thoughts on “5 Simple Fermented Carrot Sticks Recipes [Crunchy Goodness]”

  1. Your timing is absolutely perfect, I was just thinking that I should try fermenting carrots and voila, you’ve written a concise and perfect post! Thanks again Holly.

    Reply
    • That looks like Kahm yeast. Is it powdery or slimy? If powdery, then it’s harmless Kahm yeast. Remove as much as you can and enjoy. Usually from too much air exposure. Next time, fill the jar to the top. Did you use a lid?

      If slimy and sticky, you have an imbalance in bacteria and I would probably try again. But, let’s figure out what to do different next time first.

      Reply
      • Thanks for your prompt reply and helpful advice. The yeast is not slimy, (it’s like when you put the soup in the fridge and the oil on the surface hardens into little white stuff on the top). I have the lid on but I only filled the jar half full. Probably with the carrot shredded it ends up like that!! I shredded it as I thought I could eat it like sauerkraut 🙂
        It’s a good learning experience anyways and I’ll try again! Thanks Holly.

        Reply
  2. Hi Holly. I do a lot of “quick pickling” starting with a vinegar brine for jalapenos and beets, etc. I prefer a saltier brine all around. With the fermentation method, will the heftier salt content negatively impact the balance and outcome? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Good question. It’s hard to say because I haven’t done any vinegar “quick pickling.” I would say, just give it a try with a pint jar. You have nothing to lose and much knowledge to gain. The carrot sticks use a 2% brine. What if any salt gets added to a vinegar pickle?

      Reply
      • Thanks. I’ll play it by ear.
        Couldn’t give you a percentage. I just salt my quick brine until I’m satisfied with the taste. It varies. Some people prefer a sweeter brine and add more sugar than salt. It’s definitely one of those things that everyone has their own recipe for.

        Reply
  3. Hello! What kind of lid do you put on the jar during fermentation? Then what kind of lid do you use when you put them in the fridge (if different)? Thank you!

    Reply
  4. I have made these several times and my family really likes them! There is a lot of brine left after we finish the carrots. I have saved it and occasionally drank a “shot” but I was wondering if I could add it to my finished saurkraut that has little brine of its own left?

    Reply

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