|An easy portable probiotic rich fermented food for the kids - Lacto-Fermented Carrot Sticks|
Fermented carrots sticks are not just for the kids lunch boxes, they also work well as a snack to keep at your desk. You get a good dose of probiotics and I also find they help keep my cravings away especially if I combine them with a handful of nuts. If you have a food saver or food vacuum, you could easily pack them in single serves and take them travelling or camping with you. They have been so beneficial to us while our tummies are getting used to life in Vietnam.
For all of my fermenting, I use a flip top jar (like a fido jar) that has a rubber seal. I find these have worked for me reliably as the seal is airtight so it doesn't allow air in, but allows gases to escape to reduce the risk of your precious jar and contents from exploding! I have read you can use Mason jars but I personally have never tried.
Some of the basics that you should know if this is your first time fermenting is to ensure all your equipment, including your chopping board, knife & jars should be cleaned in hot scalding water with some white vinegar and ensure your hands are cleaned and rinsed very well. I like to wash all my equipment and let them sit on a clean tea towel to air dry while I wash and prepare.
I always use a culture starter (Body Ecology's Veggie Culture Starter) to ensure my batch always has the right bacteria as that is most important to me to heal my son's health issues and protect him from future issues. This is optional as using the right amount of salt is enough to prohibit the growth of bad bacteria while the good bacteria start working.
(If you live in Australia, you can order your Body Ecology products from here. Enter discount code 'loveurbelly' for 5% off or order direct from Body Ecology USA.)
As carrots are not self brining (meaning you cannot get out enough of it's own juices to make a brine), I make a brine using clean filtered water and salt. The ratio I stick to is 2 teaspoons of natural sea salt (not table salt, iodised salt or any other salt with additives), 1/2 to 1 sachet of Body Ecology Starter Culture to 1 litre of water. If you choose not to use a Culture Starter, use 3 tablespoons of natural sea salt to 1 litre of water. The less salt you use the softer your vegetables will be, so if you prefer them crunchy, stick to this ratio as that is how I like mine!
You can add any flavours you like, such as a few slices of ginger, a clove of garlic, herbs or lemon juice. Just remember that the fermentation process increases all the flavours so don't overdo any strong flavours like garlic, 1-2 cloves would be plenty and you can also slice them rather than keep them whole. My kids just like them plain, so here it is:
You will need:
Friday, 3 October 2014
Lacto-Fermented Carrot Sticks
Living in Vietnam, it's so wonderful to see all the different fermented foods available, the cook at my children's school even makes and serves naturally fermented kimchi! Even so, I am finding it hard to fit in 2-3 serves of fermented foods to my children, mainly my 6yo who needs it most with all the health issues he has had. He can also now tell when his body is needing some extra probiotic doses of fermented veggies if we end up eating out too often and missing our home made meals. So I made a batch of fermented carrot sticks which we could zip lock up and take this out with us when we eat out and also pack in his lunch bag. This version is much quicker and simpler than the grated version of fermented carrots I have here so if you are short on time, and want to include more fermented foods in your diet, give these a try!