Discard less, ferment more

Mary

FERMENTED CARROTS, IT DOES NOT GET ANY EASIER

Fermenting is not just taking care of yourself, it is taking care of the planet.
We have become such a consumer society the majority of us no longer consider what we actually need. A single trip to the shop usually ends with at least twenty items we have never intended buying. Not only did we not intend to buy them, we definitely don’t need them and highly likely we won’t eat them. 

Even worse, it was decided to be necessary to put the “Use by” date on every single piece of fruit and vegetable, already unnecessarily wrapped in plastic and possibly additionally sitting on a plastic tray. What happened to a good old “the vegetable is good unless it is rotten”? I really don’t remember throwing potatoes away just because there were a couple of sprouts growing out of them. Or throwing an apple away because the bag in which it was packed said it wasn’t good anymore. Anyway, that is a bit of deviation from this topic.

So if I return back to the original intention – what problems can fermenting solve? Even if we don’t intend to overbuy, there is a likelihood we won’t use everything we have in the fridge. Let’s say we wanted to make a carrot soup and a carrot cake, but then we didn’t feel like having soup and a neighbour brought us couple of cakes. So there are all these carrots left in the fridge and even if we are not going by the use by date, we may end up with carrots that will eventually rot away. Instead of waiting on that to happen, we could ferment them. By fermenting them, we will make sure those same carrots last for many months to come. And not only that. We have reused a glass jar that was rolling about in the kitchen and we were planning on throwing away - double the virtue. No, I’m lying, we did triple virtue as we made ourselves a nutritious pack of cultured food that will improve our gut health and help boost our immune system.

The majority of ferments are relatively easy to make, you only need a bit of patience and precision when measuring the proportion of salt.

Basic Fermented Carrots:

Ingredients:
500g carrots
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp salt
500ml water
1 litre jar with lid


Method:
1.      Wash the carrots, paying special attention to the soil that could be stuck in some of the furrows. Remove the tops and tails before cutting into batons.
2.      Peel the garlic and place it in the bottom of a litre jar, then pack the carrot batons vertically into the jar as tightly together as possible.
3.      Dissolve the salt into the water and pour over the carrots.
4.      Close the jar and leave to ferment for up to two weeks at room temperature.
5.      Taste after one week and refrigerate once the carrots have soured to your taste.

If you don’t have 500g of carrots, well half the ingredients, use a smaller jar and most importantly use less salt. If you don’t like garlic, don’t use it. You want to use different spices, use different spices. There are no rules. Most importantly, don’t complicate it.

Fermented carrots will stay good for months to come. And what I like best about them, they will stay crunchy, so they are perfect even for those who might think they don’t like cultured food.

Happy fermenting, and till next time, I salute you and keep ploughing through these weird times.

Xoxo Mary

PS. Scroll through more ideas here: Ferment!