One last hurrah for the winter vegetables; those starchy and dense sources of energy. These carrots, eaten straight from the chilled jar, are the opposite of summer preserving–they bring a bit of winter to your hot days, a subtle spice mixture that takes your mind off the blistering sun. Lactofermented vegetables impart friendly bacteria into the body’s system, strengthening the gut and fortifying your ability to digest food. Not bad for a little bacterium and his buddies.
Citrus Pickled Carrots
5-6 medium sized carrots, peeled
2 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon
1-inch knob of ginger, finely sliced
peel of one orange, without bitter white pith
2 cups filtered water (slightly warm to help mix the maple syrup)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon sea salt (or two tablespoons whey)
Slice the carrots in half lengthwise, then each half in half again for long, slender sticks. Place carrot slices in a quart-sized mason jar, then add the cloves, cardamom, ginger and orange peel. In a separate container, mix the warm water with sea salt (or whey), maple syrup and orange juice. Pour liquid mixture over carrots, leaving 1 inch of room at the top of the jar (use additional filtered water if necessary). Cover tightly with a lid and allow to ferment for 5 to 7 days (or more, if you so desire). Store in the fridge. Want more kick next time? Try adding a sliced garlic clove and/or a pinch of red pepper flakes.
*you may place a washed oak leaf into this ferment to ensure crispy carrots. Since we’re still waiting for outdoor growth here in MN, I cross my fingers and hope for the carrot crunch.