So, I keep talking all this lacto-fermentation business, and the health of our guts and blah blah blah… Today my sister and I made some ginger carrot slices, and I thought I would just show you how incredibly easy and rewarding this pickling business can be. So come along, make a pickle with me!
First, take some beautiful local carrots.
Scrub them, then slice them into nice bite-sized pieces. (aren’t those purple ones beautiful?!)
Layer them in a wide-mouth quart sized mason jar, sprinkling with some crushed ginger root and sea salt as you go (not iodized!- about a tablespoon of each total).
Because I’m not doing a shredded vegetable (like cabbage for sauerkraut), the veggies won’t exude as much water, so you have to add a bit to cover them. The fermentation is an anaerobic process, so you want to be sure to have all the veggies covered. The only problem is that our water is chlorinated, and chlorine will kill the precious little lactobacilli which make this whole process possible. So, there are a few ways to get rid of the chlorine in your water. You can a) boil it and let it cool, b) let it sit out for 24 + hours, or c) put it in a blender for a few minutes. I usually boil the larger quantities of water that I need for things like kefir and kombucha, but for this small quantity of water I just whirred it around in my magic bullet.
Add 4 tablespoons of whey (or, in the absence of whey, another tablespoon of salt), and cover with the water. Push down any veggies with a wooden spoon so they are below the water, or you can cleverly weigh them down with a cabbage leaf and clean rock. I just check them a couple of times a day and keep pushing under any that float, resorting to the rock method if they are stubborn.
We took a break and took pictures of our cute little boys in wraps on our backs. 🙂
Voila! Cover and let sit on your counter for a few days, checking occasionally to make sure that they are submerged. Next week I’ll update you on how long they needed to ferment at room temp, and what they taste like, etc.
The whole time we were doing this Asa was looking interested and flapping his little chubby arms. My sister let him suck on a carrot slice, and he seemed intrigued enough that we were inspired to give him his first taste of food. So, I lightly boiled a fresh egg yolk, added a tiny smidge of ground sea salt, and mashed it all up.
*Note- In case people are interested in what we’re doing for baby- I’ve done some research about which foods are best for baby, and I’ve come to the conclusion that grains are not the best first foods, contrary to popular belief. With the rising instances of grain allergies and sensitivities, it just makes sense to me to postpone the introduction of grains for several months. Babies don’t even produce enough of the enzyme needed to digest grains until after a year. So, I’m starting with egg yolk, then I’ll move on to ground meats and veggies, then cultured/raw dairy and grains that have been soaked/fermented.
This was basically the reaction we got. So cute. He was interested but not enthusiastic. I’m in no rush. Vera didn’t want food until 9 months, and as a baby I wasn’t interested until 8 months. He might be the same way, and I’m not going to push it. Food! My little baby!