Pickled Carrot Sticks

This may be the easiest fermented vegetable recipe. It’s a great way to get kids (and grown kids!) started on both making and consuming their probiotics.

It’s simplest to cut the carrots into sticks, but you could also cut into coins or on the bias to make oval-shaped pieces.

Carrot sticks typically take about 2 weeks to ferment, during which time they soften a little bit and take on the characteristic sour flavor of a naturally fermented brined vegetable.

Pickled Carrot Sticks

Prep Time 15 minutes
Fermentation Time 14 days
Makes 1 quart


  • 5-6 medium sized carrots
  • sea salt
  • filtered water

Optional Ingredients

  • 4 inches fresh ginger root
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 2 fresh whole jalapenos OR
  • 1/2 medium red beet OR
  • 1 tsp. dill seeds OR 3 sprigs fresh dill


  • Wash and scrub dirt off carrots, or peel with a vegetable peeler.
  • Cut carrots into pieces about 1/2 inch in diameter and 4 to 5 inches long (as tall as the fermenting jar-- 4 inches for a pint-jar, or 5 1/2 inches for a quart sized jar).
  • Pack carrots tightly into the jar.
  • Dilly carrots: add the dill sprigs to the bottom of the jar.
  • Ginger carrot variation: Peel skin off ginger with a spoon. Cut into long strips, about 1/4" thick. Pack into jar.
  • Beet variation: scrub or peel beet, cut into matchstick pieces, add to jar. Will turn the brine a fun red-pink color!
  • Jalapeño variation. Cut top off peppers. Remove seeds and membrane, or for extra heat, leave them. Cut pepper lengthwise into strips and add to jar.
  • Mix brine: 1 cup filtered water for each pint jar, or 2 cups for each quart-jar. For each cup of filtered water, mix 2 teaspoons fine sea salt (a 5% brine by weight). Stir until salt dissolves.
  • If using a small batch fermentation device, add weight(s) to the jar, then apply fermentation lid.
  • Add a weight that fits into the diameter of the jar, like an olive jar filled with water, or a plastic zip-top bag filled with water.
  • Slowly pour brine into jar until there’s enough to cover the contents.
  • Cover container with a tea towel or clean dishcloth, and secure with twist ties or a rubber band.
  • Check the contents after 3 days. You'll notice the brine is getting cloudy.
  • Taste the contents after 14 days. Flavors will continue to meld together. You can ferment for up to 4 weeks.
  • When you like the taste and texture, remove the cloth and weight, or the fermentation airlock device, replace lid with the metal lid, close tightly and store in the refrigerator.
  • Fermented carrots will last several months in the refrigerator.


For something a little more sophisticated with carrots, try escabeche (aka taco bar veggies)!

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