Ginger carrots..too salty :-(

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Ginger carrots..too salty :-(

Postby helen on Sat May 09, 2009 3:39 pm

I just made the ginger carrots from Nourishing traditions and they are super salty :-( I made them with whey and salt, can I leave out the salt next time? Would they still ferment? Will they taste less salty if I leave them in storage for longer? I tried them after 5 days.

Thanks
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Re: Ginger carrots..too salty :-(

Postby fermented-vegan on Sun May 10, 2009 4:37 pm

Hello helen, :)

There's another post I found about fermenting carrots that might give you some ideas.
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=155&p=458&hilit=carrots#p458

I'm not the resident expert here. I'm still learning as I go. Here's some of my thoughts...

As I understand it, it is much more difficult to get a good ferment without at least some salt in it. The acidity of the brine keeps the bad bacteria from taking over. The more salt that is in the brine, the more sour your ferment can get. Everyones taste for salt seems to be different. Adjust the salt to your taste, and make notes of amounts you use for each batch so you can compare.

Five days may not be enough depending on the ambient temperature where you are fermenting. I'd keep it going and taste it every day. I've been told that the higher salt flavor complements the ferment when you let it go long enough. It seemed to work out for my dill pickles I made. I'm currently testing that theory with my third batch of sauerkraut.

Peace & Love from a vegan :)
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Re: Ginger carrots..too salty :-(

Postby helen on Tue May 12, 2009 7:49 pm

Thanks for your response. I am going to let them go a few days longer and see what happens. I was just disappointed lol
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Re: Ginger carrots..too salty :-(

Postby Steve_in_Denver on Thu May 21, 2009 11:09 am

Helen, I've been experimenting with pickled carrots, and I find that nearly all of the recipes I've found call for much, much, MUCH more salt than I prefer to use. Using less salt may change the texture of the vegetables, but I would think you could almost certainly cut the amount in half, and see if that works better.

Five days doesn't sound like much time to get a good ferment -- from my experience (and it's limited experience at this point) I'd say let them sit for at least a week, taste them, and then continue to let some of them ferment until you get the level of tartness you prefer. The longer you let them ferment, the more tart they will become as more sugars get consumed by the bacteria.

You may want to also check out the book "The Joy of Pickling" by Linda Ziedrich. Good luck!!
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Re: Ginger carrots..too salty :-(

Postby Steve_in_Denver on Thu May 21, 2009 11:18 am

I just looked up the recipe online... it's a bit different than what I expected, I guess it's more like a "carrot kraut" than what I was thinking of. Here's the recipe I found:

This recipe for lacto-fermented ginger carrots comes from Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions.

"Take four cups of grated carrots (tightly packed), 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger, a tablespoon of unrefined sea salt and four tablespoons of whey. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and pound them with a pounder to release the juices. Place them in a wide-mouthed mason jar and press it down firmly until the juice comes up to the top of the carrots. Make sure the top of the mixture is at least an inch bellow the top of the jar, seal tightly and let it sit at room temperature for 3 days. Transfer it to the fridge and enjoy any time after that. This condiment is recommended to accompany rich or spicy foods, but you should experiment with it - maybe it's good on nachos."

I think if you were to add enough whey or leftover brine from another batch, you could easily get away with cutting the amount of salt in half (or doubling the amount of other ingredients). I'm surprised the author has you sealing the jars -- it seems that if you let them sit long enough to get a good fermentation going, you'd risk cracking the jar. You may want to try putting a plastic baggie filled with water over the top, and setting the jar on a small plate to catch any overflow.

I think the recipe sounds delicious, and I've got some carrots at home I want to use up. I'll try making it this evening and I'll post the results here. I'll use a teaspoon of salt instead of the tablespoon, and instead of whey from yogurt, I'll use some brine from my most recent batch of kraut (the bacteria are the same).
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shredded carrots with reduced salt

Postby Steve_in_Denver on Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:30 pm

My shredded carrots turned out fine with only a teaspoon of salt. I mixed the shredded carrots with the salt, some red pepper flakes and about four tablespoons of brine from a batch of sauerkraut I had in the refrigerator. I packed everything into a quart jar, placed a plastic bag over the carrots, and filled the bag with water to seal the carrots from the air. It was interesting to watch the carrots through the sides of the jar; they didn't really begin bubbling until the fourth day, I tasted them on the fifth and while they hadn't gotten very femented or sour at that point, they were very good. I actually like them better than the baby carrots I fermented.

I didn't use ginger because I didn't have any in the house, but I'll be doing this again, and will definitely try adding the ginger at some point.
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Re: salt in ferments

Postby Steve_in_Denver on Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:39 pm

I'm certainly no expert at this, but my understanding of the reason salt is used is that the salty brine inhibits the growth of "bad" bacteria, particularly in the early stages of fermentation. Until the brine becomes sour, the vegetables could spoil instead of fermenting, and salt acts as a preservative.

Once the vegetables are fermenting, the environment is inhospitable to the bacteria that cause the food to spoil. I think the reason cookbook authors are so careful to recommend the use of a lot of salt is because they probably don't want to risk any of their readers getting sick. Salt also improves the texture of fermented veggies, allowing them to remain more crisp.

My feeling is that the faster the fermentation begins, the less salt I need to use. Wild Fermentation even offers some suggestions for salt-free ferments. I haven't yet had a batch of anything go bad, and I only add two or three tablespoons of salt to even my biggest batches of fermented vegetables.
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