The best probiotics are the ones you create in your own kitchen. Not everyone will love every ferment, but I've found that you can generally find several fermented foods to satisfy even picky palates and children. These carrots happen to be a favorite of my 7 year old daughter. They are delicious on their own; on a salad, especially a Vietnamese or Thai inspired salad and in any dish needing a punch of flavor.
Organic carrots, cut into coins.
Brine: 1 1/2 tsp. non-iodized salt, per cup of non-chlorinated water, see notes below.
Wide mouthed, pint size canning jar
1. Cut carrots into coins or sticks.
2. Cover with brine, leaving 1- 2 inches of headspace.
3. Place a lid on the jar and turn back slightly, so it's not tight and developing pressure can escape.
4. Ferment on the counter at room temperature for 1-2 weeks. Each day, tighten the lid and shake to redistribute the contents to discourage surface mold growth, then loosen the lid slightly. Taste after 1 week, if you like the taste and texture, place in the fridge. If you'd like it a bit softer, ferment for another week, or longer, until the carrots are the texture and flavor you prefer.
5. Carrots will ferment a bit faster in the summer than in the winter. A thinner size slice will also ferment faster.
6. Store in the refrigerator for up to a year.
The amount of salt is personal preference within a given range. Start with 1 1/2 tsp. and increase to taste, if desired. If too little salt is used, the vegetables will not be crisp, it will also not discourage the growth of mold. However, if too much salt is used, it can slow and even prevent fermentation from occurring. Salt within the given range of 1 - 2 tsp. per cup of non-chlorinated water will keep your brine in a healthy range.
You may reduce the amount of salt further, by using 1 Tbsp. whey, or juice from another ferment, per 1 cup of non-chlorinated water. I would not recommend reducing salt below 3/4 tsp. per cup of non-chlorinated water.
If you have any trouble with your fermentations, you can add up to 1 Tbsp. whey, or juice from a previous ferment, per cup of non-chlorinated water, as a starter.
You may add any seasoning desired, such as dill, ginger, or garlic.
For more information on fermentation, read these links under food based probiotics.