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Summer Vegetable Ferments

Fermented carrots

In the jar of carrots above, you can see the slight milky colour showing the Lactobacillus bacteria producing lactic acid. Lactobacillus are naturally present on vegetables and will multiply in a light salty liquid - 2% salt.

While most bacteria is slowed down by salt, the addition of salt does give the Lactobacillus bacteria a head start.

Lactobacillus will consume available sugars from the vegetable and produce acid, carbon dioxide and alcohol.

When we opened the jar above, after 5 days at room temperature, you could taste the sparkle of the carbon dioxide and the refreshing acidity. Nice to eat but into the fridge where it can keep for months.


  • Carrots – enough to fill your chosen jar packed full
  • 1 litre of filtered water
  • 20 g salt
  • Clean jar


  1. Peel carrots
  2. Cut them into quarters length wise
  3. Dissolve the salt into the water
  4. Pack the carrots very tightly into the jar and pour the water over. Important that the carrots are fully submerged
  5. Leave the glass with the carrots to start fermenting in a tray as they are likely to over flow as the fermentation begins.
  6. Leave the at room temperature 24-48 hours, or for how long it takes for the fermtation to start. Cover with a lid only loosely screwed on.
  7. Here after put the carrots in the fridge and let the lactic acid develop and preserve the carrots 2-4 weeks.

Carrots ready to start fermenting



  • 1 kg green cabbage
  • 25 g salt
  • Glass with lid - sterilized


  1. Cut the cabbage in two and remove the core. Slice the cabbage finely with a knife, on a mandolin or in a food processor.
  2. Put it in a bowl and add the salt. Using your hands – massage the salt into the cabbage for about 2 minutes.
  3. Let it stand for 15 Minutes.
  4. Again – give the cabbage another massage for 10-15 minutes until the cabbage has softened.
  5. Put the cabbage into the glasses and press it down to compact it as much as possible.
  6. Fill up the glass with the water from the cabbage.
  7. Put the lid on and leave it at room temperature (ideal temp is 21°C) for 1-2 days. When the fermentation starts, it is very important to let out gas frequently.


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Celia Hay

Celia is a qualified chef and holds the WSET (London) Diploma of Wine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Education (Distinction) and MBA Master of Business Administration from the University of Canterbury.

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The School

Founded by Celia Hay, the New Zealand School of Food and Wine opened its first campus in Christchurch in 1995.

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