8 December

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. - Bob Hope

Dilly Carrots


(gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, grain-free, egg-free)






Mila's Meals Dilly Carrots

Yes – another fermented food recipe (find the recipe for Homemade Gherkins here). If you are new to fermented foods, I really encourage you try try them. They are choc-a-bloc full of probiotics and can be made at a fraction of the price of probiotic supplements.


To quote from my book Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics:

What are fermented foods?

Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lacto fermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.

If you are new to probiotics – well now is a great time to introduce them. As this is the time of year for overindulgence, adding some fermented foods to your plate will help balance your stomach acids; release enzymes to help ease and improve digestion; and, they are powerful detoxifiers (and hangover cures!)

The original fast food!


Wanting to spend less time in the kitchen this holiday?


Fermented foods are the original fast food (once they are made that is). They can happily live in your fridge for 6 months. So when you need to prepare a balanced meal but don’t have the time (or inclination) to make a salad AND some vegetables – grab your jar of fermented foods! They are raw (i.e. salad) and vegetables all in one 🙂  I tend to do this every night!

The second shelf of my fridge
This is what the inside of my fridge looks like 🙂

What are Dilly Carrots?


Dilly carrots are sliced carrots that have been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria.


They have a long shelf life and a sweet & slightly sour flavour, both of which result from the lactic acid that forms when the bacteria ferment the sugars in the carrots.


They are an easy ‘side dish’ to add probiotics to any meal or snack – and they are kid friendly!


This recipe is taken from Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics.

Mila's Meals Dilly Carrots

Key: gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, grain-free, egg-free, paleo, vegetarian, for adults too

Makes a 1 litre jar


(t. = teaspoon; T. = tablespoon, C. = cup)


  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 stem fresh dill
  • 6 carrots (peeled if they are not organic), sliced
  • 1 T. whey* (or contents of 1 probiotic capsule)
  • ½ T. Himalayan or sea salt
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cabbage leaf



  1. Fermenting foods requires an extremely clean environment! Make sure that all utensils and your hands have been washed thoroughly.
  2. Place the garlic and dill at the bottom of a 1 l. (1 qt.) glass/mason jar.
  3. Pack the carrots above the garlic and dill. Ensure that they are at least 3 cm (1½”) below the neck of the glass jar (as the liquid must cover them completely).
  4. Make your brine by dissolving the salt in the water. Stir in the whey. Pour the brine into the jar – make sure the carrots are completely covered, but leave a 2 cm (1″) air pocket between the liquid and the rim of the glass jar.
  5. Fold the cabbage leaf over the carrots to hold them down.
  6. Put the lid on the glass jar and close tightly.
  7. Leave the jar in a cool, dark place at room temperature for 4 -10 days (fermenting will be quicker in summer when the ambient temperature is higher).
  8. ‘Burp’ the jar everyday by just barely unscrewing the lid until you hear the gas escape and then sealing tightly again.
  9. Once there are no more bubbles forming in the brine the fermentation is complete. Place them in the fridge where they will keep for a couple of months.
  10. The longer you leave the carrots at room temperature the softer and the sourer they will become.

*What is whey?


Remember the nursery rhyme “Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet eating her curds and whey…”. I sang this song to Mila many times, but it was not until I began my traditional and whole foods journey that I discovered what whey actually is!


Liquid whey was known to the founding fathers of western medicine as “healing water”. In fact, Hippocrates frequently recommended whey to his patients.


Many people have heard of whey as a protein powder supplement, however the original whey is something quite different.


Whey is the tart, golden liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. (Milk is curdled during the cheese, yoghurt or kefir making process.)


Whey from fermented milk (such as that made from kefir or yoghurt) is virtually lactose-free as the cultures digest the lactose during the fermentation process.


Hypoallergenic: According to Dr Thomas Cooper, goat’s whey can be used as a hypoallergenic protein substitute for children and adults who are allergic to cow’s milk. Dr Cooper notes that over 90 percent of children who have an allergy to cow’s milk do not show allergy symptoms when using goat’s whey. For people who cannot tolerate cow’s milk, goat’s whey can be a good way to attain the benefits of drinking milk without the symptoms.




To make your own whey is so simple:


Line a sieve with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and place over a bowl/jug.


Pour in the kefir/yoghurt. Cover and allow to stand over night.


In the morning you will have kefir/yoghurt cheese in the strainer, and whey in the bowl.


Whey can be added to any purée or smoothie for a nutrient boost. It can also be used for fermenting fruit and vegetables or when soaking your nuts, seeds, legumes and grains.

Whey, Kefir and Kefir Grains

Straining my goats milk kefir to make whey. The kefir is in the glass, and the white “bits” in front of the glass jar are the kefir grains.

Dilly Carrots are part of my Mila’s Munchies food range:

Mila's Munchies Fermented Foods

“These carrots are a great introductory fermented food and can be introduced to your little one as soon as he/she is starting finger foods and is chewing well. The fermentation process softens the carrots a great deal – so while they are raw, they are far easier to chew and digest.

Alternatively, add some of the fermented carrots, or brine to any purée you are making.

Introducing fermented foods to your little one not only reinforces the concept that food can be your medicine, but also introduces a new taste profile to their palate – as fermented foods are sour. It is important to broaden your little one’s range of taste beyond that of sweet and salty.

According to Donna Gates from the Body Ecology food protocol, your little one can be introduced to fermented foods (fruits and vegetables) as early as 4 days old. Start dipping your finger into the fermented vegetable juice and letting your little one suck it off. He/she will likely pull a face due to its sour taste, but keep offering it everyday.

You can continue offering the fermented vegetable juice on a spoon and when your little one starts solids, mix it into a purée as a nutritional enhancer. Later add fermented vegetables to his/her purée, or offer a whole fermented vegetable (they soften as they ferment to the same texture as a cooked vegetable).

If your little one is older and has not ever been introduced to fermented foods (like Mila, who was only introduced to them when she was 2 years old), you can hide the fermented vegetable juice in smoothies or vegetable juices.” – Catherine Barnhoorn, Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics

Health Benefits

carrot nutrition information

Carrots have anti-cancer & anti-inflammatory benefits, keep your heart healthy, clean your liver… and don’t forget – they help you see in the dark! (No really, the beta-carotene improves vision, especially night vision.) Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A. In addition, they are a very good source of biotin, vitamin K, dietary fibre, molybdenum, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.

Mila's Meals Rainbow Nutrition Dill

Dill is a very healing and aromatic ancient herb. It is a great antioxidant – highly beneficial for viral, bacterial, yeast, and fungal infections, parasites, cancer prevention, and respiratory disorders. Dill is also regularly used as a digestive aid and can help reduce bad breath, acid reflux, flatulence, indigestion, and diarrhea. Dill is a great source of calcium, magnesium, and iron which makes it good for the bones, blood, organs, and hangovers!

garlic nutrition information

Garlic is another one of the world’s oldest medicines and is an incredibly potent spice that can ward off a variety of illnesses and diseases. It has amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C and B6 and minerals such as selenium, calcium, copper, and iron. Garlic also contains very strong antibiotic, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, and anti-viral properties.

And then of course there are the health benefits of fermented foods. They:


  • Break down sugars to more digestible and healthier products
  • Break down carbohydrates into easier to digest and healthier foods
  • Help control harmful bacteria in the body
  • Fight diarrhea
  • Help with indigestion
  • Fight chronic inflammation
  • Boost immune system function

Source: Dr. Axe


Mila's Munchies Dilly Carrots Poster

Be sure to come back to our advent calendar tomorrow to open another surprise 🙂

mila's meals advent calendar 8 december
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