I just recently started to eat beets. I refused to eat them as a child and for most of my adulthood. My father used to can them every September, infusing our small house with the super pungent aroma of stewed beets and vinegar. I think that’s what started my aversion to beets in any shape or form. A few years ago, I was served a salad garnished with a spiral of raw beets and couldn’t believe how delicious they were. I soon began to incorporate raw beets in my salads, and experimented with roasted beets as well. Success, I was hooked! As with most vegetables I encounter, I tried lacto-fermenting some beets last year. The result? Lacto-fermented beets are super easy, not stinky, and downright delicious!
NUTRIENT-DENSE AND DELICIOUS!
Beets are delicious and nutritious vegetables to include in your diet. Beets are a good source of folate, fibre as well as a multitude of vitamins and minerals (vitamin C, manganese, potassium and iron). Since there is no heat involved in lacto-fermentation preservation, the beets maintain their bounty of nutrition and take on even extra flavour!
Used in the right ratio, beets’ earthy but sweet flavour adds an interesting dimension to dishes, and pairs remarkably well with tangy flavours such as citrus and goat cheese. It is best not add too many beets as their strong flavour can easily overpower a dish. And don’t forget the beet greens! They are incredibly delicious lightly saut?d in olive oil with garlic!
Beets are an easy vegetable to ferment. I mainly add bay leaf to my beet ferments, but will sometimes add some herbs or ginger for extra flavour. Lacto-fermented beets can be ready in as little as 2 weeks, but I prefer the flavour after a 3- 4 week period. Lacto-fermented beets have a stronger beet flavour, more olive-like with a bit of tang.
I always have a jar on hand in the fridge to add to salads, sandwiches, or anywhere I would use raw beets.
Lacto-fermented beets also tasty when cooked, but the heat will kill off the probiotics derived from the lacto-fermentation process.
HOW TO MAKE LACTO-FERMENTED BEETS
Fermentation time: 2-4 weeks
- Fresh beets (red or golden)- cleaned, skin on
- Brine : 4 cups filtered water + 4 teaspoons salt (non-iodized)
- Bay leaf
- Flavourings (optional): Garlic clove, ginger, fresh herbs
- Glass fermentation container
- Fermentation weight
- Wash and trim beets of greens. Leave skins on.
- Cut beets into slices or cubes, as desired.
- Place beets, bay leaf and optional flavourings in fermentation container, leaving a 1″ space to the top of the neck of the jar.
- Fill with brine, leaving a 1″ space to the top of the neck of the jar
- Add fermentation weight (if necessary). Close jar.
- Leave at room temperature (ideally 55-75?F (18-22? C) ) for 2-4 weeks.
- Transfer to the refrigerator for storage.