Beets are a year-round seasonal vegetable in the pacific northwest, and our farm box has beets nearly every week. Fermented beets are one of our favourite recipes. Salty, sour and naturally sweet, they are absolutely delicious.
Healthy Probiotic Beets
Beets are naturally full of antioxidants. They are a great source of vitamins and minerals and are beneficial for a number of health concerns including diabetes and heart disease. This is why beets form the basis for my immune-boosting kvass.
Pickled beets are a perfect addition to most meals. I especially love them with a ploughman’s lunch. There’s something wonderful about the combination of pickled vegetables and cheese. Here are a few more dishes featuring pickled beets:
- A purple addition to a probiotic potato salad.
- Add them to a healthy and wholesome buddha bowl.
- Use them in a beet kvass salad.
- I like using the beet brine to make dark purple pickled eggs.
Flavours for Pickled Beets
The best part of making your own fermented foods is experimenting with flavour! Here are 5 traditional flavours for pickled beets. These are scaled for 1 quart-sized jar.
- Sweet cinnamon beets: Add 1 cinnamon stick and 3 whole cloves.
- Tradition pickle: One of our favourite flavours. Add 1 tbsp pickling spice, 2 cloves of garlic and a flowering head of fresh dill. Be sure to add the cider vinegar because it really helps to develop the flavour.
- Caraway: This is delicious with cheese. Add 2 tsp caraway and 5 black peppercorns to each jar.
- Garlic: Another favourite flavour. Add 1-2 cloves of garlic per jar. Again, I recommend using cider vinegar for the ferment to prevent any issues with the garlic.
- Hot and spicy: Slice one or two hot peppers in half and add to the jar without removing the seeds. The final heat of the beets will depend on the spiciness of the pepper.
Fermented beets are probiotic and tangy. Perfect for adding a bit of zest to most meals. Try all five flavour options, see the section above for more details.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 Quart Jar 1x
- Category: Pickles
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Probiotic
- Diet: Vegan
- 6 small beets or 3 medium beets
- 1 1/2 tsp non-iodized salt
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar (optional, see notes)
- 1 cup of filtered water to cover (chlorine-free)
- Scrub the beets, then chop them into bite-sized pieces. Wear gloves if you don’t want pink fingers!
- Pack the beet slices into a sterilized jar. At this point, you can add spices and other flavours. See the section above for different flavouring options.
- Add the cider vinegar (if you are using it).
- Dissolve the salt in a 1/2 cup of water. Pour over the beets and top with a second 1/2 of water, to cover. There is no need to weigh down the beets as they usually don’t float.
- Leave the jar to ferment at room temperature for about 3-7 days.
- Store in the refrigerator and consume within 1 month.
- Beets don’t require a starter culture to ferment. Organically grown beets naturally have a lactic bacterial culture. However, I like the added tanginess provided by fermented cider vinegar, so I always add a little to every jar.
- If you want to reduce the salt to 1/2 tsp, then increase the cider vinegar to 1/4 cup and only ferment for 3 days. This will result in a pickled beet that is more vinegary than salty.
Keywords: probiotic, fall, winter, vegan, gluten free, grain free, soy free, oil free, nut free, dairy free, sugar-free, healthy