Fermented Beets

A few months ago a Patient brought me a jar of fermented beets that were absolutely delicious. We know that fermented foods are really good for the gut micro biome especially a diverse number of fermented foods as they feed different strains of bacteria. Here is her recipe. I am also sharing some of the local resources for helping you do your own fermentations.

This link below is the Mountain Feed & Farm Store in Ben Lomond where I bought my supplies. https://www.mountainfeed.com/products/complete-mason-jar-fermentation-kit. There are multiple jar systems available to ferment. I chose the Mason Wide tops kit.

For one jar, I used about 1/4 teaspoon or so of Caldwell starter to use less salt.  https://www.culturesforhealth.com/caldwell-starter-culture-for-fresh-vegetables.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMItuqBzO6r1wIV0brACh0oHgjLEAQYAiABEgJVkvD_BwE
I used one tablespoon of Celtic grey salt. Many people use Himalayan pink salt, but I found the taste too harsh. Both websites, mountainfeed.com and culturesforhealth.com,  are excellent resources for fermentation.

Instead of using a starter culture, people often use just salt or whey that is strained from yogurt. I have a friend who strains yogurt to make Greek yogurt for desserts with fruit. This article discusses the different choices for fermentation. https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/natural-fermentation/salt-vs-whey-vs-starter-cultures/

One quart wide mouth jar
Pickle Pipe Silicone Airlocks (or other airlock system)
Fermentation weight
3.5 Cups distilled water (important to use distilled to avoid bleach which should halt the fermentation)
3 or 4 Beets
1 large Leek
Fresh Basil, rosemary, thyme
Teaspoon of whole pickling spice and a teaspoon of a good Italian seasoning (put in a little muslin bag)
1/4 teaspoon of starter culture

Put the washed jar, top, and weight in a large bowl then pour some boiling water over them to sterilize. Peel and slice beets and leek thinly using a mandolin. Place beet slices in the jar, alternating with fennel and fresh herbs until the jar is almost full. Include some fennel fronds. Put dry herbs and pickling spice into a muslin bag or square of muslin and tie up, then place in the jar. Press everything down tightly with wood tamper included with kit or something similar. Mix distilled water with salt and stir until dissolved, then pour into the jar until all of the beet mixture is under water. Place weight and add more water if needed. Secure with airlock. Shake jar a little to try and release air bubbles.

Find a dark, cool place to store the jar, such as in the rear of the lowest cabinet. After a week the fermentation is complete. Replace the top with a lid and refrigerate.

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