Fermented Sour Beets

fermented sour beets

Vibrant jewel like treasures to brighten up your winter. I have to admit, I haven’t always been a fan of beets. I used to think they tasted like dirt (they kind of do), but over the years I’ve learned to love them. When you let them ferment, they retain their crunchy texture and develop a delicious tangy flavour (i.e. they no longer taste like dirt).

fermented sour beets

fermented sour beets

fermented sour beets

This is a great way to prolong the life of any beets you’ve had hanging around. I often buy beets at the farmers market, and occasionally I’ll find a bag of them tucked away in some back corner of the fridge. Stored in a plastic bag, beets seem to last all winter long!

fermented sour beets

Similar to my fermented “pickled” jalapenos, this is barely a recipe. If you’re interested in fermenting, you will soon realize that you can ferment nearly any vegetable by letting it sit in some salty brine.

I don’t bother with peeling the beets. I simply cut off the tops and trim the roots, then slice into 1/2” wedges (feel free to cut them into any shape you’d like). Submerge them in brine, weigh them down and cover with a cloth and let nature do it’s thing… ferment, ferment, ferment!

If you only have a couple of beets hanging around, just put them in a smaller jar – the important part is keeping them submerged in the brine.

fermented sour beets

I encourage you to get creative with any additional flavourings. Add some dill seeds, caraway seeds, hot peppers or ginger… Use these beets in a salad, put them on a sandwich, add them to a rice bowl. However you use these sour beets, you’re microbiota and your taste buds will be happy you did!

Fermented Sour Beets

  • about 2.5 lbs. Beets
  • 3 Tbsp. Sea salt (non-iodized)
  • 1 L Water
  • Large jar or crock (wash with hot soapy water – no need to sterilize)
  • Small jar (that fits inside large jar – to use as weight)
  • Towel or cloth
  • Elastic band

Remove stems and ends of beets, then slice (no need to peel). I cut mine into 1/2″ wedges,  but feel free to slice them into rounds or cubes.

Prepare brine: stir salt into water until dissolved.

Place beets in a large clean jar, then cover with brine. Use a smaller jar to weigh beets down so that they are completely submerged in brine*. Cover with a cloth and secure with an elastic band.

Set aside, out of direct sunlight, and let ferment. This usually takes 7-14 days, but depending on the ambient room temperature this may take more or less time.

After 7 days or so taste a piece of beet, if it is not sour enough for your liking continue to ferment.

*if liquid evaporates during fermentation process you can mix up a batch of brine top off the jar so that beets remained submerged.

2 Replies to “Fermented Sour Beets”

    1. Thanks Laurel, I’m so happy to help others experiment with fermentation! It’s such a fun and easy way to preserve vegetables.

      I’ve tried a few other veggies with brine fermentation, and another favourite is chopped kohlrabi with dill seeds and garlic (basically kohlrabi dill pickles!).

      Good luck with your ferments… I would love to hear how it goes!

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