Lacto-Fermented (pickled) Heart Beets

March 4, 2014

Inspired by the vibrant and impassioned Annie Dru of Lardmouth, I've started to look for opportunities to lacto-ferment anything and everything.  These were fun to make and they're full of healthy probiotics for your belly.

Roast beets at 350 degrees until tender/a fork goes in easily (around 30-45 minutes depending on size).  Cool and peel (the skins rub off easily).  You can store them covered in the fridge for a day or so if you want to do this step in advance.

  • 1 part good Celtic or other mineral Salt
  • 1 part raw honey
  • 2 parts Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 parts whey*

Put the vinegar in a saucepan with your seasonings - I used 2 cinnamon sticks, a star anise pod and a few cloves.  Simmer on low for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and cool.

Whisk in the salt, honey and whey into the cool vinegar. 

Cut up your beets (if you're crazy like I am, thinly slice and then punch out small shapes - I did hearts for Valentine's Day) and put your beets into your jar(s).  Pour the pickling liquid over them and then top off with filtered water. 

Cover and store on the countertop for at least one day, up to five depending on how much you like fermented food.  Then put it in the fridge.

If you substitute a "cup" for the "parts" indicated you should have enough for 10-12 beets.  If you cut it down to 1/4 cup salt/honey; 1/2 cup ACV and 1 cup whey you should have enough for 4-6 beets.  And if you cut it down to 1 TBL per part you'd have enough for 1 beet.

Don't be surprised if you start quoting Portlandia.

*Don't know where to get whey?  Buy some yogurt; line a mesh colander with a thin dish towel (I like the inexpensive blue and white ones from Ikea); place this over a larger non-metallic mixing bowl and pour in the yogurt.  After a few hours you can tie up the ends of the dishcloth to a wooden spoon and hang it up over the bowl (I use an upper cupboard knob).  Let it drip for at least 8 hours (e.g. overnight).  The stuff in the bowl is whey and will keep in your fridge in a glass jar for up to 6 months.  It's useful stuff!  We add a TBL to 1 cup of oats and 1 cup of water every night to sprout them for the next morning's breakfast.  The stuff left in the dish towel is yogurt cheese and there are loads of recipes for it online.  It's a good substitute for cream cheese and I've also used it in my muffin recipes.


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