You can't beat beets!
Updated: Jun 26, 2018
The other day I plucked some Detroit Red Beets out of my garden. We suffer from Virginia clay so my beets are small despite years of amending the soil. They ended up as sauteed greens and boiled roots. But this gave me a hankering for more fresh beets. So I bought an AMAZING organic red beet at the store, the kind I can’t grow in my garden and I started thinking of additional ways to use this incredible vegetable.
Beets are high in vitamin C, potassium, manganese, iron, fiber, and folate, one of the B vitamins. They are one of the best sources of anti-oxidants and are anti-inflammatory.
Growing up my mom served pickled beets using vinegar, sugar, and salt. And though I still love them and will probably put up a few pints this summer, now I’ve learned the joys of fermented beets in multiple variations. Beets can be brine fermented alone or flavored with horseradish or ginger. They can be a tasty addition to sauerkraut with some caraway seed which I call “Earthy Kraut.” (I gave some of that kraut to a friend with Eastern European roots and she raved that it reminded her of flavors from her childhood.) And they can be used to make Beet Kvass.
Beet kvass has been used as a hangover remedy and liver cleanser, improves blood flow and has even been used in Europe to help fight cancer. Some people have reported beet kvass as a therapy for chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, allergies, and digestive problems. (www.wellnessmama.com). What’s not to like?
Here’s how I make a very small batch (one quart) of beet kvass.
· 1 large organic beet, scrubbed and cut into ½” cubes
· 1 quart unchlorinated water
· 1 ½ tsp sea salt
· Optional – add a ¼ cup of the liquid from a previous ferment or whey
Combine everything in a 2 quart jar. I prefer the larger vessel to allow space for swirling. Cover loosely for 3 or 4 days, stirring each day to discourage mold. Alternately you can put this in an anaerobic jar, such as a Fido to further inhibit mold. I prefer the Fido. Small bubbles will appear which is the sign that fermentation is actually taking place. The liquid will develop a salty, earthy, tang. Drain the beet pieces (which you may use one more time for another batch), bottle, and refrigerate. The residual diced beets are still very flavorful and can be used in a salad. It's like getting two foods out of one vegetable. Wow X Two!