Looking for a fermented beet recipe? This fermented beets and cabbage mixture uses a combination of raw beetroot, cabbage (white or red), apple, ginger and garlic. This versatile and delicious sauerkraut can be tossed through salads and piled on top of your avocado toasts or even served along roast meats or fish.
I loved this crispy, crunchy, sour fermented beetroot and cabbage combination the first time I tried it! I use beetroots a lot: for making beet salads, beet crackers, beet soup with sauerkraut, a healing beet smoothie or a beetroot juice.
The earthiness and sweetness of beets is balanced and smoothed out by the crunchy, mild cabbage while the garlic and ginger gives it a kick and extra health benefits. And the apples provide just a hint of natural sweetness.
Also check out this fermented shaved carrot salad recipe.
Fermented Beet Sauerkraut With Garlic And Ginger
This fermented beets and cabbage recipe is perfect for cold and flu season. As it contains garlic and ginger, this makes a brilliant immune boosting, probiotic-rich, nutrient-dense super-food to keep you healthy.
Beets are one of my favorite vegetables and their blood purifying, immune stimulation, detoxifying and anti-inflammatory properties made me want to take advantage of that!
But I couldn’t ferment beets on their own because the sweet root vegetables gives the bacteria way too much sugar to eat and you end up with a very active batch that doesn’t keep long. It will produce a thick slimy juice that goes bad easily. Believe me, I tried it!
The only option is to ferment the beet together with cabbage, which is in low sugar. A general rule of thumb is to keep the ratio at 50% cabbage, and 45 % beetroot, then the other 5% – spices or other additional flavoring.
Here I opted for garlic and ginger – the best antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents known in nature!
Fermented Beets Benefits
It is already well known that probiotic-rich fermented foods have a lot of health benefits  help us fight inflammation, strengthen, heal and protect the gut lining and help us better absorb nutrients and minerals.
Plus they are not only beneficial for the gut health, but are essential for our mental health as well (as the brain function is connected to the gut function ).
1. Beets in particular are packed with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, loaded with essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, plus they are a great source of Vitamins: A, B, and C, as well as healthy fiber. And fermenting the beets, facilitates the absorption of these vitamins and minerals into the body.
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2. Long term beet fermentation (raw) also preserves these nutrients. The beneficial bacteria consume and break down (due to enzymes – not naturally present in the food before fermentation) the sugars and starches (naturally present in beets) into alcohols and acids. Thus acting like a natural preservative without using vinegar and sugar.
3. Lacto-fermented beets just like the raw beets, have very powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties, also they improve our intestinal flora and enzyme activity . Therefore fermented beets are excellent for our digestive system especially for those who have any autoimmune condition.
How To Ferment Beets And Cabbage (Recipe)
All you need to ferment the beets and other ingredients is salt, a touch of water (maybe), and a system to keep everything submerged in.
1. First work on shredding or slicing beets. Cut in whatever shape you desire. The chunkier the crunchier.
Personally, I like smaller thinner pieces because it works well as a garnish. Plus by exposing as much surface area as possible helps pull out the juices. Everything must be the same thickness, so that everything ferments evenly.
For this I’m using a mandoline to julienne the beets and apples and the slicer to thinly shred the cabbage. The ginger and garlic will be thinly grated also, the smaller the better.
2. Transfer the shredded cabbage to a large bowl with plenty of space for you to get your hands in and mix it around. Leave your beets and apples to the side for now.
3. Add salt. You’ll want to use a really nice, coarse, unprocessed good quality salt, like this Celtic Sea Salt.
4. Massage the cabbage mixture with your hands until it breaks down and becomes soft (about 3 min) and then let it sit for 10 minutes to give it time to break down more and release more juices.
5. Add the julienned beets, give it another 2 minute massage then mix in the apples, ginger and garlic until it is combined evenly.
6. Transfer into a container. Here you can use a fermentation kit but if you are willing to improvise like I do, just use a regular half gallon glass jar, and find weights (like a small heavy glass dish). Keeping them in an anaerobic environment (submerged in the liquid) during the fermentation period is the key to success.
7. Pack the everything tightly, pushing it all the way down until it submerges in its own juices. Leave about 1½ inches of space from the top of the jar. If there is not enough brine to cover the cabbage, add more brine by combining a teaspoon of sea salt with 1 cup of water.
8. Cover the top of the jar with a small plate (or saucer) or a coffee filter secured with a rubber band, this will prevent contamination with other bacteria and will give it enough oxygen to keep fermenting as well.
9. Culture at room temperature (65-70°F is preferred) for 4-5 days before transferring it to the refrigerator. The longer it stays out the more sour it becomes, so this is a matter of personal taste. Once refrigerated, the fermented beets and cabbage will keep for up to a year.
Tips For Fermenting Beets And Cabbage
- The golden ratio for fermenting is 1.5 tsp of salt per lb (~500g) of vegetables. But I’m using a little bit less. When fermenting sweet vegetables like beets, the use of cabbage, which is in low sugar will give the best results. A general rule of thumb is to keep the ratio at 50% cabbage, and 45 % beetroot, then the other 5% – spices or other additional flavoring.
- You don’t want to introduce any non-clean bacteria to your fermented beets, so make sure any utensils or fingers used are clean.
- When fermenting your vegetables, leave at room temperature for 3 days at minimum, or for up to three weeks maximum. The longer you leave your pickle, the more sour its flavour will become.
- During the first few days of fermentation: carbon dioxide will be produced. The jar might become very full with liquid that can seep out. That’s why I recommend not screwing a lid. Instead place a small saucer (or lid – loosely) on top, and a larger plate under the jar, to collect the overflowing liquid.
Other Beet or Fermented Recipes You Might Like
Fermented Beets + Cabbage (Probiotic Rich Sauerkraut)
- 2 medium raw beets - (about 4 cups, julienned about 3.5 lb or 1600g)
- 1 small cabbage head - (about 5 cups, shredded – about 3.5 lb or 1600g)
- 1 inch ginger - peeled and thinly grated or minced
- 3 cloves garlic - peeled and thinly grated or minced
- 1 medium apple - any kind
- 2 tbsp Celtic Sea Salt
Prepare The Veggies
- Wash the cabbage really well in cold running water, remove and discard any discolored outer leaves. Wash and peel the beets, ginger and garlic. No need to peel the apple.
- For this I’m using a mandoline to julienne the beets and apples, and thinly shred the cabbage. Or julienne with a chef’s knife. All separate. The ginger and garlic will be thinly grated also, the smaller the better.
Toss With Salt
- Transfer the shredded cabbage to a large bowl with plenty of space for you to get your hands in and mix it around. Leave your beets and apples to the side for now. Add salt. You’ll want to use a really nice, coarse, unprocessed good quality salt, like this Celtic Sea Salt.
- Massage the cabbage with your hands until it breaks down and becomes soft (about 3 min) and then let it sit for 10 minutes or so until the mixture has wilted a bit and released more salty juice (water). Add the julienned beets, give it another 2 minute massage then mix in the apples, ginger and garlic until it is combined evenly.
Place In Jars To Ferment
- Pack the mixture and juice into clean mason jars. Firmly pack down until the liquid comes up. Liquid should lightly cover the mixture. And leave at least 1-2 inches space at the top for expansion.
- If there is not enough liquid to cover the cabbage, mix 1 tsp salt with 1-1.5 cups of water, and add until the water level is enough to cover the mixture. Use 1 or 2 cabbage leaves over the top to keep it from floating up. Place a clean glass weight over the leaves and press down so everything is submerged under the liquid.
- Cover loosely with a lid and place on a plate to catch any overflowing liquid. Place on your kitchen counter in a shaded place for 3-5 days. The number of days for fermenting will depend on the room temperature.The next day tiny bubbles should rise to the top, indicating it started to ferment. If scum appears, remove it with a spoon.
- After 5 days place it in the fridge to slow down the fermentation process. The longer it ferments, the better it will taste! In about 10 days you can start eating.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.
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