Easy Lacto-Fermented Beets and Turnips
About The Recipe
When did we get so lazy and time deprived that throwing a few chopped veggies in a brine of salted water become too difficult? We’ll spend a fortune on vitamins and supplements when really, it’s so easy and inexpensive to gain a host of health benefits from consuming fermented vegetables (which by the way was how foods were preserved before, vacuum packing, freezing and canning become an option.) During the fermentation process, the salt in the brine inhibits growth of putrefying bacteria which results in the production of lactic acid to preserve vegetables for many months. The perfect foods for everyone - vegetarians, vegans and meat lovers - to enjoy.
Take this yummy fermented beets and turnips recipe for example. So simple to make, easy to enjoy, and absolutely brimming with nutritious goodness. Turnips have been a popular pickling ingredient from Turkey right across the Middle East. Served as part of a mezze platter, with salad, falafel and hummus, or simply on their own as a snack, these delicious pickles are delectable. The addition of beetroot gives the turnips a beautiful pink tinge. Fermenting beets on their own can get tricky as they contain a relatively high sugar content that can easily convert to alcohol. However, mixing them with other vegetables like turnips will prevent this from happening while at the same time, naturally sweetening the preserve for interesting flavor contrasts.
The lactobacilli which produce lactic acid during the natural pickling process improves digestion and produces enzymes that work towards strengthening our immune system. Beets and turnips are super healthy foods to consume on their own but fermenting them will boost their vitamin and antioxidant content. Here are just a handful of some of the many health benefits attained from eating this delicious pickle on a regular basis:
- Consuming high amounts of cruciferous vegetables like turnips have been associated with a lower risk of cancer.
- Rich in manganese which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
- Excellent source of Vitamin K known for its anti inflammatory properties.
- High in immune-boosting vitamin C and dietary fiber.
- High in folate and potassium essential for healthy nerve and muscle function.
Tip* turnips can be a perfect replacement for potatoes as it contains only 1/3rd calories in comparison to those in potatoes.
Let’s Get started
Young turnips or “baby turnips” are best in this recipe but not necessary. Both the beets and turnips, hold their shape well during the fermentation process delivering a nice sweet and sour bite when ready.
What You Need
- 2 Cups of water, non-chlorinated
- 2 Tbsp. unrefined sea salt
- 340 Grams (12 ounces) young turnips, cut into ⅓ inch matchsticks (about 1 ½ cups after cutting)
- 340 Grams (12 ounces) red beetroot, cut into ⅓ inch matchsticks (about 2 cups after cutting)
- Easy Fermenter Lids (not required)
- Fermenting Weights (not required)
- In a saucepan heat water. Add salt and stir till dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
- Arrange the beets and turnips in alternating layers in a pre-sterilized, wide mouth (1 quart) mason glass jar.
- Carefully pour the cooled brine over the vegetables until completely covered but leaving 1 ½ inches of headspace.
- It is always recommended that you keep your veggies below the brine. If you are looking for tips to keep your vegetables submerged check out our guide here: Tips on keeping your vegetables submerged
- Cover the jar with the Easy Fermenter Lid and place the Fermentation Weights in the jar to ensure perfect fermentation results.
- Store in a cool, dark place (room temperature 60-70°F is preferred,) for 1 to 2 weeks. Allow to ferment for longer if you'd like the acidity and flavor to develop further.
- Once jar has been opened, move to cold storage. The pickles will keep for over a year.
Use this delicious preserve as a garnish to impress family and friends. The refreshing, tangy-sweet flavor and bright pink color of the parsnips will transform ordinary meals into a culinary triumph. A few pieces tossed into a fresh leaf salad or creamy potato salad has the most wonderful effect on the overall aesthetic appearance of the dish. A wonderful condiment to compliment any type of food from simple sandwiches to complex curries.
Variations To The Ferment
Once you’re down with this technique there’s no limit to the possibilities ahead. In the traditional Middle-Eastern version garlic is added to the recipe which gives a wonderful mellow pungent aroma to the the preserve. Substitute the turnips with parsnips or swede. Onions, sprigs of thyme and bay leaves make wonderful flavor enhancers.
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