I’m new to the Denton community, so I’m not sure how crunchy you guys are. After my daughter was born, I got really into the Weston A. Price Philosophy of nutrient-rich foods and Sally Fallon’s seminal work Nourishing Traditions. My daughter’s first food was raw calf’s liver. That’s pretty crunchy.
One of the tenants of this philosophy is ingesting naturally fermented dairy and vegetables. Essentially, it’s “pickling” using naturally occurring micro-organisms as opposed to vinegar. There are about a zillion informative websites out there (in addition to the text mentioned above) that can fill you in on the details, but this is a good starting place for lacto-fermented foods.
I used a bunch of golden beets from my CSA for this recipe - it ended up being about 1 1/4 beets before roasting. After cutting they fit perfectly into one of the many peanut butter jars I have hanging around my house (the peanut butter is good - the free glass jar is even better). I also made a batch with a few straggler red beets that hadn’t made it into any other recipes. Feel free to double this recipe to make a full quart or halve it to make a pint if that’s what you have to work with.
For this recipe used the whey I strained off my Snowville yogurt to make Cucumber Frozen Yogurt. You can use the whey from the dairy product of your choice, but I wouldn’t suggest a sweetened or flavored variety. Also, if you have no whey, just increase the salt - the process will happen using the naturally occurring micro-organisms in the environment.
It goes without saying that everything you use for this process should be clean. But don’t worry too much about sterility. If a batch goes bad on you, you will know - and nothing on the face of the planet will convince you to eat it!
Makes roughly 1 pint beets
10-12 small beets
Seeds from 2 cardamom pods (optional)
1/2 tbs sea salt
2 tbs whey (or, increase salt to 1 tbs)
1/2 cup filtered water
- Prick beets in several places and bake at 300 for 3 hours or until soft.
- Peel and cut into 1/4 cut julienne.
- Place beets in a clean, pint-sized jar. Press down lightly on the top of the beets with something flat like a meat tenderizer.
- Combine remaining ingredients and and pour over beets, adding more water if needed to cover beets completely. The top of the beets should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.
- Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before refrigerating.
- The flavor will continue to develop in cold storage. Experiment to find out what you prefer!