Fermented food is delicious, healthful, and easy to make. Try out this cabbage and beet ferment at home!
What is Fermented Food?
Folks have understood the magic of fermentation for thousands of years. In fact, the oldest recorded evidence of fermented food dates back to 7,000 BC!
In simple terms, fermentation occurs when microorganisms break down a food sugar and turn it into something else. Through fermentation, milk can become cheese, wheat can become bread, and tea can become kombucha.
Fermented foods are everywhere, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t an amazing addition to your diet. Eating more fermented foods has been shown to have positive effects on everything from mood to lifespan – not to mention, they taste good, too.
Fermented foods contain vast numbers of beneficial bacteria, which can aid digestion and improve overall health. However, there are other perks, too. For one, those same beneficial bacteria begin breaking down foods during the fermentation process, which can make the food easier to digest. Additionally, this process can enable your body to more easily absorb key nutrients from the food you eat.
This recipe combines the goodness of fermented food with another nutrient powerhouse – the beet. These round, red roots are packed with Betalain. Betalain is a natural pigment that is loaded with antioxidants and inflammatory compounds. Beets also feature plenty of nitrates, which can help lower blood pressure and improve endurance.
Whew! That’s a lot of nutritional benefit for such a simple recipe. Here’s how to whip up a fast, yummy cabbage and beet ferment that will leave you feeling satisfied and full of energy.
Cabbage Beet Ferment Recipe
2 pounds red cabbage
2 medium beets (both cabbage and beets are available in the Martindale’s produce section!)
5 teaspoons sea salt
2 cups cold water
- Quarter and core cabbage then slice into ribbons. Peel and shred beets.
- Place cabbage and beets in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt. Toss mixture and allow to stand for 5 minutes, mixing occasionally until moisture comes out of the vegetables.
- Add cold water. Press and squeeze mixture with your hands to soften, approx. 3-5 minutes. Have fun kneading your mixture – the more into it you get, the more fun you’ll have! Let your inner kid out.
- Place mixture in a 2-quart sterilized mason jar or fermenting crock. Place a glass or ceramic weight to submerge cabbage mixture, then lightly cover and place in a dark place. Many traditional ferments, such as kimchi, are buried underground. However, a kitchen cabinet will do in a pinch. Let ferment for 3-4 weeks. Cabbage will take on a pleasantly sour aroma and taste.*
- Close jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.
*if any off odor, taste, or mold develops, discard.
There you have it. It’s a breeze to make fermented foods at home. This mixture works great as a side or garnish to almost any savory dish, or eat it on its own for a crisp and refreshing snack!
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.