Fermented Beet Salad

A probiotic salad with sweet ginger flavor is a good start to a meal.  It  stimulates the appetite and prepares the body to calmly digest.  This fermented beet salad has a little less salt than pickled beets.  The celery adds some natural sodium, while the ginger, pepper corns, and fennel add carminative digestives.  It has a subtle sweetness without the vinegary sharpness of pickled beets.

Winter Probiotic Fermented Beet Salad

Yield: 16 –  ½ cup servings; 2 quarts


• 1 small red onion

• 7 to 9 medium red beets

• 3 stalks of celery

• 1 tbsp. salt

• 1 tsp. whole pepper corns

• 2 inch piece of fresh ginger root

• 2 heads of garlic

• 1 tsp. of fennel seed

• ¼ cup whey


Peel and slice the red onion into thin half-moons.  Wash, peel and thinly slice the beets.  If you are using large beets, half the beets before slicing them.   Wash the celery stalks and finely slice them. Peel the garlic cloves.  Peel the fresh ginger using the edge of a spoon.  Grate the fresh ginger on the coarse edge of a box grater. This is easier if you grate with the grain of the ginger.

Peel garlic and crush in a garlic press.

Using a mortar and pestle, coarsely crush the pepper corns and fennel seed.

Combine all the vegetables and spices in a bowl to mix completely.  Sprinkle with salt.  Stir the salt into the vegetables.  Stir in whey.  Cover the bowl.  Leave it for three hours to allow the salt to draw moisture out of the beets.

Prepare a two-quart, wide-mouth mason jar by thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing it.  Sanitize the Fermentools fermentation lock, glass weight, and lid.

Put the beet mixture in the Mason jar.  Top up with filtered water, if necessary, to fully cover the vegetables.  Allow a 1 to 1 ½ -inch head space for expansion inside the jar.

Place the glass weight in place to fully submerge the vegetables under the liquid.  Place the fermentation lock in place.

Put the filled jar somewhere out of direct sunlight, at room temperature.  It will take from five days to a week for the jar to finish bubbling and the lactic bacteria to fully colonize the jar.  Once the bubbling stops, remove the fermentation weight.  Replace the fermentation lock with a normal jar lid.

Refrigerate the finished ferment.  The flavors will become more complex over time.  This may be kept refrigerated for up to a year, without loss of quality, but you’ll want to eat it soon.

Serve it in small, half-cup portions as an appetizer to stimulate digestion.

This ferment also makes a very nice addition as a flavor booster to borscht.


Fermentation and traditional ways of food preservation fascinate Chris. She has been experimenting with microbes since she bought her first San Francisco Sourdough kit in the 1970s. Her repertoire of ferments expanded to include fruit wine and herbal wine making, kombucha and kefir, cheese and dairy ferments, sauerkraut and kimchi, as well as lesser known fermented fruits and vegetables. To feed her fascination, Chris recently took a university course on the Human Microbiome, and gained a new appreciation for the role that lactobacillus plays in human wellness. Chris shares her knowledge with her readers on her blog at JoybileeFarm.com.

Leave a Comment