Spice Pickled Beets

by lydia on October 8, 2013

Beets are in season late summer through winter, but to me they always seem like a fall item. Last week I wrote about the health benefits of beets for the liver and gallbladder, you can read about that here; Beets: A Healthy Bile Builder. I personally love beets and try to eat them regularly while they are in season. I’ve seen some definite benefit from beet kvass and other forms of fermented beets to my health.

These pickled beets are not like the ones you may be used to as they are not cooked first. Cooking veggies kind of defeats the benefits you get from fermenting them. So, I created this recipe to try pickled beets a bit differently than most of us modern Americans are used to. All that to forewarn you, that these will have a nice slight crunch to them, instead of being tender. I love the flavors and these make a nice little side accompaniment to a main dish. I hope you will try them out and let me know if you liked them!


Spice Pickled Beets
Recipe type: Side Dish
  • 1 quart beets, peeled, quartered and sliced anyway you prefer
  • 2% Brine (19 grams of sea salt per 1 quart of water)
  • 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. cardamom pods
  • 1 Tbsp. whole cloves
  • 12 allspice berries
  • 1 'sweet' cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp. dried ginger root, or powder
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg, grated fresh if possible
  1. Warm 1 cup of salt brine enough to dissolve 3 tbsp of sweetener. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. In a 1.5L jar, add all the spices.
  3. Pack beets in tightly.
  4. Pour sugar/salt brine over the top and use a Dunk’R to keep everything under the brine.
  5. Seal tightly, don’t forget to add water to the airlock.
  6. Let set at room temperature for about 5-7 days or until bubble activity dies down.
  7. Remove to cold storage and enjoy!
  8. These beets just get better with time and will last a good year or so in the fridge.


Equipment Needed For Basic Brine Ferments

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Heather Brandt October 15, 2013 at 11:23 am

would honey work?

lydia October 15, 2013 at 11:30 am

Yes Heather you can – if using honey, you’ll want to heat the honey to kill all the good stuff in it. The enzymes and natural occurring bacteria can interfere with the natural fermentation process. To do this, bring the water with salt and honey to a boil. Let cool to room temp before pouring over the beets.

Michael October 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Do you have a suggestion for how to approximate 19g of sea salt? The typical kitchen scale won’t weigh such a small amount with any accuracy.

lydia October 15, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Yes Michael. If you have a fine grain salt like Himalayan pink salt or Real salt, it’s 5 gms per teaspoon. So 4 tsp per liter should be right (20 gms per liter is 2%).

Michael October 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Thank you! We use Real Salt.

Lisa May 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm

I’m not familiar with the term ” add water to the airlock” can you be more specific.

lydia May 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm

So I use an anerobic vessel that includes an airlock – the airlock gets added once the jar is clamped down and it needs to have water in it up to the little engraved line.

Here is a guide with a picture so you can see what I mean: http://www.probioticjar.com/quick-start-guide.html

Christina Mendoza June 18, 2014 at 2:26 am

I’m a little confused. At the bottom of the page, there is a section titled “Equipment Needed For Basic Brine Ferments.” A product called “Vegetable Starter Culture” is shown here, but isn’t listed in the ingredients or recipe. Would I need to add starter culture, or just the ingredients listed? Would it be healthier to add the culture?

lydia June 18, 2014 at 5:22 am

Hi Christina,

You don’t need the culture starter, and no a starter won’t necessarily make the ferment healthier. Use the starter when you have less than optimal ingredients or you don’t know the source of your beets. It will help get a ferment like that started. I barely ever use a culture starter – the only time I definitely use it is when I ferment potatoes.

Christina Mendoza June 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Thanks for the prompt and helpful reply, Lydia! Your recipe sounds delicious, and I can’t wait to try it!

lydia June 22, 2014 at 6:51 am

You are most welcome Christina!

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