Recipe: Fermented Beets

beets watercolor by Leora Wenger
Beets, watercolor and ink pen on paper by Leora Wenger, January 2014

Beets and early spring: do you associate the two? In any case, I’ll teach you how to make fermented beets. You only need two food ingredients: a bunch of beets and some salt. We won’t be cooking the beets, although I did find recipes that cooked the beets before fermenting. Cooking might make it easier to digest, but it also might kill off some of the nutrients. And I like the crunch of raw beets. You will also need a sharp knife, a cutting board, a glass jar (a mason jar is fine), a small baby food jar, a piece of thin cloth and a rubber band.


  • 3 or 4 beets
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • water

Wash the beets as best you can and cut off the ends (the part with the leaves and the part that looks like a tail). Cut each beet in half once and slice as thin as you can. Place the beets in a glass jar with a wide top. Add sea salt. Add enough water to cover the beets. Place a small jar on top of the beets to push them down into the brine. The beets need to be submerged in water. Cover the jar with a thin cloth and hold the cloth in place with a rubber band. Wait about two weeks. Fermented beets! In the heat of the summer, you may only have to wait two days instead of two weeks. If you are fermenting for the first time, you should check it every few days to see how the flavor changes. Really, you should do that whenever you ferment, but in reality you might just move on to other things. If you feel your beets are done fermenting, store them in the refrigerator.

You can even drink the liquid – I believe it is called beet kvass. I mix mine with a bit of seltzer.

See also: Three Beet Recipes

If I am organized enough, I might make these fermented beets two weeks before Pesach (Passover).

16 thoughts on “Recipe: Fermented Beets

  • I will definitely try this recipe. It is so simple!

    I love the water color, and love how delicate looking the tail is on the beet on the left. The tones are lovely. Beautiful!

  • My art teacher friend who lives on a ranch and has a big garden does this kind of stuff all the time. Canning and preserving really is a lost art, but it’s good that people still carry on. If I had more room for a bigger garden, I would probably give it a go.

    • Thank you! The easiest fermented vegetable I make is garlic. Throw some peeled garlic cloves in a little glass jar, put in some sea salt, cover with water, cover with cloth and rubber band, and wait a week or three. The fermented cloves are much more subtle than their raw cousins. Also, they are supposedly very good for boosting the immune system.

  • I adore the image. The recipe is very cool and is on my must make list. Would mind if I made and showcased on my blog, with a spotlight on you of course. 🙂

    • I would be most honored! I keep talking about fermenting and wondering if anyone will give it a try. The guru on fermenting is a someone named Sandor Kraut. After wanting to start, I got my impetus from watching one of his YouTube videos. I now own two of his books.

  • Found your blog in one of the guest post you wrote for Jeri (it was about the importance of illustrations). And trust me I am glad i made this discovery! 🙂 Though I have a very little knowledge about recipes,but your drawings grabbed my attention! Looking forward to learn some basics from you(about sketches, water color etc)!

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