Beet Kvass + Pickled Beetroot

Ingredients
Per medium jar

2 organic beetroot, washed & trimmed but not peeled
1tsp sea salt to 200ml spring water

Optional: fresh ginger, caraway seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fennel seeds

Method

- In a clean jug, mix the salt and boiled water together until the salt has dissolved..

- Sterilise your glass jars and lids (recycled jars are fine to use) by filling with boiling water or by running through a dishwasher cycle.

- Trim all woody bits from the beetroot before cutting them into bitesized pieces.  Pop them in the sterilized jar along with and of the optional flavourings, leaving about 1.5inches of room at the top – wedge them under the 'shoulder' of the jar if you can.

- Pour the brine over the beets until completely submerged.  If you were unable to wedge the beets under the shoulder of the jar, roll up some cabbage leaves and use them to wedge the beets in the jar (this will prevent them from floating to the top during fermentation). 

- Leave in a room temp/cool place for 10 days before tasting.

- You can eat the beetroot and drink the liquid (a.k.a beet kvass).  If you save back a couple of beetroot pieces, fill the jar again with brine and go for a second ferment, which will produce more kvass.  Nothing goes to waste here!

I think this ferment is best after about 10 days; that’s when it tastes perfect to me.  The beauty of fermented vegetables is that their flavour changes the longer/shorter you leave them.  After 10 days, taste every couple of days and refrigerate when it’s to your taste.

You will need to ‘burp’ (technical term!) the jar a few times during fermentation to release some of the built up gas – you will know when to do it because the lid will become very tight and will not give at all if pressed (if you are using a clip top jar, the need to do this isn't so desperate as the clip top allows gasses to escape as and when).  To burp: over a sink or on kitchen paper, slightly unscrew the lid.  It will fizz like champagne… once the bubbles have calmed a little, check that the vegetables are still submerged.  If not, top up with some more brine (salt water) solution.  Screw the lid back on tightly and continue to ferment.

NB: During fermentation, the gas created will force the cauliflower to the surface, which causes some pieces to sit partially above water level.  If the vegetable isn’t submerged in the water, mould can develop.  If this happens, throw away that piece and continue to monitor – there’s no need to throw away the whole batch.


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