What To Do With Beets (Plus Recipe For Fermented Shredded Beets)

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What to Do with Beets

Beets! When blessed with a harvest of beets (as we were last weekend), you can’t help but say to yourself, “Now what am I going to do with all these?” And of course *some* little people may be thinking, “Oh, NO, it’s time for beets again.”

Facing reluctant beet-eaters, your best approach for familial happiness is to prepare beets in multiple ways. You’ll make full use of the harvest and get lots of beet nutrition in your diet. Beets are shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, plus they’re beneficial for detoxification (source).

In this round-up of nutritious beet recipes, I’m going to begin with a brand-new recipe for fermented shredded beets, and then share other ideas for eating up those nutritious beets. Be sure to share your favorite ways to use beets in the comments.

Fermented Shredded Beets

Fermented Shredded Beets

  • 6 cups shredded raw beets (peel beets beforehand)
  • 3/4 to 1 tablespoon sea salt

Yields 1 quart. Combine beets and salt in a mixing bowl. Let sit 5 minutes for the mixture to get watery. Pack in a clean quart-size jar, leaving 1 inch of head space for release of juices and gases. Cover tightly with lid or airlock. Let ferment at room temperature for two days. Burp jar as needed. Chill. Keeps several weeks to months in cold storage. Serve with salad or alongside eggs.

Oven-Roasted Beets


We love oven-roasted beets! They’re sweet and tender. Delicious tossed with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Or drizzled with ranch dressing. Or, I love to drizzle with plain yogurt, then sprinkle with sea salt and dried mint.

Go here to find out how to make easy oven-roasted beets (plus a free video).

Pickled Beets

Pickled Beets and Turnips

You can combine peeled and sliced raw beets with other root vegetables (such as turnips, as shown), cover with brine and let ferment into crunchy beet pickles. They’re delicious! Here’s the recipe.

Also, Nourishing Traditions contains a recipe for pickled beets using already roasted beets.

Beet Kvass


Nourishing Traditions reports that beet kvass, a traditional fermented beverage, is an “excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.” It tastes earthy and salty and rich. Sometimes it takes awhile to grow on you, but once it does, it’s hard not to have it around for a daily dose.

Here’s my recipe for beet kvass. Combine with carrots for carrot-beet kvass!



Kanji is a spicy Indian kvass made from beets (of course), plus carrot, hot pepper, and mustard. Wow, it’s good.

You can find my recipe in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods, or my Lacto-Fermentation eBook or eCourse.

Roasted Beet and Watermelon Salad from MyHumbleKitchen.com


Last week, Diana from My Humble Kitchen shared a beautiful Roasted Beet and Watermelon Salad. Roasted beets are tossed with watermelon chunks, chopped beet greens, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and pepper, and then topped with feta cheese. Mmmm… could a salad be any more tantalizing?

Click here to go to the recipe.

What About the Greens?

They’re edible, nutritious and delicious! Lightly steam them  and drain away the water; this reduces oxalic acid (more info here). Toss with butter, sea salt, and pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice if desired.

And now all that’s left is to ask you: What do you do with beets? Please share your favorite recipes or ideas in the comments!

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  1. says

    What a great post!! I’ve just started buying beets and so far have only used them for kvass and roasted them with some potatoes once. I’m excited about all the other recipes you’ve listed and will be trying them very soon. Thanks, Wardeh!!

    • says

      Guro — Yes, I know it is mentioned in Nourishing Traditions under the directions for beet kvass. (Don’t use shredded beets.)

      However, my shredded beets turned out fantastic. But I expected that because we’ve had delicious shredded fermented beets from Wise Choice Market. To be on the safe side, one could use a starter culture to promote a lactic acid fermentation. I did not use a starter culture, though, and I fermented a short two days. My experience was nothing like what was shown in that blog post. :)

  2. Kelly says

    Just in time. Order 2 cases of beets from Azure Standard. Planned my usual to ferment shredded beets for salad and make beet kvass, but was looking for other alternatives.

  3. Dae says

    Hi Wardee,

    Thanks for the beet recipes. I feel so much better when I eat them on a regular basis and I need some new ways to eat them. I was thinking of steaming the greens and dehydrating them to add to my “greens” bag for soups this winter….however, was wondering if you have a creative and yummy idea for the stems? They have so much color in them I assume they are really good for you as well. I wondered if you ever made them into pickles or just diced them into kvass, or do you ditch them? Thanks again, I really enjoy your classes and am looking forward to the new class coming up!

  4. Karen says

    Finally! A post on fermenting beets … I’ve been looking on several blogs and haven’t found any till now! :) I had loads of beets from the garden this year, pickled most of them the “usual” way and decided to try fermenting several quarts, having read about it in Nourishing Traditions. I used 1 tablespoon of salt per quart of beets (which were cooked enough to slip off the skins), covered them with cheesecloth held with a canning ring and they got moldy on the top. There are little bubbles throughout the brine, although the brine is more like gel – thick and goopy. If I scoop off the moldy part, the beets smell nice – like regular pickled beets. Are they safe to eat? I want to try them so badly but am afraid I’ll get sick! What are the dangers of eating food that hasn’t been fermented properly?

    • says

      Hi Penni,

      Yes, open the jar to release the pent up gas. I always burp my jars over the sink after experiencing one to many fizzy jars and messes. :)

  5. Günes says

    Help! I’m a fermenting rookie. Some youtube videos and fermenting instructions say not to burp the jars because it will cause mold. Others say if you don’t burp the jars, they will explode. Some say to slightly burp the jars, which I don’t know how to do. Can you please help me. I don’t have fancy jars, just plain mason ones. Thank you!!!!

  6. Jiska says

    What I always make with beets:
    I wash them, wrap them in aluminium foil and put them in the oven for about 45 minutes (200 degrees Celsius) I let them cool down, peel and chop them in chunks. Add a diced onion, Crème Freche/Sour cream and some ground pepper. This makes a delicious sweet and fresh side dish.
    And because the dish is very bright pink in colour, its always a favourite amongst my little nieces.

  7. Herbwifemama says

    I love posts like this, because this is how it is when you have a garden. You get a lot of one kind of thing, and you need to figure out how to preserve it, and make it several different ways. I’m not a regular reader, but I am a long time reader, and if you don’t already have posts like this with other garden items, I request more please! :)


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