Some ferments are more acidic and their taste is something your pallet needs to get used to so it is good to start with a sweeter version. One of my favourite ferments is a beetroot and carrot ferment and because both my children like it I will provide the recipe this month.
1 kg of beetroot, peeled and grated
1 kg carrots, grated
3 tablespoons sea salt
Grate root vegetables as coarsely or as finely as you prefer.
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. I prefer to do that in a stainless steel saucepan so that I can pound them better later on. Let stand for 10 minutes to release juices. In the meantime sterilise jar/fermentation vessel with boiling water and dry in the oven at 100 °C for 20 minutes.
Pound vegetables with a wooden pounder for 10 minutes to release juices.
Divide into widemouthed jars or a crock. Make sure the juices are divided evenly amongst the jars if more than one is used. Press down firmly with the pounder using the end that fits until juices come up to the top. Make sure to leave 3-5 cm at the top to prevent spillage. If there is not enough natural vegetable juice top up jar with a brine (see above).
Add your weight/s and airlock and cover tightly.
Keep at room temperature for 3-7 days. Check and taste the ferment after a few days. Remove any scum and mold if present and wash the weights before replacing. Top up with brine if necessary. As time passes, the flavour will get stronger. In warm weather the ferment might be ready in just a few days, in cold weather it can take 4-6 weeks. Once it tastes to your liking, remove weight and airlock and fasten regular lid onto the jar and store in the fridge. Enjoy its health benefits daily.
Please note that beetroot ferments can sometimes become slimy. To prevent this from happening ferment at low temperatures (around 18 degrees) and use enough salt. Topping up with a salty brine is also a good way to make sure vegetables are submerged and have access to enough salt.
Can be eaten raw just as it is with bread, salad or meat. Goes really well with savoury meat dishes (I love it with venison steaks) and I remember from my childhood that we ate Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) in Germany with fatty, not so easy digestible meat dishes or sausages.
Do not heat before consumption as you might kill those beneficial bacterias you are after!