Love Your Gut: Ferment Your Beets Making Fermented-Beet Kraut

| 3/18/2016 12:17:09 PM

Tags: food preservation, beets, root vegetables, fermentation, Chinese medicine, spring, eggs, recipes, Kirsten K Shockey, Oregon,

Beet Kraut in Jars

The word suggests a coiled energy ready to burst forth, which is exactly what this season delivers. There is a rush of unseen commotion—seed, bulbs and roots waking up under the ground, then bursting out of the earth in an explosion of green underfoot. The songs of birds, frogs and the hushed suckling of fox kits born in dens break the winter quiet.

Humans too, find themselves needing to move. We are eager to open the window to let our homes inhale the fresh vernal air and replace what is stale. We find we long for change in our bodies as well. We’ve all experienced the longing that we call “spring fever”.

Traditional Chinese medicine describes this time as one when our liver and gallbladder need to move the stagnant energy of winter. Many of the vegetables that are seasonally available this time of year support the needs of our bodies during this change. Without getting into the intricacies of the medicine, we can recognize that beets, burdock root, radishes, ginger, turmeric, parsnips and turnips are the appropriate foods to give us the verve we need in the coming months.

For me, the soul-warming root based soups no longer feel like the right nourishment, I’m ready for crisp and fresh. However, we can reinvent any of these roots for freshness and added health benefits through fermentation. So let’s ferment some beets!

The health benefits of beets are tremendous. The striking crimson color is beautiful and also part of what makes beets healthy. Interestingly, Traditional Chinese Medicine sees the red foods as blood food—nourishing, building, and keeping it moving. Western medicine, with its scientific analysis, confirms that beets improve blood flow and arterial health while reducing blood pressure. The high folate content and bioflavonoids keep our blood and bodies strong. To these things, add the health benefits of raw probiotic rich and vitamin enhanced fermented vegetables and the result is a real power food.

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