Friday, 7 August 2015

Lacto-Fermented Cinnamon, Apple & Beetroot

One of the first veggies I fermented alongside carrot and cabbage was beetroot. I thought it would be something the kids would like and the addition of cinnamon and apple gives this ferment a fun twist. The fermentation process preserves the beetroot and creates a yummy sour, crunchy pickled taste that can be eaten on it's own, added to salads or as a side. I love to have this fermented cinnamon, apple & beetroot mixed through some greens and crumbled feta. You can even use the bright coloured brine to dress your salad and add more probiotic power to your food.

Lacto-Fermented Cinnamon, Apple & Beetroot
Lacto-Fermented Cinnamon, Apple & Beetroot
Beetroot is naturally sweet and packed with benefits that include lowering your blood pressure, increasing stamina, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, is full of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, potassium & B folate (which helps prevent birth defects) and assists with detoxification to help purify your blood and liver. Fermenting vegetables increases the foods nutritional value and also makes them more bio-available. So you are essentially creating your own superfood.

I also love boosting my foods with other natural superfoods like cinnamon. I prefer to use ceylon cinnamon which is a little more expensive but doesn't contain coumarin which can damage the liver and kidneys if consumed in large amounts. I wrote a little about the differences in the common cassia variety vs ceylon cinnamon in my fresh ginger, turmeric & cinnamon tea recipe which you can read here.

I always like to use a culture starter (Body Ecology's Veggie Culture Starter) to ensure each batch starts off with the right bacteria and have found this to always produce consistent results. This is optional as using the right amount of salt is enough to prohibit the growth of bad bacteria while the good bacteria start working. I will list the recipe and directions below with and without a starter.

(If you live in Australia, you can order your Body Ecology products from here. Enter discount code 'loveurbelly' for 5% off or order direct from Body Ecology USA.)

Lacto-Fermented Cinnamon, Apple & Beetroot

Makes 1 x 500ml jar

You will need:
  • 1 x 500ml glass jar with flip top lid (like a fido jar - these jars have always worked best for me as the rubber seal is airtight but allows the gasses to escape)
  • 2 medium beetroot (organic if possible)
  • 1/2 small apple (organic if possible)
  • 1 tsp culture starter left at room temperature - optional (I use Body Ecology's Veggie Culture Starter - buy here in Australia)
  • 1/2 tsp natural salt (buy on iherb or amazon) or 1 tbsp natural sea salt if not using a culture starter)
  • 1 ceylon cinnamon stick (buy on iherb or Amazon) or 1/4 tsp ceylon cinnamon powder (buy on iherb or amazon
  • 1/2 tsp organic sugar (it's ok the sugar will be consumed by the end of the fermentation)
  • enough filtered water (or boiled, cooled tap water) to fill the jar
Lacto-Fermented Cinnamon, Apple & Beetroot
Lacto-Fermented Cinnamon, Apple & Beetroot

Method using a culture starter: 

(recommended if you are trying to beat any superbugs like clostridium difficile and for consistent results):
  • wash your jar with hot water and vinegar (no soap), allow to air dry
  • wash the cabbage leaves and allow to air dry
  • dissolve the 1/2 tsp in some warm water, once cooled completely add the tsp of culture starter so they can wake up and start feeding on the sugar
  • wash and peel the beetroot, then finely dice and place in clean jar
Lacto-Fermented Cinnamon, Apple & Beetroot
finely dice the beetroot and apple 
  • wash and peel the apple, then finely dice and place in clean jar
  • allow a 1 inch gap at the top, if it is overfilled, remove some beetroot and apple
  • add the salt and gently mix in the jar
  • add the sugar and culture starter mixture to the jar
  • fill the jar with filtered water enough to cover the veggies allowing 1 inch space to the top
Lacto-Fermented Cinnamon, Apple & Beetroot
add the cinnamon and brine
  • roll up the cabbage leaves and press on top (this will keep the veggies under the brine to ferment)
Lacto-Fermented Cinnamon, Apple & Beetroot
add the rolled up cabbage leaves to keep the beetroot under the brine
  • sit on a plate to catch any liquids that may spill out
  • allow 7-10 days before tasting
  • if the weather is quite cold, wait at least 14 days
  • keep out of direct sunlight
  • once opened, move to the fridge and only use clean utensils (no hands!)
  • I keep all my ferments on the bench until needed. Some have lasted a year on the bench but I would recommend to consume them within 30 days to get the most benefits as they good bacteria start to die off once they run out of food to consume (mostly sugars)
  • I never get mould with this method using the flip top jar, no need to burp as the rubber seal allows gasses to escape and keeps the jar airtight
  • it's very normal to hear hissing and spluttering as the gasses escape, a good sign the fermentation process is underway
  • enjoy with salads, as a side or on it's own!
Method without starter culture:
  • following the method above, use 1 tbsp of salt dissolved in about 300mls of filtered water or cool boiled tap water instead of the 1 tsp of salt and starter culture
  • increasing the salt should inhibit the growth of bad bacteria to allow the good bacteria to proliferate
Watch a quick 15 second slide on how to

I really recommend the below books if you want to know more about fermentation, I found them really useful when I first started out:

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz
Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz
The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates



  1. A common vegetable in salads, the root of the Beetroot is deep red to purple in colour and is extremely high in many nutrients, minerals and antioxidants