BY Suzette Smith
Recipes by Jaime Lynn Ruiz
Raw beets and raw beet juice should be consumed in small doses because of their high sugar content. However, when beets are fermented, they are among the healthiest vegetables available, because most of the sugar is eaten up by beneficial bacteria during the fermentation process, while the other health-boosting ingredients remain.
Fermented foods are also chock full of probiotics, or good bacteria, which are extremely important for balanced gut health. Studies have found fermented beets have a number of additional benefits beyond probiotics, including lowering blood pressure due to the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide helps to relax and dilate blood vessels that in turn improve blood flow. Additionally, fermented beets have been linked to an increase in stamina, mental clarity and reduced inflammation, as well as a boost in immune function because they are high in vitamin C.
The bottom line? The more you incorporate fermented beets into your diet, the better. But many people aren’t sure how best to add beets to a meal. The simple recipes below are a great place to start!
Fermented Beet Hummus
• 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• 3 cloves of garlic
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1/4 cup grated fermented beets
• 1/4 cup tahini
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup ice water (optional)
Rinse and drain chickpeas. In a food processor or high-powered blender, add grated fermented beets, garlic and olive oil and process until mixture is almost smooth. Add tahini, chickpeas, lemon juice and salt to the mixture. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth, scrape edges halfway through, drizzle additional olive oil while blending if necessary. Add a drizzle of ice water while blending for extra cream texture. Scrape into a serving bowl and top with fresh herbs or more fermented beets. Serve with veggies and pita bread.
Pick Up the Beet
• 1/4 cup beet kvass
• 1/2 lemon juiced
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon pepper
Combine ingredients in a bowl. Whisk to emulsify to a thick consistency. Drizzle on salad.
Better Beets Rainbow Salad
• 1/4 cup chopped fermented beets
• 1/4 cup greens
• 1/4 cup chopped red onion
• 1/4 cup grated carrot
• 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper
• 1/4 cup chopped pepperoncinis
Prepare vegetables. Arrange in a colorful rainbow in dish. Top with Pick Up the Beet Salad Dressing or a dressing of your choice.