Recipe: Lacto-Fermented Beets and Turnips

Fermenting beets can get a bit tricky. Like fruit, beets have a relatively high sugar content that can convert to alcohol quite easily. To solve that problem, lacto-fermenting beets in small quantities with other vegetables such as turnips or cabbage is helpful. This classic combination of cold-weather root vegetable fermentation makes a lively addition to winter meals that can be lacking in much-needed enzymes and probiotics.


  • 2 cups washed, quartered, and sliced turnips
  • 1 1/4 washed, quartered, and sliced beets
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • Water as needed


  1. Prepare turnips and beets. Add them to a quart jar, alternating layers so that the red and white are evenly distributed, leaving 1-1/2 inches of headspace.
  2. Combine salt with 2 cups water. Pour over the vegetables, leaving 1-2 inches of headspace (just covering the vegetables). Weigh down as needed.
  3. Cover jar with a lid and an airlock, if using. If you are not using an airlock be sure to “burp” the jars every day to release pent-up gases
  4. Allow to ferment at a cool room temperature for 3-12 days, depending on preference. Longer is usually better, especially for tough root vegetables.
  5. Transfer to cold storage.

At A Glance