Pour starter culture into a clean, sterilized Mason jar. Add ½ cup of filtered or distilled water to jar.
Dissolve honey, agave nectar or maple syrup into jar by stirring or whisking.
Prepare beets while the mixture dissolves by combining remaining ingredients (spices, orange zest and beets) in mixing bowl, making sure the beets are evenly coated.
Add coated beets to the jar, packing the beets together as much as possible.
Add filtered water to ensure the beets are completely submerged. This is an important step as anything floating above the water may mold.
Close jar, store in q dark place and allow to set for 3–7 days. It’s probably a good idea to check your jar every day, opening it to release any gas and make sure there are no spills! You might even want to put an old towel below the jar, as beet juice stains!
TIP: Use a large enough jar so that you have at least 2 inches of headroom (space between the liquid level and the mouth of the jar). This is because the beets will produce gas as they ferment.
NOTE: Fermentation, like making chocolate, is both a science and an art, so the flavor profile of the food can vary based on the season, ambient temperature, produce used, etc. Even following the recipe to a T doesn’t guarantee that the dish will taste exactly the same. For example, onions and garlic are stronger in certain seasons than others. Even produce from the same crop can vary in taste because of variations in the soil and exposure to elements. But don’t let this discourage you. Instead, this can be all the more reason to explore this imperfect science!