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Fermented Radishes

on December 5 | in Recipes | by | with 34 Comments

Let food by thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”

~ Hippocrates

Did you know that black and red radishes have long been used in Russia to treat both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism? It’s true!

Radishes contain a compound, raphanin, which helps the thyroid keep the production of two key hormones (thyroxine and calcitonin) in balance. When adequate levels of raphanin are circulating in the blood, the thyroid is less likely to overproduce or underproduce these hormones. (source1, source2, source 3)

Want more good news? If you don’t love radishes, the recipe below just might change your mind! Fermenting radishes takes some of the “bite” out of their flavor, replacing it with a slightly garlicky tang. Both of my kids have been known to ask for second and third helpings when this dish makes it to our dinner table, so give it a try!

For more information on supporting thyroid health with food, check out this post from Nourished Kitchen and this great overview from Food Renegade.

Note: Some natural health experts advise against consuming cruciferous vegetables in cases of low thyroid, while others promote their consumption selectively. This post is not meant to diagnose or treat any condition  - please talk to your health care provider if you have questions! :)

Fermented Radishes With Garlic

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups radishes, sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined sea salt
  • 4 cups filtered water

Equipment

  • 1½ quart jar with airlock OR a 1½ quart jar with tight fitting lid
  • a weight to keep the radishes beneath the salt brine – I use a glass weight that came with my airlock jar but a plastic lid that fits inside the mouth of the jar or a stone that has been boiled and allowed to cool will work, too
  • a kitchen towel

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly wash and dry your jar and lid before getting started.
  2. Prepare your salt brine by mixing the salt and water together and stirring until dissolved.
  3. Pack radishes and garlic into your fermenting jar.
  4. Pour salt brine over the radishes until completely covered, leaving at least one inch of space between the top of the brine and the lid.
  5. Place a weight inside the mouth of the jar to keep your radishes under the brine. Cover tightly and set up the air lock if you’re using one.
  6. Drape jar with a towel and let radishes sit on your counter for 3-7 days, depending on how sour you like them.* When they’ve reached the level of sourness you like remove the weight from inside the jar and transfer to the fridge.

* If you’re using a jar without an airlock you will need to “burp” your jars periodically, otherwise carbon dioxide levels can build up within your jar and cause it to explode.  Check the metal lid every day – if you can’t push it down simply unscrew the lit a bit and then immediately tighten it back down. Using an airlock which allows the gases to release eliminates the need to burp your jars.

Fermented Radishes

Enjoy!

 

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34 Responses to Fermented Radishes

  1. Whittney says:

    Can you tell us where you got your fancy jar?

  2. zeffie says:

    We have been making these for several years just love them. My dad and my 2 year old son both gobble them up.
    One tip for anyone without a weight is to add sliced carrots as a thick top layer. They don’t float and will hold the radishes down.

  3. Sabiha says:

    Thanks for sharing! If someone is severely hypothyroid, how much radish should they consume/day?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Sabiha! Honestly, I don’t really know. In my research I discovered that black radishes contain more raphanin than red radishes but there was no info on how the Russians determined dosages. I’m guessing it varied quite a bit from case to case.

  4. Stella says:

    This recipe sounds easy and delicious. One question, where did you get your weights? I’ve had issues in the past with food floating above the brine and cabbage leaves haven’t been a good fix…

  5. Do Asian radishes – such as daikon or mooli – have the same compound? I love Gaktugi Kimchi!

  6. Sonya says:

    I am SO glad I saw this recipe today. I am making it ASAP! I would love to know if there are other recipes you can share that are beneficial to thyroid health. Thanks so much!

  7. Fabulous! The only fermented veggie I’ve done so far is sauerkraut and I love having it on hand. I’m sure I’d love these as well. Radishes are just one of those veggies that I can’t eat much of. If they’re fermented, I bet they’re much easier to stomach!

  8. Emily says:

    I was so excited when I saw this thyroid healing recipe that I made it! Then I read this article http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/think-raw-veggies-are-best-think-again/ about how raw (even fermented) radishes (among other veggies) are actually harmful to the thyroids. There is so much conflicting info out there… just when I think I have something figured out it turns upside down. So, is it helpful or hurtful to the thyroids? Does anyone really know?

    • Heather says:

      Ahhh, it is confusing! I can’t claim to have the final answer on this, Emily, but I’ll tell you my experience. This year is the first time I’ve had access to a farmers market in the fall, so it’s the first year I had access to fresh radishes. I’ve never been a huge fan of them, but I found all of a sudden that I LOVED them! I am tall and thin, which for some reason tends to be a body type that leans toward hypothyroidism, so I was concerned about the effect on my thyroid for the reasons you mentioned. That’s when I started digging and found the info about how it is used in Russia. I’d run across it before but only in passing, but this time I researched as much as I could. It is definitely a practice that has been used for a long time there, so I think it’s likely there’s something to it. However, if someone finds that they have an aversion to them I recommend not eating them! Aversions in cases like this may be the body’s way of telling us that a particular food – though not inherently harmful – is harmful to us. Every situation is unique!

  9. [...] The relishes have been yummy also. Thought I am still in the process of making my fermented one (I have just made standard relish with the first lot of tomatoes). Pickles are nice, though none of that vinegar taste you get when you’ve pickled them normally. The radishes are surprisingly good (no peppery radish taste I dislike), which is excellent because I read this blog post the other day! [...]

  10. Mindy says:

    A little late on this one but I had to get a good batch of radishes. Making this today and will be enjoying in a few days! Trying the carrot tip too to hold the radishes down. Thank you Mommypotamus!

  11. Michelle says:

    People with hypothroidism should not eat foods in the mustard family (or should minimize their intake of these); which include cabbage & radishes. Here are two articles that talk about this: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400441/Best-Thyroid-Treatment.html and “if you suffer from under active thyroid you should not use Horse radish at all. Actually this also applies to all plants from the “mustard” family, such as cabbage, radish and mustard itself.” http://www.herbalhealthinformation.com/herbal-health-information-on-horse-radish-amoracia-rusticana/

  12. Mindy says:

    After the radishes have been transferred to the fridge how long do they stay good for?

  13. Kay says:

    Could you just cover them with a clean towel and let the gases escape that way?

  14. Kay says:

    Could you just cover the radishes with a clean dishtowel and let the gases escape that way? Thanks.

  15. Pamela says:

    Hi Heather, I LOVE your site and visit it often. I was eyeing up my overgrown radishes today, which have got out of control over Christmas as we went away camping. I was going to pull them out because they will be all hot and pithy. Do you think they may still be usable for this recipe?
    Thanks for all your amazing work
    Pamela

  16. Rena says:

    I made these radishes and I think they tase awful. How do I know if I made them correctly or if I just don’t like them? Thanks!

  17. Bekka says:

    My husband and I made these the other day! I can’t wait to try them. However, my husband seems to think they are pickled rather than fermented. Any thoughts/feedback?

    Thanks!

  18. Emily says:

    How long do these last?

  19. […] Vegetables by Healthy People, Healthy Planet A Peck of Pickled Peppers by Mommypotamus Fermented Radishes by Mommypotamus Lacto-Fermented Berries by Oh Lardy! Fermented Yams by Cheeseslave Moroccan […]

  20. Natasha says:

    Finally made these and they are SO yummy! I’m going to have to make a few more jars. These won’t last long.

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