Let food by thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”
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!
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
- 3 1/2 cups radishes, sliced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 tablespoons unrefined sea salt
- 4 cups filtered water
- 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
- Thoroughly wash and dry your jar and lid before getting started.
- Prepare your salt brine by mixing the salt and water together and stirring until dissolved.
- Pack radishes and garlic into your fermenting jar.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.