Why make beet kvass? For one thing…
“[Beet kvass] is valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are just loaded with nutrients. One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.” — Sally Fallon Morrell
For another, the health sherpa wrote this all-around informative beet post with links to his info sources.
Since being back in the U.S., my health has steadily improved. I don’t have anything wrong with me (except the adorable hacking cough and Phyllis Diller voice leftover from the hospital). But all that is better and better as time goes on, thanks to stumbling onto the Weston A Price Foundation and returning to real food. Honestly, I must have a guardian angel.
Now that I’m addicted to eating well, I want to try it all… as long as it’s easy 🙂 Well, making beet kvass is Super easy and Super good for you! And delicious — it’s got a definitely salty taste but I love that. Salty is good for the adrenals, too, doncha know.
How to Make Beet Kvass
OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup whey (the yellow liquid in the photo) or use brine from homemade sauerkraut or any fermented veggie. This is used to get the beet fermentation started. Don’t use store-bought sauerkraut or pickle juice because it probably does not have the live cultures.
- Clean and chop up the beets (1-2″ chunks), then add to Mason jar. Lots of people don’t peel and I didn’t used to for years, but I do now. If you don’t peel, there’s an all-natural earthy aftertaste.
- If you are adding whey, add that now.
- Add the salt.
- Fill with filtered water to just below the rim and cap. I use a FermentaCap: keeps the air out and allows the gas to escape. Perfect tool! If you don’t have a Fermenta Cap, you’ll want to open and close the jar a couple of times while it’s fermenting to let gases escape.
- Once capped, turn upside down a couple of times to mix, then let sit on the counter. During the next couple of days while fermenting, turn upside down to mix again a couple of times a day.
- It will foam and sometimes I’ll get little bits of white floating on top. Fermentation side effects, all good.
- After two or three days, your kvass should be a deep ruby. If it’s just pink, even dark pink, the beets were not fresh enough. Still good, just not as good. The flavor is not as intense, IMO.
- Put your kvass in the fridge, drink when you like.
- If you want to make a second batch with these same beets, pour off your kvass into another jar. Keep about 1/2 cup of this batch in the jar with the beets to use as starter, add a tsp or two of salt, fill with water and go again. Usually two batches is all you get before you need new beets.
- What to do with the old beets? Eat in a salad, or put in a stew or broth (which will then be red), or feed to your backyard chickens. The girls go crazy over kitchen scraps!
UPDATE 5/21/15: I needed to make more beet kvass and thought I would look around to see how everyone else does it, how they change it up. Turns out, we mostly all do it the same way: organic beets, real salt, water, a little whey if you have it.
I don’t have any whey right now so my recent batches are wheyless and still delish!
Craig has a different recipe with cabbage and onion. I tried it and not my cup of tea, but he loves it. If it sounds appealing, give it a go.
Optional: Bottle Your Kvass!
Another good place to get bottles is a local home store. That’s where I got the one in the picture. Sometimes you’ll find bottles of lemonade or some fruity drink in these type bottles on sale for small money. I pour out the poison drink (usually filled with preservatives and HFCS), wash and use for ferments.
If any of the lids on your bottles don’t fit properly and it looks like you aren’t getting a good seal, add a second rubber ring (here on Amazon). You want a good tight seal.
Another benefit of bottling is that it continues to ferment and you can get a fizz in your kvass. But only if it lasts long enough — I usually drink it up before it gets fizzy.
Meanwhile, go ahead and re-use those same beets to make more kvass.
*Gotta be organic beets! Although if you are making beet kvass — heck, if you even KNOW about beet kvass — you probably already go organic.
By the way, I found my simple recipe in Nourishing Traditions. Not just a cookbook, it’s an education, a primer, a delight. If you don’t have a copy and you eat food, get one! You won’t be sorry, I promise.
Just FYI, making beet kvass is so easy, I bottled the first batch, made the second batch and took all the pictures while writing this article. It does NOT get any easier than that! Did I mention it is super delicious? Give it a try and tell me what you think.