My partner, Mike, and I, are continually adding new fermented goodies to our daily diet. While he’s the master kombucha brewer, I make a mean Beet Kvass, and, we both chip-in to make kraut and keifer. Add the crock pot, for bone broth (a 3- day process), and our kitchen buzzes with delicious smells and activity!
The first time I tried Beet Kvass, it was made by my fermenting friend, Bethany Bitz. Bethany is not only a good friend, but also a nutrition colleague and personal chef.
Every cell in my body screamed, “YES!”, in an enthusiastic response to that ruby red nectar. I knew, from the moment it kissed my lips, that I was in love.
Let me tell you why Beet Kvass is such an incredible food …
This fermented drink is rich in probiotics, the healthy bacteria that set-up camp in the body (primarily the intestinal tract) and keep the levels of more harmful bacteria and yeast to a minimum. Probiotics boost immune function, help us digest our food better, and produce some B-vitamins, such as folates, riboflavin and vitamin B(12), as well as other water soluble vitamins.
Beets are rich in nutrients that the liver and gall bladder need to function optimally. And, because of itʼs role in supporting the liver, beets are considered a “blood cleanser”.
Finally, beets are loaded with the antioxidants betacyanins – the pigments responsible for beetsʼ blood-red color. The antioxidant levels of beets, (ORAC value of 1,776/100g) is likely why theyʼre known to lower inflammation in the body, thus protecting one from inflammatory conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Oh, and the best part is, that when you ferment beets, the levels of nutrients actually increase!
Okay … on to the recipe. Itʼs really easy! I use a modified recipe from Sally Fallon, the author of Nourishing Traditions.
- 1/2 gallon mason jar
- Cheescloth (to strain whey from yogurt)
- Vegetable peeler
- Cutting board
- 3 medium or 2 large organic beets, peeled and chopped up coarsely
- 1/4 cup whey (if you want to omit the dairy, use 1 cup of rejuvalac, or 4 teaspoons of salt instead of 2)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Filtered water
Place all ingredients in the mason jar, stir well and cover securely. Keep at room temperature for 2 weeks before transferring to refrigerator. This is where Iʼm diverging from Sallyʼs recipe. Many recipes call for a 2-3 day fermenting time. In my opinion, this just isnʼt enough! At 2 days it just tastes like salty beet water. But at 2 weeks, voila! The kvass sparkles, lightly dancing on the tongue, and has a more complex flavor to tantalize the palate.
You can re-use the beets another time or two. Save a cup of the kvass to use as a
starter for the next batch. When thereʼs a cup left, fill the mason jar up with water and 2 teaspoons of salt, cover and let sit on the counter for a couple weeks, then transfer into the refrigerator. When your beets are exhausted, you can roast ʻem up and make a soup. Get creative!