I learned about Beet Kvass a few years ago, from my copy of Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon. Beets are a remarkable dark red vegetable that when fermented into Kvass, the benefits just explode.
Sally Fallon has this to say about Beet Kvass:
“This drink 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. Beet kvass may also be used in place of vinegar in salad dressings and as an addition to soups.”
I have been making beet kvass now for about 6 months. It is a weekly process that I actually look forward to. I make 1/2 gallon of kvass at a time, using 3 medium sized beets. I peel the beets and then cut them up into quarter-inch pieces. I add one tablespoon sea salt and then fill the half gallon jar up with the beets and filtered water.
After putting a lid on the jar, I set the beets aside, in a relatively warm area. The mixture is ready in 2 to 3 days. I also use the beets again to make a 2nd fermentation. Same process, but this time I add 1/4 cup of the kvass juice from the first fermentation. This helps speed up the fermentation process.
Another Way to Make Beet Kvass: From Homestead.org.
For people who do not care for the taste of beets but still want the health benefits, there are an infinite number of ways you can dress up the basic recipe. Try adding fruit such as fresh squeezed orange juice or chunks of apple. Play with different herbs and spices like lavender or cinnamon. One of my favorite varieties is the addition of carrots and ginger.
Carrot Ginger Kvass
- 2 carrots sliced or grated
- 1 inch chunk of ginger chopped or grated
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ⅛ cup whey (optional, if not using whey double the amount of salt)
Follow the same method as for the plain kvass, simply adding carrots and ginger to the mix. Please note that for carrots and ginger grating or shredding does not pose the same issue as with the beets. You may however find it difficult to keep the smaller pieces of vegetable under the brine. Complete submersion is important since mold can form on any bits that rise above the surface.
More great advice from The Kitchn.com:
Beet kvass may be an acquired taste for some, but those who love it often wax enthusiastically about its health properties and energizing effects. Like other lacto-fermented, probiotic foods, beet kvass can promote intestinal health and aid digestion. You might drink it straight-up as a daily tonic or cook with it like vinegar — it’s great in salad dressings and soups like borscht. It even makes an interesting cocktail mixer, similar to a vinegar shrub.