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How To Make Beet Kvass
Honestly, I must have a guardian angel. Who led me to beet kvass...
"[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
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 -- I like it a little saltier, but you can adjust that to taste. (Salty is good for the adrenals, too, doncha know.)
How to Make Beet Kvass
3 medium or 2 large organic beets
1/2 Gallon jar and lid
OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup whey 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.
NOT OPTIONAL: Salt. That's used to kill the bad bacteria and help the ferment. Start with 2 tsps, I like it with three.
Scrub and chop the beets into 1" chunks, then put in the jar. (I don't peel but you can.)
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. 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 you'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. The longer it sits, the richer the brew!
I strain the kvass into a bottle but some people leave the beets in there... Either way, put in the fridge, drink when you like.
Also, you can make a second batch with the same beets; you'll get a lighter brew. We like our kvass RICH and DARK so we don't re-use.
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 these beets!
Optional: Bottle Your Kvass!
Once your kvass is finished fermenting on the counter, you can pour it into Grolsch-style bottles, like the ones I use for kombucha. I've had my kvass go fizzy if it sits in the fridge long enough. Which is rare because we drink it so fast!
Another good place to get Grolsch-style bottles is a local home store. 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 Grolsch-style 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.
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 a bunch of pictures while writing this article. Making a probiotic-rich fermented beverage does NOT get any easier than this! Did I mention it is super delicious? Give it a try and tell me what you think.
P.S. Don't be alarmed if your pee and poop is a little ruby colored after drinking beet kvass. Side benefit :)