If you read my article Beet Power! The Many Health Benefits of Beets, you might be curious about one of the beet consumption options I mentioned there, Beet Kvass.

What is Kvass?

Popular throughout Eastern Europe, kvass is a fermented beverage with a pleasing slightly sweet and tangy/sour flavor that is traditionally drunk as a beverage, or added to soups and salad dressings. Beloved as a digestive tonic and thirst quencher, vendors with barrels of kvass are a common sight on the streets in Eastern Europe.

If you’re looking for a healthy, easy way to add some variety and zing to your meals, make some beet kvass! Not only is it tasty, but you’ll reap all the benefits of beets, fortifying your blood with extra iron, supporting detoxification, nourishing your gastrointestinal microbiome, improving immunity and energy, and boosting your levels of nitric oxide.

Kvass is typically made from sourdough rye bread. However, due to all the problems with grains, I recommend beet kvass instead.

Starter Culture

Both bread and beet kvass are made with a starter culture to get the fermentation going.

Traditionally, whey is used as the starter culture in kvass, but because so many people have problems with dairy (that they might not even be aware of!), my version uses a high-quality, neutral-flavor, culture starter powder instead. This creates a reliable, consistent flavor that, IMHO, is even better than the traditional versions, and it has the very important added benefit (that other starters don’t have) of providing a precise mix of beneficial organisms with many known health benefits, including improved digestion, immunity and weight management.

[Note: The brine of previously fermented vegetables like sauerkraut or kimchi can also be used as the starter culture, but don’t use kombucha or water kefir as starter cultures as they can produce unpleasantly yeasty, slimy kvass.]

This recipe makes 1 quart of beet kvass.

Ingredients
Directions
  1. Wash jar and lid with hot, soapy water, and rinse well.
  2. Add filtered water to jar, and add starter powder and salt.
  3. Mix until well-dissolved.
  4. Add beet chunks to jar.
  5. Add more plain filtered water if needed, so liquid level comes to within 1″ of top of jar.
  6. Place lid loosely on top of jar so it is covered but gasses can escape (do not seal!).
  7. Allow the kvass to ferment at room temperature for at least one week, and up to several weeks, before straining and serving.

Drink ½ cup daily, or as desired. For a tasty, colorful and healthy spritzer, add it to sparkling water.

Uzdravlje!

 

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