Nourishing Traditions reports that beet kvass 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.” Good stuff! And I can vouch for some of those health benefits being practically instant.
Does it taste good, though? That depends on who you ask. My children aren’t thrilled. Yet. But I am loving it! Each morning, my husband and I have a little shot of it.
I am sharing my kvass recipe today for the person who asked me about it at a past webinar. Hopefully you’ll see this! I’ll demonstrate this on video in lesson 11 of the Lacto-Fermentation eCourse, along with Kombucha.
How To Make Beet Kvass
This beverage/health tonic is lacto-fermented. Beneficial bacteria called lactobacilli consume the beet sugars, producing beneficial lactic acid, increasing vitamins and enzymes, and multiplying throughout the beverage for probiotic benefits.
The main differences between my recipe and the recipe in Nourishing Traditions are: 1) I use less salt in the first batch; 2) I add salt in the second batch; and 3) I get a second batch going immediately instead of waiting for the first to get consumed.
- 3 medium (about 3″ to 4″ diameter) beets, peeled and chopped into 3/4″ to 1″ wide pieces*
- 1-1/2 tablespoons sea salt (first batch), plus scant 1 tablespoon (second batch)**
- 1/4 cup whey (what this is and how to get it — also includes dairy-free substitutes)
- filtered or good water (not city water)
Makes 1 quart+.
*It is important not to cut or shred the beets too small, points out Nourishing Traditions. Otherwise, the released beet juice is likely to create alcohol rather than lactic acid.
**Since posting this recipe, I have reduced the amount of salt to 1/2 tablespoon for first batch and scant 1/2 tablespoon for second batch.
1st batch. Put beets, 1-1/2 tablespoons** sea salt and whey in 1/2 gallon mason jar or fermenting vessel (here and here). Add water to fill to within 1″ of the top of the container. Cover tightly. Let ferment at room temperature for 2 days. Leaving the beets behind, pour all but about 10% (just eyeball it) of the finished kvass into a glass jar and transfer to the refrigerator. That is what you’ll drink, a few ounces at a time, daily or twice daily.
2nd batch. The remaining 10% of kvass is the “starter” to get the next batch going. (So you don’t need whey this time around.) To the same 1/2 gallon fermenting container, add 1 tablespoon** sea salt and fill with water to within 1″ of the top of the container. Cover tightly. Let ferment at room temperature for 2 days. Pour all the fnished kvass into a glass jar and transfer to the refrigerator. Send the beets off to the compost…
3rd batch? It is possible to get a third batch of kvass out of the same beets, though it will be weaker. If you want to do this, don’t compost the beets yet, while saving back 10% of the kvass from batch #2. Start a third batch in the same way as the second.
So… who else is a kvass fan? If not yet, are you willing to give this a try? If you make kvass already, do you have any tips for kicking it up? Not interested in lacto-fermenting beets? Try roasting them — click here for a video tutorial.
Don’t forget! Monday at 1pm Pacific is the Sourdough: Common Problems Solved! webinar. Registration is still open. This webinar is first-come, first-served. If it is full when you arrive, don’t worry — you’ll get a replay link via email. To ensure yourself a seat, come a little early. If you know you can’t attend live, register anyway so you can watch the replay. I’m looking forward to it — I’ll see you then.