Beet Kvass has quickly become one of my favorite drinks. Like Kombucha, it is a traditional drink that contains probiotics and enzymes and has tons of great health benefits. I only recently started making Beet Kvass and realized with its beautiful deep red hue; it is a perfect drink for around the holiday season.
What is Beet Kvass?
Made from beets, Beet Kvass is a traditional fermented drink/tonic that originated in Russia long ago. It has been known to cleanse the blood and help detoxify the liver. Beet Kvass can help to purify the blood, boost your energy, and improve your gall bladder and liver function. It is also an excellent remedy for constipation and is beneficial for the digestion of fats. Beets are full of B-complex vitamins and are rich in minerals such as manganese, potassium, iron, and magnesium.
How do you make Beet Kvass?
There are a number of ways to make Beet Kvass, all of which are easy. It is a really simple, easy probiotic drink to make and it has a delicious smooth semi-sweet taste. If you have never tried to make it, I highly recommend you give it a shot especially if it’s your first ferment.
It is commonly thought whey or a starter culture must be used to make Beet Kvass, but that is not the case. Using a starter will speed up the fermentation process but the kvass will ferment fine with using just salt. I’ve done it both ways. So, if you are dairy-free, Paleo, or just want to keep it super simple, you don’t need anything but beets, a good salt, and filtered water to make Beet Kvass.
The best Beet Kvass can be made with simple ingredients and it is so easy to make through the process of wild fermentation. There is probiotic bacteria naturally found on the skins of beets that undergoes lacto-fermentation.
You start by washing organic fresh unpeeled beets. The probiotic bacteria you want for fermentation lives on the beet skin. Cut up your beets into ½ inch cubes, fill a gallon sized mason jar just half full. Next add some good quality sea salt, to help preserve and prevent harmful bacteria from growing, and fill your jar with filtered water leaving an inch of space at the top. After you top off the jar with filtered water, screw the lid on snug, and let it sit at room temperature for about a week. Done!!
If you choose to use a starter culture, juice from leftover sauerkraut or whey (homemade yogurt will produce extra whey to use), the fermentation process will speed up and your Beet Kvass may be ready in a few days. You can also find sauerkraut juice in most health stores now. For store-bought, I like Farmhouse Culture Gut Shot.
Why should you drink Beet Kvass?
It is full of electrolytes and very hydrating.
It is full of beneficial gut bacteria.
Beet Kvass can increase energy and clarity.
And beets contain betacyanin a substance that helps our blood carry oxygen more efficiently. This is something we can all use for better energy and less reactive oxygen species (ROS). Betacyanins may actually act as ROS scavengers and help to limit damage caused by oxidative stress.
My kids love the beautiful rich color and the little bit of bubbly fizz of Beet Kvass. They also love to eat the left-over beets once the ferment is complete. You can use Beet Kvass as an addition to salad dressings, sauces, or soups and you can use the beets in your salad and soup too. Absolutely nothing goes to waste.
- 2-4 beets
- 1 Tbsp. sea salt
- filtered water
- 1/4 cup sauerkraut juice or whey (optional)
- Wash beets gently to remove any dirt. Do not peel them.
- Chop beets into small ½ inch cubes. Do not grate them.
- Place the chopped beets in the bottom of a half-gallon glass jar, fill half way.
- Add sauerkraut juice or whey, if using, and sea salt. You may increase the amount of sea salt by ½ (so 1 ½ Tablespoon total salt) if you are not using a starter.
- Fill jar with filtered water leaving one inch of space at the top. Close the jar tightly with lid and cover with a towel. Place the jar in a warm spot in your home.
- Allow the beet kvass to ferment for 1-2 weeks. If you are using a starter culture your beet kvass may be done in just 2-4 days.
- Transfer to refrigerator and enjoy as desired. When I make a batch, I like to drink 3-4 ounces each day.