Have you been taught that you must use whey or another culture starter when making beet kvass? (You don’t.)
Are you dairy free, on a tight budget, on the GAPS or SCD diet and therefore cannot buy and use whey or other culture starters? (Don’t worry!)
Have you been taught that if you do not use a culture starter to make beet kvass, it must contain so much salt that it is not pleasurable to drink? (Not true.)
For these reasons or more, have you been living without the beauty of beet kvass in your life? These are all common misconceptions and I think it’s time we all set them aside and empower ourselves to harness the transformative powers of mother-nature.
Beet Kvass is comprised of simple ingredients and is simple to make through the process of wild fermentation. Fancy fermentation equipment is fun, convenient, and pretty but rarely a must.
What is Beet Kvass?
Here in my kitchen, we call it blood of the earth. Indeed I do taste the earth when I sip this crimson liquid. Beet Kvass is an age-old tonic associated with many health benefits including efficient hydration. Fermented beverages are the original sports drinks. Like other lacto-fermented drinks, kvass is more hydrating than even water. In order to remain hydrated, our bodies require a balance of electrolytes. Cultured beverages like kvass help restore this balance without the sugar and preservatives of modern “sport drinks”.
Beet Kvass is traditionally heralded as a blood and liver tonic. And indeed this ancestral knowledge is meted out in science. In fact, beets are high in betacyanin which can dramatically increase the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood.
Personally, beet kvass gives me a feeling of energy and clarity. I LOVE beets and the taste of beet kvass. If you don’t love the taste but do want the health benefits of this tonic, try adding it to a soup when serving or use it to make a virgin ‘dirty martini’ or ‘bloody mary’. The taste is perfect for these concoctions and a big hit at any dinner party I’ve ever had.
Beet Kvass Ingredients
- Filtered water
- 3-4 beets
- 1 ½ tablespoon unrefined sea salt
Beet Kvass Method
- Wash the beets of any dirt but, do not scrub or peel the beets. Our aim is to keep the delicate bacteria on the skin of the beets in tact so that we can encourage their multiplication during fermentation.
- Chop the beets. I like a medium dice.
- Add the beets to a 1-gallon jar.*
- Add 1 ½ tablespoon unrefined sea salt
- Add filtered water to ½ inch below lid
- Affix lid tightly and label with date.
- Allow to ferment for 1 ½ weeks or more out of direct sunlight.
- You may strain through a cheese-cloth and decant into smaller containers, taking care to redistribute a handful of beet pieces into each bottle and then store in the refrigerator. Or feel free to store in the refrigerator as is.
*If you have difficulty successfully using wild fermentation methods in your environment/home, consider using a jug with an airlock affixed to the top to ferment beet kvass. This will mitigate the introduction of funky yeasts from your environment making a film on top of your fermenting kvass.
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This post was generously contributed by Monica Ford of Real Food Devotee. Monica’s recipes will make your mouth water and your tummy purr. If you’re lucky enough to live in Los Angeles, Real Food Devotee can make your life easier by delivering nutrient dense goodies directly to your door.
photo credit: An Eye Full Studio