Beet kvass is a fermented drink made with beets. It is a traditional Ukrainian beverage, and it has become one of my favorite tonics. I drink a small glass of it, usually mixed with fresh fruit juice and some water, every day. My youngest son has been loving it since he turned 3 years old.
My daily glass of beet kvass, my morning glass of lemon water and my daily glass of ginger ale are my 3 favorite daily drinks. And frankly, they all taste much better than plain water!
So, what’s so good and healthy about beet kvass?
Well, this tonic is very valuable for its medicinal qualities, and it makes a great digestive aid. Beets are packed with nutrients. They contain B vitamins, including a high amount of folates, which protect against heart disease, cancer and birth defects. Beets are also rich in vitamin C, iron, fiber, potassium, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus.
To read more about the power of beets, I suggest you read John Douillard’s article: A Root to Root For. He explains why beets are great for your body, brain, circulation, liver and bile, as well as for balancing blood sugar.
A single 4-ounce glass (120 ml or 1/2 cup) in the morning and in the evening not only is an excellent blood tonic, but it also promotes regularity, helps digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.
You can also use beet kvass in place of vinegar in salads and you can add it to soups in your plate (it should not be heated or you’ll lose all the beneficial enzymes).
Now the good news is that it is very easy to make. You don’t have to use whey (lactic acid) for the fermentation; I use it because I am old school 🙂 and I like to add lactic acid bacteria for organoleptic purposes (=good taste), but using sea salt only will work, too.
Makes 2 quarts (1.8 l)- Total time 10 min + 2 days
3 medium beets (grown naturally without chemicals), peeled, chopped coarsely
1 tbsp sea salt
filtered water (if your tap water is not clean)
1/4 cup (60 ml) whey (optional) (recipe here)
Note: make sure you do chop the beets coarsely and you do not grate them. When grated, beets exude too much juice, and as they naturally contain lots of sugar, the fermentation would be too fast, which would favor the production of alcohol rather than lactic acid.
Place beets, whey (if using) and sea salt in a 2-quart glass jar. Add water to fill the container. Stir well and close the jar securely. Air should not be able to enter the jar.
Keep at room temperature for 2 days. In winter, if your kitchen temperature is low, keep for 3 days.
After this time, transfer to your refrigerator. You can start drinking your beet kvass.
Once it is in the refrigerator, you can keep it for days or even up to a couple of weeks. It also gets better with time.
When you’ve drunk most of it, you can fill up the jar with water and keep at room temperature for another 2 days. The resulting kvass will be slightly less strong than the first, but it will still have the same properties.
When you’re done drinking the kvass, you can discard the beets and start over.
Enjoy this amazing drink!