Have you ever tried beet kvass? It’s one of my favorite lacto-fermented beverages and is so easy to make at home. The taste is definitely earthy, salty, and “beet-y” but I approach it more as an infusion/tonic than beverage. A small glass of beet kvass, sometimes straight and sometimes combined with sparkling mineral water such as a Gerolsteiner or S. Pellegrino, is part of my daily routine!
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“This drink is valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are loaded with nutrients. One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, 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. Beet kvass may also be used in place of vinegar in salad dressings and as an addition to soups.”
Basic Beet Kvass (adapted from Nourishing Traditions)
3 medium or 2 large beets (local/organic preferred), peeled and chopped into 1/2″ or 1″ chunks
1/4 cup whey
Place beets, salt and whey in a 1/2 gallon Mason jar. Add filtered water to fill container up to 1 or 2 inches below the rim, stir well to dissolve salt, and seal with a lid.
Place on your kitchen counter (out of direct sunlight) or in a cabinet, at room temperature, for 2 to 7 days.
Taste-test after 2 or 3 days, and allow to ferment to your liking. Then transfer the jar to your refrigerator. I like to let the beet kvass mellow in my refrigerator for a few days before consuming,
To serve, strain the liquid kvass into a glass. When most of liquid has been consumed, you may choose to make a second batch with the beets. Leaving some of the prepared kvass and the beets in the bottom of the jar, fill up the container with more filtered water and keep at room temperature another 2+ days. This 2nd batch will be less intensely-flavored than the first.
Notes: Do not shred the beets. This could result in a slimy texture. You could also make beet kvass with golden beets. Beautiful! I have sometimes added a slice of fresh ginger, a few allspice, cloves and cinnamon sticks for variety and a holiday flavor.