How to make Beet Kvass (the 5-minute ferment)

Need a happy, healthy, nourishing diversion from day-to-day pandemic woes? Don’t we all.

How about something beautiful, delicious, and probiotic? Something liver-loving, detoxifying, gut-flora feeding, and full of life? That sounds like what most of us could use at the moment.

Well, at long last, my beet kvass tutorial is here. And just in time for this global pandemic! So grab some beets if you’ve got ’em, and let’s do this. Our gut-flora are counting on is.

20191116-_RJW8672.jpg

Homemade Beet Kvass

A past Herbal Retreat participant got me hooked on beet kvass. Originally from Poland, she grew up drinking kvass, and her own kids are now doing the same. She credited kvass with some serious health benefits, and being a fan of both nutrient-dense and detoxifying beets and probiotic foods, I could believe it.

While our family has long made a habit of eating probiotic foods each day, adding beet kvass to our routine was a welcome change from kraut, kimchi, and ginger carrots.

And since I would wager that all of us could use some probiotic love these days (now more than ever, as healthy gut flora has systemic health benefits that we could all utilize at the moment, for both mind and body), I thought it was time to dust off this blog post that I meant to share back in November and bring it to you now.

This recipe is so quick and easy to throw together, it literally takes under 5 minutes to assemble. It does the rest on its own and requires very little babysitting. And right now, that’s my kind of kitchen project.

Are you ready to make some kvass? Then grab beets, salt, and a mason jar and let’s do this.

Because this is pandemic preparedness at it’s most vibrant.

20191116-_RJW8673

Homemade Beet Kvass

Ingredients

  • 2 medium, organic beets
  • 2 tsp non-iodized sea salt
  • 1 quart filtered water, spring water, or well water

20191116-_RJW8625

 

Instructions

  • Gently wash your beets, but do not scrub or peel (the probiotics live in the peels, so we want to preserve those for the fermentation).
  • Cut off the leaves (if attached) and the top (the coarse end of the beet, where the leaves attached), and compost or discard.
  • Cut beets into approximately 1″ cubes.
  • Place the beet cubes into a clean quart-sized mason jar.
  • Add salt to the jar.
  • Top with water to fill just beyond the shoulders, to the narrowest part of the jar.
  • Tightly lid and shake gently to dissolve the salt.

20191116-_RJW8650

  • Place your jar on a plate or in a bowl on the kitchen counter (out of direct sunlight). Allow to ferment for 7-10 days, “burping” daily by unscrewing the lid to release any pressure. After a few days you’ll begin to see small bubbles rising to the surface, especially during burping.
  • After day 5, open the jar fully, and remove any scum or mold that has formed. (If you’re freaking out, scroll to the bottom to talk mold with me.) The color will be rich, deep, red, and nearly opaque. Taste the kvass! When the flavor is strong enough for you (salty + sour + earthy + yum), it’s time to strain.
  • After de-scumming the surface, pour your kvass through a colander. Transfer the liquid to a clean jar, and return the beets to your fermenting jar. Add a second round of salt and water, and repeat for a second batch from the same beets. (How thrifty we are!)
  • Repeat the process above with your second round of brine, then compost the remaining beet chunks, or better yet, add them to a beet-friendly recipe, like soups, stews, or roasted veggies.
  • Store finished kvass in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
  • Drink your kvass by the shot glass daily, diluted with fizzy or regular water, or add to salad dressing.

You have questions. I have answers! A few notes are below…

20191116-_RJW8673

Beet Kvass Q+A

Afraid of the mold or slime? We get it. Mold can be scary. But here’s a fun fact: due to the salt content of the brine, the mold can not grow in the liquid or in the submerged beets, so there is no risk of food poisoning if you added the suggested amount of salt.

Seriously. Just toss that funky stuff and drink the kvass. Everything is going to be fine.

Beet Brown kvass? I find that (on occasion) the second batch of kvass looses its vibrant color after sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks. This is normal, and the flavor is still amazing, even if the color is brown crossed with meh.

Beet kvass will stain. Keep this in mind when handing a tumbler-full to your two-year-old.

Oh, poo. For some, beet kvass will cause loose bowels. (Again, consider yourself warned if giving copious amounts to a toddler.) Start slow, and consider a serving to be 1/4 cup or less until your body is accustom to it. We normally pour a shot glass full for everyone in the morning.

What if I hate beets? Then why are you making beet kvass, I ask? It tastes like beets crossed with live-fermented sauerkraut, so if you like both of those things, you’re golden. However, if you’re in the “beets-taste-like-dirt” camp, perhaps homemade ‘kraut is more your speed.

 

What’s happening in your kitchen these days, friends? Share your favorite links below! 

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “How to make Beet Kvass (the 5-minute ferment)

Leave a Reply