“Breathe properly. Stay curious. And eat your beets.”
– Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume
Need there be any more advice in life? Probably not. Or perhaps it could go something like…. “Breathe properly. Stay curious. And drink your beet kvass”
Kvass is one of our favorite culturally rich and deeply nourishing beverages. Kvass truly is a nourishing tradition that was passed on to us by way of the Russians. Russians have been enjoying this healing beverage for thousands of years. Kvass is a lacto-fermented beverage that was traditionally made from stale rye bread. Beets are the second most common type of kvass although it can be made from any number of fruits and vegetables.
As quoted by Sally Fallon from the book Nourishing Traditions, “This drink is valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are just 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.” Kvass is also a potent beauty tonic and is said to reverse grey and lighten liver spots/sun damaged skin, and improve acne. Boom!
There are three different ways to inoculate the beverage. You can use whey from yogurt or dairy (the clear liquid on top), the juice from fermented vegetables ( that leftover liquid in sauerkraut jar!) or high quality sea salt. The sea salt method does take the longest and is an example of wild fermentation. I use fermented vegetable juice since I always have an empty jar of sauerkraut on hand. Don’t throw that juice away!
The health benefits of this recipe are exponentially more complex than the process of making it!
| Ingredients |
1 quart clear mason jar (or larger)
2-3 medium beets, scrubbed and cut into 1” cubes
¼ cup whey/ fermented vegetable juice, or 2 tablespoons sea salt
| Directions |
Place cubed beets in the bottom of jar. Cover with whey, fermented vegetable juice, or sea salt. Fill jar with filtered water. Cover the jar with cheesecloth and leave to ferment at room temperature for 3-4 days. You will note that the kvass is ready when it becomes lightly fizzy. Once fermented, transfer to the refrigerator.
For the most effective medicinal benefits drink 4 oz daily, morning and night. Once you have finished the first batch of liquid you can refill the jar, and repeat the process with the same beets.
| Makes | 1 quart