Lacto-fermented foods and drinks are currently the key to my well-being and this beet kvass might just be my favorite one. It’s remarkably simple and full of vitamins and probiotics that will boost your overall health.
Besides being a very good probiotic drink (so it helps your gut flora), beet kvass is also supposedly able to cleanse your blood and liver from toxins, improve kidney health, and do some other wonderful things for your health. I haven’t found good and proven research that would support that claim but I do know that I feel great when I drink beet kvass on a regular basis. The recommended dosage is four ounces of beet kvass in the morning before breakfast. I like to drink this homemade beet kvass with my whole family after waking up together – it’s our little tradition now!
You will need some specific equipment to make this beet kvass (like a sprouting lid) but since they are used in making other lacto-fermented drinks as well, I recommend you buy them anyway. For the ingredients, you won’t need much. It’s just beets, water, whey, and salt. I love how simple this recipe is!
The beet kvass recipe you can find in Nourishing Traditions uses a 1/4 cup of whey and quite a bit of salt (buy Nourishing Traditions here). Those are perfectly fine proportions but I personally prefer to use more whey and less salt. The overly salty kvass just doesn’t do it for me. The fermentation process still works perfectly and the fizziness is just right. But you can try it whichever way you prefer! The recipe below uses my usual proportions.
The only potentially problematic ingredient in this recipe is the whey. But it’s very easy to make yourself, as long as you have a quality source of dairy in your area.
You can make whey from raw milk. If you leave your raw milk covered with a towel at room temperature, the whey will naturally separate from the curds in the milk. That’s when you can use a sieve. You will get liquid whey and solid curds. The proportions are usually perfectly half and half so if you need a gallon of whey, you will need to use two gallons of raw milk.
If you don’t have raw milk, then you can also use plain whole milk yogurt. Similarly, you just put it on a sieve and the whey should drip right through into a bowl below. This is my preferred method of getting whey and I usually do it with my own homemade yogurt made from raw milk. It’s easier than waiting for the milk to separate and I also feel it tastes better as well. The strained yogurt solids can later be turned into a tart when mixed with honey and vanilla extract. Or you can make savory yogurt cheese with it. Everything can be utilized if you know how!
And if you cannot have dairy at all due to allergies then you can still make this beet kvass. You will just need to use even more salt to account for the missing whey. It will still lacto-ferment as it should but be careful because the end result will be quite salty. In this recipe, the half a cup of whey can be substituted with 1 tablespoon of sea salt.
- a half gallon glass jar
- a wooden spoon
- a sprouting lid OR a regular mason jar lid
- a small strainer or sieve
- 1 large beet OR 2 small beets
- 1/2 cup of why
- filtered water
- a large pinch of sea salt
- Peel your beet (or beets) and cut into small cubes.
- Put the beet cubes in a half gallon glass jar and sprinkle them with sea salt.
- Pour in the whey.
- Pour in the filtered water so that the jar is completely filled.
- Stir well with a wooden spoon.
- Cover with a dish towel and leave to ferment at room temperature for 1 or 2 days. The kvass is ready when you can see white foam forming on the surface.
- Remove the cloth. At this point, you can strain out the beet cubes. I personally like to leave them in.
- Cover the jar with a sprouting lid or a regular jar lid.
- Put the jar with the kvass in the fridge to stop the lacto-fermentation process.
Enjoy all the benefits of drinking beet kvass!