If you want to bring fermented liquid into your diet, kvass in its many forms may be just what you are looking for! Considered to be a traditional Russian drink, it made its way over to us. And like many traditional drinks, there are hundreds of varieties and types that are easily made from the home! Let’s talk about beet kvass.
Beets are a wonderful food, being high in anti-oxidants and vitamins. Because of their natural sugar content, they ferment beautifully. This liquid is not something (particularly in the beginning) that you’ll drink in the place of water or as a sweet pleasure drink. It has a rather distinct flavor, somewhat earthy and yet mildly sweet. Its unlike anything you’ll ever taste. Wholesome is the word! In the beginning, take it as a tonic, sipping down 1/2-1 C each morning before breakfast. See if you don’t grow to love it over time!
Beet kvass. Its simple to make and beets are readily available. If you can convince yourself to love it, you’ll have a year-round, cheap and healthy fermented drink! In summer, fresh garden beets can be grown or purchased at a local farmer’s market. If you have a stash of beets in the root cellar over winter, its a wonderful way to use them up, particularly in the springtime!
You’ll need: a cutting board, sharp knife, beets, a jar with a sealing lid and non-chlorinated water. Wash the beets well. If using home-grown vegetables, leave the peel on. It will only benefit your ferment! If purchasing store-bought beets, go ahead and remove the peels to avoid extra chemical exposure.
Dice beets into pieces that fit into the jar’s mouth. Make them as small or large as you want. Fill jar to the top of its shoulder. Fill with water. Cut a wide, round slice of beet root to approximately 1/4 inch thickness that can be laid flat on top of diced beets and hold everything under the liquid. Work it into the jar, tucking its edges under the shoulder. Top with water and make certain the horizontal piece is covered.
Seal with lid and put in a warm, dark place to allow fermentation to take place. Break the seal every day. By day 4 or so, bubbles should be evident in jar and a bit of pink-ish foam will appear on the top. Be particularly certain to break the seal daily when this happens! The built up pressure from the beet’s fermentation is capable of exploding jars! And no one wants to deal with the pink-staining properties of the beet.
Let it fermented anywhere from 7-21 days. Check the flavor every other day once fermentation begins. When happy with the results, refrigerate and take 1/2 C every day. Stick with it for a week and see if you don’t grow to love it as a tonic!