What is beet kvass? Beet Kvass is an ancient therapeutic fermented beverage like kombucha but even easier to make. It originates in Russia and Ukraine. It is a liver cleansing tonic but also makes the rich nutrients in beets (iron, magnesium, vitamins A &C) more bio available and digestible. It is an acquired taste kind of like red wine. I have heard some local friends swear by its immune boosting properties and its ability to reduce nausea. I will share the recipe and directions below.
Earlier this year I learned about beet kvass and how to make it. I co-hosted a workshop presented by The Creatives NW at my home and we taught around 12 ladies how to make fermented beet kvass and kombucha in about two hours. At first I found it really hard to drink it without making that “mr. yuck” face as it went down. However, after adding some flavors and topping it off with some sparkling water, I actually enjoy it and crave it when my body needs some electrolytes and and immune booster.
2-3 medium organic beets (red or golden or candy cane)
3 tsp course ground unrefined salt such as Redmond’s Real Salt or Grey Celtic Sea Salt
1 quart mason jar with a lid (plastic is preferred)
1 quart of spring or filtered water
- Prepare beets by rinsing away any visible dirt. The aim here is to keep the delicate bacteria on the skin in tact as to encourage their multiplication during the ferment.
- Trim off the greens then cut the beets into 1-2 inch pieces. (Note: Do NOT grate or mince the beets.)
- Place beets in the mason jar to fill it about 1/3 full, add salt then top the jar off with water to the shoulder of the jar, leaving about 1 inch of head space. (Note: make sure your water is room temperature. Hot water can kill the beneficial bacteria needed for a proper fermentation.)
- Stir until the salt is dissolved then top with your lid. A plastic lid is best.
- Place on your counter out of direct sunlight or in a pantry for 2-7 days.
- Check on your kvass daily and “burp” your jar. The fermentation process creates carbonation which may need to be released daily to keep the beverage from exploding.
- Taste your kvass after about 2 days. The flavor will develop the longer you allow it to ferment. Temperature is important. The warmer the environment, the faster it will ferment. Summer time you might only need 2 days to reach the same developed flavor that takes 7 days to achieve in the winter time. When your kvass has reached a flavor that you like, move it to your refrigerator.
- Your kvass will keep in your refrigerator for a few months. Once you get down to the last ½-1 cup of kvass, add another 1 tsp of salt to the jar and fill back up with water to make a second batch from the original beets. You can even cut your largest pieces of beets in half to expose more surface area. Discard your beets after your second batch and start fresh.
(Written by Kara the Whole Mama and Alisa Lewis for our workshop hosted by The Creatives NW)