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Posts Tagged ‘Beet Kvass’

This evening while making beet kvass I noticed tiny tops sprouting from the mature beets. I was reminded of three things. The first was the resilience of life. The beets have been in storage for months, they’re still alive, and ready for spring! Secondly, was the beauty of the chioggia. The electric pink rings impress me every time. Finally I was reminded that beet kvass, though beautiful, delicious, and full of nutrition, is not very well known, and I’d like to change that…

Chioggia skins

Sprouting beets

Are you ready to try? Here’s a quick and simple recipe for Beet Kvass.

Did you know that Fermented Beverages Are Homemade Probiotics and Multi-Vitamins?

This was shared on Real Food Wednesday.

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Considering their array of health benefits, it’s no wonder people are looking for ways to introduce fermented foods into their diets. Basic fermentation involves creating conditions where beneficial bacteria (probiotics) thrive. It may sound complex, but it is actually simple and rewarding. While the list of fermented foods is quite long, I especially treasure three quick, easy to prepare, and highly nutritious beverages: kombucha tea, kefir, and beet kvass.

Fermented foods undergo many seemingly miraculous changes. They are transformed into their most digestible forms. (For example, the milk sugar lactose is converted into the more easily digested lactic -acid[1]. )Vitamins are created (commonly the B-vitamins 1, 2, 3, and 6, and folic acid[2]). Powerful enzymes that aid in digestion and absorption are preserved when ferments are eaten raw[3]. Additionally, the live bacteria in raw fermented foods help establish a healthy balance of microorganisms within the gut[4].

Although these feel-good bacteria are the latest buzz, they are also among the oldest of man’s benefactors. Prior to modern refrigeration and canning, peoples around the world relied upon the nutritional quality of long stored fermented foods. Now in the post-modern era we understand that our optimal nutrition still depends upon these tiny creatures.

I rely on beverages like kombucha tea, kefir, and beet kvass as daily supplements to my diet- as probiotics and multi-vitamins. They require no special meal planning because they can be consumed along with meals or between meals as a snack. I regularly incorporate them into other foods like ranch dressing made with kefir and soups garnished with beet kvass. When fermented foods are easy to prepare and convenient to eat I find that including them in my diet is a joy rather than a chore!

This was shared on Real Food Wednesday and at the Probiotic Food Challenge.


[1]Sandor Katz, Wild Fermentation: The Flavor Nutrition and Craft of Live-Culture Foods (White River Junction: Chelsea Green, 2003.) (p. 6)

[2] Katz 6 Sandor Katz, Wild Fermentation: The Flavor Nutrition and Craft of Live-Culture Foods (White River Junction: Chelsea Green, 2003.) (p. 6)

[3] Sally Fallon-Morell Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (Washington: New Trends, 2001) (p. 47)

[4] Sally Fallon-Morell Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (Washington: New Trends, 2001) (p. 89)

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Beet Kvass Recipe

Beet Kvass

Makes about one quart

A sweet and salty cultured beverage infused with all of the vitamins, minerals, and detoxifying properties of beets. Each variety of beets yields a unique brightly colored kvass (ie. bull’s blood is deep red, chioggia bright pink, and golden kvass is radiant yellow).

3 medium organic beets, any variety

1 tablespoon unrefined sea salt, finely ground

3 tablespoons whey or finished beet kvass (optional)

4-6 cups water (well, spring, or filtered)

Peel the beets. Chop them into one-inch cubes. In a half-gallon canning jar combine the beets, salt, and optional whey or kvass. Add enough water to fill the jar while leaving about two-inches of headspace. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the salt. Cover with a cloth or paper towel. Secure the cover tightly with a string or rubber band. Leave at room temperature for 2 days.

Use a small ladle to skim any foam that has risen to the surface of the kvass.  Strain out the beets. (Use them to make a second batch and then discard.)

Funnel the kvass into a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid. Place a sheet of wax paper underneath the lid. (The paper prevents the acidic kvass from contacting the lid.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

One serving size is four ounces.

This was shared at the Probiotic Foods Challenge and the Detox Challenge.

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