Monday, November 7, 2011

An Affordable Superfood: Beet Kvass

I hate beets but I am totally completely obsessed with beet kvass. The sparkly wine red fermented drink is super simple to make and a natural way to introduce probiotics into the modern diet. FoodInk calls Beet Kvass "a frugal superfood." The idea of making beet kvass was suggested to me by Robert Kilpert, of Healing Field Farms, who used diet as part of a treatment regiment to heal from cancer. I got this recipe from Nourishing Traditions, a cookbook that embraces traditional cooking and old fashioned food preparation techniques like fermentation.

You can use the beet kvass as a digestive drink or to replace vinegar. My cousin even used a cup to brighten up a smoothie she was making which shows how you can really get creative with this probiotic elixir.

According to Nourishing Traditions, beet kvass is
"valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are loaded with nutrients. One 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." 1
For more information and the original recipe you can see the The Nourishing Cook's post on Beet Kvass. The Nourishing Cook is cooking all 773 recipes from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions and it is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to find out more about traditional food preparation. There is some unconfirmed info on Hidden Pond Farms website that about beet kvass being protective from radiation during Chernobyl--and that it is used in Europe by cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.

Recipe for making beet kvass:
  • 2 quart jar with snap closed lid
  • 3 medium or 2 large organic beets-peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes.
  • 2 tsp salt---sea salt without iodine
  • 1/4 cup whey (you can use the liquid at the top of yogurt )***if you are on a dairy free diet you can also omit whey and use 2 extra teaspoons of salt OR use liquid from a non dairy yogurt like coconut yogurt. If you want to get more whey from the yogurt you can strain in cheesecloth so the whey is separated from the yogurt which produces greek yogurt. Just put the yogurt in cheesecloth in a strainer and let whey drip into container in the fridge. When you are finished you have separated the whey from the thick greek style yogurt.
  • filtered water
  • Peel and chop beets.
  • Place in the bottom of 2 quart jar.
  • Add salt
  • Cover with water.
  • Let sit at room temperature for 2 days. This step is temperature sensitive.
  • Move to refrigerator. You can drink right away, but beet kvass will deepen in color and flavor if you let it sit in the refrigerator for a week or so before drinking.
Having 1/4 cup of beet kvass diluted with 1/4 cup filtered water twice a day was the recommendation I was given by Robert Kilpert. I like the diluted beet kvass because it is less salty and more refreshing than straight up kvass.

You can use the beets from the beet kvass to make a second batch of kvass by saving 10% of the beet kvass liquid and adding 1 Tablespoon of salt and filtered water to 1 inch from the top. Let ferment at room temperature for 2 days. After two batches of kvass you can toss the beets or make beet soup.

NOTE: If you have gas from beet kvass or probiotics it is because lots of bacteria introduced into an unhealthy gut will cause gas. In this case, start slowly to introduce beneficial bacteria into the gut.
1. Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (Washingon, DC: New Trends Publishing 1999, 2000.) p. 610.


jenniferlouice said...

I like to eats a different types of fruits and his juices.It's always helpful to make healthy body. i like to eat body.In my farm it's also available.It's beneficial for our excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses.

overcoming emotional eating

Print this post
Anonymous said...

Do you leave the chopped beets in it the entire time? Also, how long does it last in the fridge if you use extra salt rather than whey?

Print this post