Kvass is a traditional fermented beverage that is generally made from stale rye bread in eastern European countries. It’s been widely reputed to have many health benefits and is often drank as a tonic on a daily basis.
In addition to kvass from bread, beets are used (originating in The Ukraine) which makes a beautifully colored drink that is also very healthy. Beets of course, have their own benefits for physical health, but the process of fermenting foods will add new compounds and vitamins that will provide additional health benefits.
While there are very little scientific studies that have been done on beet kvass, those who regularly consume it report many benefits. So, while the evidence is not yet “scientific” but rather anecdotal, this may be something you might want to consider adding to your diet. It is inexpensive and extremely easy to make, taking only a few minutes, depending on the quantity.
Reported Health Benefits of Beet Kvass
This red beverage has long been thought of as a blood and liver tonic, and it is quite possible that there is truth to this claim. We do know that beet juice (unfermented) has been found to have some very intriguing and amazing benefits with the ability to help athletes perform longer, using less oxygen.
Beets themselves are a powerhouse of nutrition and offer many reasons to eat them more often. Fermenting chunks of beets have been reported to help with prevention of hangovers, help with digestive issues, and provide a boost of energy. This boost of energy may be related to the nitrates found in beets. Perhaps it is this extra boost which has some who suffer with chronic fatigue claiming improvement with daily consumption.
Other anecdotal evidence suggests that drinking beet kvass every day increases immunity against bacterial and viral infections, assists in cancer prevention, and some pregnant women have claimed it cured morning sickness.
Could it also be a “fountain of youth?” In addition to the above, some have even claimed that it has reduced age related skin problems as well as restored hair, both in thickness and color.
We don’t know if drinking beet kvass is really capable of doing all that, but we are certain that it has health benefits if consumed regularly. Some suggest 4 ounces, twice a day is an effective amount.
How To Make Beet Kvass
Beet kvass is so easy to make and will literally only take five to ten minutes. If you are hesitant about the taste, perhaps the first time you should only make a small batch (however some believe that kvass improves with age and a small amount may not be enough for you to determine this).
But to start with, you may want to use a 1 quart jar. You will not be filling this jar with beets, rather only about a quarter filled with beet chunks.
Many people peel the skin off the raw beets before cubing and adding them to the jar, while others don’t bother with this process. Some suggest if your beets are not organic, then you definitely should peel the skin first.
If you decide to leave the skins, be sure to scrub them to remove any earth that may be on the beetroots.
When you have filled the jar a quarter full, pour a salt water brine over the beet chunks, filling the bottle up to it’s shoulder.
The brine should of a ratio of 1 Tablespoon of salt to 4 cups of water.
Instead of filling the bottle with brine, you could also add a 1/4 cup of whey if you have some, which will speed up the fermentation process.
Recipe: Beet Kvass
- 1 to 2 beets, depending on their size, cut in chunks
- 4 cups of water
- 1 Tablespoon of salt
- 1/4 cup whey (optional).
- Cover the bottle with a lid, and let it sit for several days on your counter or in a cupboard that does not get cold. Some prefer to allow the fermentation process to occur for four weeks before separating the beet chunks from the resulting liquid, and then refrigerating the liquid. The beet chunks can then be used again for another batch of kvass.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
To separate the beet chunks from the kvass, you can simply spoon them out or pour through a sieve.
In addition to drinking the kvass on its own, some will make salad dressings using it as an ingredient while others add it to soups such as borscht.
Do you consume beet kvass now? What are your experiences that you can tell us about? What health benefits do you believe you have discovered about this brilliant red beverage?