Have you ever wondered what the benefits of beet kvass really are? If you have, this post is for you. Read on to find out what it takes to make it and why it is so good for you.
As a nutritionist, I encourage my clients to make their own beet kvass rather than buy it. Many of them believe it is a long, complicated process. They are always shocked when I explain how easy it is to make.
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What Is Beet Kvass?
Kvass is a fermented beverage traditionally made in central and Eastern Europe. The original version of kvass is made from fermented rye bread. Many versions of kvass have been developed over the years including kvass made using beets. Beet kvass is the result of fermented beets by friendly bacteria (Lactobacillus bacteria). Beet kvass has a briny, tangy flavor which is definitely an acquired taste. It can be flavored using ginger, mint, oranges or strawberry.
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How to Make Beet Kvass
- 3 to 4 medium sized beets
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of sea salt
- ¼ cup of whey (optional). If you use whey, reduce the amount of sea salt by half.
- Optional flavorings such as orange peels, lemon, ginger or spices.
- Spring/bottled water.
- A 1-quart jar with a canning or plastic lid
- Clean the beets thoroughly and chop the tops and tails off.
- Peel the beets
- Dice the beets into medium sized chunks (½ inch cubes).Be careful not to dice them too small because this will make the fermentation process happen too fast and cause production of alcohol.
- Place the beets in a clean jar.
- Add the salt and flavoring of your choice
- Add water. Cover the beets with water leaving one inch of space at the top of the jar.
- Cover the jar.
- Let the beverage ferment. Leave the jar to stand in room temperature for a few days.
- When it is ready, strain out the beets and put the kvass in the refrigerator. You can start drinking it immediately but it is best after being in the fridge for 2 days or so.
Purpose of Key Ingredients
Sea salt: This salt is unrefined. It is completely pure, exactly as it was found in nature. Do not use iodized salt because iodine may interfere with the fermentation process.
Whey: This is a thin whitish or yellowish liquid formed in the process of making cheese or yoghurt.When making beet kvass, whey is used to speed up fermentation but it changes the flavor of the drink. Some people prefer to leave it out altogether so they can have the natural flavor of fermented beets and nothing else.
Spring water: Tap water is likely to contain chlorine which could interfere with the fermentation process. If you don’t have access to spring water, boil tap water and let it cool completely before using it.
Benefits of Drinking Beet Kvass
There are numerous health benefits of beet kvass. These are a few of them.
Rich Source of Probiotics
Probiotics are good bacteria which help restore a natural balance of in the digestive system. Probiotic treatment is most common in treatment of diarrhea and constipation. Where diarrhea is concerned, probiotics have proven useful in shortening the course of diarrhea in infants and children. For constipation, researchers have found that probiotics helped increase the number of bowel movements per week by 1.3.
Tonics are liquid supplements with medicinal properties used to promote general health and wellness. Beet kvass is an effective blood tonic which helps the kidney in the process of blood detoxification and elimination of toxins from the body. It is also rich in iron which is used to manufacture red blood cells. This tonic also helps to balance the pH of blood and maintain it at normal levels.
Beet kvass is rich in nitrates. When consumed, the body converts nitrates into nitric oxide. This compound is well known for energy boosting and stamina. It is a natural vessel dilator meaning that it widens blood vessels which automatically improves blood circulation and oxygen supply to all parts of the body. Increased oxygen supply translates to increased energy. This is why beet juice is a popular work-out drink.
Beet kvass is an acquired taste so don’t be surprised if some people simply cannot stand it. If you can stand it and hopefully enjoy the drink, take advantage of the health benefits of beet kvass and the fact that it can be stored in the refrigerator for months before it goes bad. In fact, it continues to ferment, albeit slowly, when it is in the fridge. If you appreciate the tangy taste caused by fermentation, you may just enjoy your beet kvass a little more every day.
Is beet kvass an alcoholic beverage?
It is considered a non-alcoholic drink because it contains very low levels of alcohol (0.5% to 1.0%)
How can I tell when my beet kvass is ready?
When it is ready the liquid in the jar is deep red in color and you will notice some bubbles rising to the top of the jar.
What is whey and why is it used in beet kvass?
Whey is a thin liquid formed in the process of making cheese, yoghurt and other like dairy products. It is useful in the process because it speeds up fermentation and slightly changes the flavor of the final beverage.
How long does beet kvass last?
As soon as it is ready for drinking, put it in the refrigerator. It can keep for several months as long as it stays refrigerated.
Is it advisable to drink beet kvass daily?
It is actually beneficial to have a dose of beet kvass every day. If you intend to incorporate it into your diet, start with a small amount (about 1 ounce per day) and gradually increase the amounts.