There’s a lot of buzz these days about superfoods. But have you ever found it puzzling that most of what’s being touted as “superfoods” come packaged in plastic containers? An ideal superfood is actually nutrient-dense real food. So let’s talk about beet kvass, the ultimate super tonic. Beet kvass is a probiotic, a liver tonic and a digestive aid.
Support Your Liver
Beet kvass contains many liver-supporting properties. It is a perfect addition to any detoxification program. This ancient liver tonic is especially helpful for preconception women as it cleanses and tonifies the liver and can prevent future morning sickness, which is so common in the first trimester of pregnancy. Beet kvass is also an excellent support for kidney stones and gallstones. Many report that daily consumption of beet kvass eventually eliminates liver spots that have formed on the skin!
Beet kvass provides valuable enzymes and lactic acid. Lactic acid is a natural means of preserving food and making food less likely to harbor pathogenic bacteria. Comprised of a variety of beneficial bacteria, lactic acid bacteria is most important in food fermentation. Lactic acid bacteria are used in making cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles and beet kvass.
For you history buffs, beet kvass is a traditional tonic that was very popular in Russian and Ukrainian cultures dating back to the Middle Ages. It was known to offer protection against infection and to help one deal with hangovers. Beet kvass also cleanses the blood.
Beet kvass is a wonderful addition to the diet. Easy and economical to make and its benefits are tremendous. It is one of the most nourishing tonics available and you will love the satisfaction that you created it yourself. Don’t forget, beet kvass, teeming with beneficial bacteria, is a natural probiotic. It is also rich in minerals and enzymes. This liver tonic is an excellent digestive aid, especially for those challenged by constipation. Your liver and skin will love it. And your immune system will be stronger for it. Make it a daily tonic in your home!
Easy Recipe for Beet Kvass
Probably about the simplest thing on the planet to prepare, it will take about three minutes or less to have this concoction ready for brewing. Start with a 2-quart jar. Sterilize the jar by bringing water to a boil and pouring in the jar and then emptying the water.
3 medium beets, peeled (optional) and coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons homemade whey (optional)
1 tablespoon Celtic sea salt (use 1 ½ tablespoons if not adding whey)
spring water or purified non-chlorinated water
- Cut beets into quarters, or eighths if beets are large (cutting them into 1-inch pieces). Avoid small pieces as this will create too much fermentation. The result of this will be an undesirably high alcohol content. Be careful not to go smaller than ½ inch pieces. And do not grate the beets. Beets create lots of juice, so the smaller your pieces, the more juice and hence, the more sugar. This will accelerate the fermentation process, resulting in more alcohol and little lactic acid. Remember, the goal is for lactic acid to increase. The result is a tonic that is so beneficial for gut protection and supporting immunity.
- Place beets, whey and salt in a 2-quart sterilized glass jar. If you are lactose intolerant or do not have homemade whey, you can an additional ½ tablespoon Celtic sea salt. This prevents harmful bacteria from forming during the fermentation process. Adding whey is not essential but does encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria. Either way will work fine.
- Add purified or spring water to fill the jar. It is very important not to use chlorinated water such as what comes out of the tap. Chlorinated water will destroy good bacteria.
- Stir well and cover tightly.
- Place in pantry or cupboard at room temperature. If you have other starters or cultured foods in process (such as sourdough starter or yogurt), separate the various ferments and cultured foods. Make sure all your cultured, fermented foods and tonics are at least 6 feet away from one another. This way the developing friendly bacteria of your yogurt doesn’t mingle with the bacteria of the beet kvass, affecting the flavor.
- Allow your beet kvass to sit at room temperature for 24 hours to 7 days, depending upon temperature, humidity, specific microbial ecology and your personal flavor preference (A longer ferment time will result in a tangy flavor.). Colder, drier climates will require the longer time period for fermentation. In hot and humid climates the beet kvass will be ready in 24-36 hours.
- After a day and a half, if any white mold has formed, simply spoon it off the top.
- Taste the kvass. Once to your liking, refrigerate as is. Or you may pour the beet kvass into a clean glass jar and refrigerate.
- Beets may be used for one more brew, so use the remaining beets to make a second batch of beet kvass.
- If you desire more fermentation, decant the kvass into individual bottles. Leave one inch of air space between the beet kvass and top of the bottles. Seal tightly and leave at room temperature for another day or two, allowing carbonation to form.
- Refrigerate after fermentation period. Beet kvass should last refrigerated for two to four weeks. Enjoy a glass each day!
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